Salmon Arm’s Jordyn Konrad recently made a big appearance in New York’s famous Times Square.
Konrad’s image, with her name and the words “Canadian Amateur Boxer” written beneath, was recently displayed on the 120-foot high (37 metres) Nasdaq billboard as part of a promotional campaign for millions.co, a company that helps promote and support athletes through merchandising.
Peggy Maerz, Konrad’s Salmon Arm coach and owner of Bulldogs Fitness and Boxing Centre, shared a photo of the billboard in a Jan. 24 post on Facebook. Proud of her pupil, Maerz said she knew in December the billboard was coming –that it’s part of Konrad’s quest to fight in the 2024 summer Olympic Games in Paris.
Maerz explained that on the advice of Canadian Olympian/boxer and mentor Mandy Bujold, Konrad connected with millions.co to help build her brand, in part through merchandising which is helping her with the cost of training and travel for fights. One of the goals is to attract sponsors whose support can further Konrad’s Olympic journey.
“That company had a contest… for the most products sold,” said Maerz. “Jordyn won that contest… So there she is on this billboard in Times Square, with her Boxing BC jacket on, showing the whole world who she is, which is super cool.”
In addition to the billboard, millions.co offers a wide range of Team Konrad branded shirts, caps and hoodies. Maerz noted this self-promotion and brand-building represents a learning curve for Konrad, who she described as being more of a quiet, modest person.
“She likes to go through the world quietly, right, so it’s been a real big shift to then own her spot and be a little bit more vocal,” said Maerz. “I want to say loud and proud, but I don’t think that will ever fit as something that Jordyn would be. She’s just not that person. She’s the polite hometown girl that you just can’t help but root for.”
However, Maerz stressed Olympic dreams for most athletes aren’t achieved through training and talent alone. Even elite athletes who are carded and eligible for support Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program.
“Eventually she’ll get carded but even when you’re carded as an athlete, it’s not enough…,” said Maerz. “I don’t care what sport, it’s hard for athletes, once they’re at that level, to stay at that level without some sort of financial support form somewhere,” said Maerz.
Konrad’s time is currently divided between B.C. and Ontario, where she benefits from Bujold’s mentorship and training from champion boxer and elite coach Syd Vanderpool.
“They have good sparring for her there and we wanted her to have some mentorship under Mandy because Mandy has been there, done that, and is a phenomenal coach,” said Maerz. “I really love and respect Syd Vanderpool, that’s whose watchful eye she’s under when she’s there.”
Maerz said Konrad will be returning to the province in a couple of weeks for a fight.
With all the recent exposure Konrad has received, Maerz said sponsors have taken notice.
“There are other sponsors looking at her,” said Maerz. “What that means for her , I don’t know, because the dust hasn’t settled yet. But I’m very pleased for her, very proud.”
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