War Paint continues fight against men's mental health stigma with Wigan Warriors

By Austyn King | Published: 27-Apr-2021

The male make-up brand and Betfred Super League-winning Rugby League club are aiming to boost awareness and kick off positive conversations about mental health

Male make-up brand War Paint is giving stereotypes the boot by teaming up with Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club for the 2021 season.

The Betfred Super League-winning team is based in Greater Manchester, a region that is said to have one of the UK's highest rates of male suicide.

In a bid to address these issues, War Paint and Wigan Warriors will launch a series of initiatives throughout the season to help those suffering from mental health issues and kickstart positive conversations about men's mental health and wellbeing.

Commenting on the partnership, War Paint founder Daniel Gray said: “I was inspired to create War Paint due to my own mental health struggles and I couldn’t be more proud to see that our brand growth can result in working alongside Wigan Warriors to help us address the issue.

“I can’t wait to unveil some of the groundbreaking initiatives we have planned to help people with mental health issues and raise awareness among the Rugby League community.”

Taking place both on and off-field, the partnership will see War Paint featured on Wigan Warriors' first-team training and warm-up kits in an effort to spread the brand's core message of challenging stereotypes, helping men feel more confident and offering them more choice in their personal care options.

Kickstarting change

Kris Radlinski, former Wigan Warriors and England player and the club's Executive Director, added: “We are delighted to welcome War Paint for Men as our first ever designated Training Kit Partner and Official Men’s Health and Wellbeing Partner.

“On the face of it, many fans would not expect a rugby league team to be partnering with a make-up brand, which makes this partnership even more important as we see this as a vital opportunity to break misconceptions and to make a genuine difference to both the sport and our wider community.

“We want to use the partnership to inspire confidence among men, encourage wellness and raise awareness of topical mental health challenges which are just as prevalent in professional sport as they are in everyday life, particularly given the last 12 months for all of us.”

The team-up is not War Paint's first partnership with a major UK sports team; last year, the brand inked a historical deal with Norwich City Football Club, which included a YouTube series with British actor and comedian Stephen Fry and former Norwich City FC player Darren Eadie joining Gray to discuss their own experiences with mental health issues alongside a range of topics from the high rates of male suicide to the impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Meanwhile, last month, the brand unveiled its 'world's first' make-up manual for men, featuring a history of male make-up as well how-to guides in a bid to help men feel more comfortable experimenting with colour cosmetics.

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