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In early August, Nike aired a 30-second spot during NBC's prime-time coverage of the Olympics featuring triathlete Chris Mosier, the first transgender athlete to make a U.S. men's national team. That an esteemed brand like Nike decided to showcase Mosier's story of athleticism and courage while millions worldwide watched had both news outlets and marketers take note. Less than a week later, Clairol announced that Tracey "Africa" Norman, a trans model that had worked for the Procter & Gamble hair color brand in the early '70s, would grace its Nice 'n Easy ads again.
Clairol and Nike aren't alone.