CEO and Founder of OpenSponsorship Ishveen Anand facilitated a conversation with elite athletes Abby Dunkin and Leah West Casciano about a variety of topics, including how they use social media and why it’s important. Here is what they said: 


Abby Dunkin- Team USA Paralympic wheelchair basketball player. Although she recently retired within the last year, one of her most notable achievements was winning gold in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. 

Leah West Casciano- International Elite Powerlifter, Coach, Trainer, and Nutritionist. The most she has ever lifted is 425 lbs for the back squat, 231 lbs for the bench press, and 435 lbs for the deadlift. 

Question: How do you utilize social media?

For Dunkin, social media provides her the opportunity to make herself and her brand known in a world that may not know much about her story. 

“As a Paralympic athlete, most Paralympic athletes don’t have these big endorsements or big sponsorships because frankly a lot of people don’t know what the Paralympics are. For me, OpenSponsorship has been a great way to get my brand and my name out there to different companies and say ‘Hey I can make you look good and you can make me look good so let’s try this partnership out’ and for a company to have diversity as an ambassador or a partner or whoever, it makes them look good as they are very open and very willing to try this. And for a Paralympic athlete, it’s a win-win.”

As for Casciano, she views social media as a place to earn money she wouldn’t be able to in her sport in addition to creating a mutually beneficial relationship between her brand and her partners.

“For athletes to utilize social media, especially in a sport like powerlifting where this is no money in it, it’s a way that you can create a livable income because of your sport and because of what you do, but not from it. You can use your athletic ability and maybe your physique or whatever it is that puts you above other people as an athlete. You can use all that to your advantage with companies that want to support you. If you’re good at social media, then a company will want to use you, but it’s always a mutually beneficial agreement. So that’s why OpenSponsorship is really great because it brings you both together and you can both help each other out.”

To hear more from Dunkin and Casciano, watch the entire interview here.  

Audrey Brown

Written by Audrey Brown

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