Aussie vitamin company VÖOST has released a short film featuring Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo, the world’s first openly gay top-flight men’s soccer player, to encourage inclusivity in sport. The clip kicks off a three-year partnership between VÖOST, Sydney WorldPride and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Released on 13 February, the film sees Cavallo revisit his childhood soccer club in Melbourne. Here, he reflects on the path that led him to post his viral coming out video on Twitter in 2021, making sporting history.
Out on the field
VÖOST’s five-minute video references the first international study on homophobia in sport, which found around 70 percent of participants believe youth sport is not safe and welcoming for LGB people. (The study focussed on sexuality rather than gender-based discrimination faced by trans and intersex athletes.)
“VÖOST firmly believes this exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in sport is unacceptable and wants to proactively work to change that,” the Melbourne-based company says in a press release.
While discrimination continues on the field and in the stands, some brands are doing their bit to right past wrongs in the realm of sports sponsorships – and of course earn some cash in the process.
Partnerships continue for Cavallo
Coming out as gay might have once negatively affected sponsorship deals for sporting champions like Martina Navratilova and Greg Louganis, but Cavallo’s announcement seems to have opened the door to his deals. Before he came out, he had no sponsorships in the pipeline. Since his announcement made global headlines, Cavallo has partnered with Ralph Lauren, Cupra, Gymshark and now VÖOST.
In August 2022, Cavallo told Marketing that he is selective about the brands with which he works.
“Yes, it’s great having these companies come to me and want to work with me, but they have to align with my brand and my messaging behind it,” he said at the time.
It seems that VÖOST has made the cut. Alongside working with Cavallo, the Melbourne-based company owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G) will activate across WorldPride and Mardi Gras. P&G is also supporting rainbow youth charity Minus18 to create Anti-Bullying Resource Kits for students across Australia.
For more on Cavallo’s experience in the public eye as the world’s first openly gay top-flight men’s soccer player, read our full interview with him last year.