Bruno Banani: The Man & The Brand

You may not have previously heard of Tonga, the small sovereign state comprised of 176 islands in the southern Pacific Ocean, but you’re about to. Here are two reasons why. 1. Bruno Banani: the international German underwear brand known for their adventurous marketing, and for sending their garments into space. Tagline? “Not for everybody.” 2. Bruno Banani: The humble luger from the Polynesian island group competing in the Winter Olympics for the first time this year. The story that follows is incredible.

In 2009 Princess Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita of Tonga made the decision that her country would be represented in the Winter Olympics—despite its climate, and despite the obstacles they would no doubt face getting there. She had a plan. Working together with the man who had founded German public relations firm Makai, the princess set out a call in Tonga for the man who would be their representative for the games—and who would agree to chance his name to Bruno Banani. This way, the brand would sponsor and market him.

Enter Fuahea Semi. Humble, grateful, and immensely hardworking, it was clear to see he was the perfect man for the job.

Fast-forward to January 2014. Banani the man is qualified and ready for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. He made it. And this past weekend he became the first person ever to represent his country in the Winter Games. Talk about inspiring.

Who are you rooting for in the Winter Games? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting @underwearexpert.

For more information on the brand: Bruno Banani

Photo Credit: EPA