Slovenia no.1 gets a custom designed Ford Puma
Generally, whenever a brand ambassador is concerned in the chess universe, it is mostly the male players who have been and are associated with top brands. For e.g. Magnus Carlsen with Puma, Master Card, Jan-Krzysztof Duda with Lenovo etc. However, an active female player being associated with a globally recognized brand is quite rare, at least as per our knowledge. So when we got to know that Slovenia no.1 woman IM Laura Unuk became a brand ambassador of Ford Slovenia, we had to share this news. What better way to do it, than on her birthday? We hope this will inspire more brands to choose female chess players as their brand ambassadors around the globe.
Shahid Ahmed (SA): How happy are you to become the Brand Ambassador of Ford? How did it happen?
Laura Unuk (LU): I am extremely happy, traveling is big part of my life and having a reliable car is very important to me. It was always a big dream of mine to have my name written on a car, so it’s actually a dream come true.
Well, the story is not as charming. I had a car that was very unreliable and it had to be repaired every few months, thus costing a lot of dollars. I decided to reach out to companies and gave them idea of chess as a positive thing. Ford was interested in the idea and now we are collaborating.
SA: Is there any other sportsperson from your country, Slovenia, who is/was associated with the same brand?
IM Laura Unuk with Sales and Marketing Director at Summit Motors Ljubljana, Tomaž Oblak | Photo: Cestni Dirkac
SA: Apart from Ford, you are also a brand ambassador for Huawei and Ferme, is there any other brand, you are also an ambassador which we are unaware of?
LU: No that’s all for now 🙂 We are representing Tajfun company with our chess club but it’s not an individual thing.
IM Laura Unuk with her Tajfun – ŠK Ljubljana teammates at European Chess Club Cup 2022 | Photo: WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni
SA: What does it mean being a brand ambassador of such a globally recognized brand like Ford?
LU: Well it’s a dream come true for me. I am happy they recognised me and chess as a potential collaborator. I love bringing chess to other fields and they said they have many ideas how to involve me in Ford and how to involve Ford in chess. Chess is still known for being a game and I am excited to present it as much more.
SA: Being associated with Ford is as big as the world champion, Magnus Carlsen being the Brand Ambassador of Master Card and Puma, something that no other active female chess player have currently, as per my knowledge. Do you agree?
LU: Yes it’s huge. Of course I am not a global ambassador bit just in Slovenia however it’s still great.
IM Laura Unuk playing a friendly game on her Ford Puma | Photo: Cestni Dirkac
SA: Is there any other brand you would like to be associated with apart from the ones you are already in?
LU: Well yes. So I connect chess with elegance and artificial intelligence. Thus, I love bringing idea of chess to brands who can associate with it. For example Ferme Fashion is a female Slovenian designer, a woman who was self made and represents strength, elegance, sustainability and many more strong characteristics which I love to represent and can also be represented in chess. As long as you associate with chess I am very happy to collaborate.
IM Laura Unuk donning Ferme Fashion attire at Sporto Conference 2022
SA: What would be your message to all the chess players and those who are trying to get better at it?
LU: Better at chess or at representing brands? I am still trying to figure both 🙂
But the key is that I love representing chess as more than a game, chess is a way of life. It improves patience, intelligence, critical thinking, decision making, memory and many more things. With so many positive characteristics, not known to Slovenia public or world, I am trying to show to non chess players that we are not just sitting at the board for 5 hours. We are growing with each game.
IM Laura Unuk is also a brand ambassador of Huawei
Previous coverage of Laura Unuk
Former World Under-18 champion and top Slovenian player Laura Unuk – World Junior 2018 | Video: ChessBase India
“I just love playing chess” – Slovenia no.1 Woman IM Laura Unuk | Video: ChessBase India