Kevin Love has used the platform that he built through basketball to bring awareness to mental health issues. Now the five-time All-Star is teaming up with GQ Sports on its “GQ Best Stuff Box” project to help others maintain a positive emotional and physical mindset as the coronavirus pandemic continues across the U.S.
Love has long had an involvement with GQ’s editorial coverage. He has been featured in GQ’s notable video series, “10 Essentials,” where celebrities share the 10 day-to-day essentials that they can’t live without. The 32-year-old has also been a part of GQ Magazine’s print coverage, ranging from being featured in the “New Masculinity” issue to offering advice on how people can find the right therapist.
After working with Love most recently on “New Masculinity,” where he opened up about trying to be more emotive, Jonathan Wilde, digital director at GQ Magazine, wanted the NBA star to become the first athlete to collaborate with the outlet on the “GQ Best Stuff Box.”
“We’ve seen what happens when men can’t be the best version of themselves mentally and wellness wise,” Wilde said. “I think it’s paramount for us to be helping lead that conversation. Kevin’s been doing it really adeptly from his space, and I mean that both as an athlete and also as a person with a really, really large and broad platform.”
The “GQ Best Stuff Box” was launched in January 2018 as a $50 quarterly subscription box with GQ-recommended items valued at over $200. Revenue from it is up 150% year-over-year, with the last five boxes selling out earlier than projected.
Prior to this edition, GQ editors were primarily responsible for helping pick out the products that would wind up in past boxes. The Love collaboration is the first time that GQ has worked with anyone outside of the company to curate the box, Wilde said.
Love’s willingness to talk about mental health came to the national spotlight in March 2018, when he published an article in The Players’ Tribune that he had suffered a panic attack during a regular-season game against the Atlanta Hawks. Since that encounter, the power forward has become one of the NBA’s most outspoken mental health advocates.
Given his dedication to the subject, the products Love selected are centered around mental health. With World Mental Health Awareness Day occurring on Oct. 10, the box includes a subscription to mindfulness app Headspace, Cliff Original calming oil, a Riley Home blanket and Lapcos sheet masks, among others. GQ will also be donating $100,000 to the Kevin Love Fund, which prioritizes mental health.
“Through this collaboration with GQ, I’m sharing a box of my favorite health and wellness products, all which are particularly important to me,” Love said in a statement. “When putting together this collection, we wanted to include products that help you take care of yourself, providing a bit of self-care. Because once you can do that, you’ll be in a better mindset to help take care of others and pay it forward.”
If past installments are any indication of how the Love edition will perform, it suggests that success is on the horizon for both player and outlet. However, even after seeing the previous five editions sell out quicker than anticipated, Wilde isn’t as focused on the business aspect of the Love version. With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., Wilde wants people to view this box not as the solution to mental health, but rather as one way for them to embrace the topic.
“Our biggest mission with this one in particular is to really show our audience that mental health isn’t just something that you can read about and talk about,” Wilde said. “It is something that you can actually act on. I’m not saying that this box is going to fix anything for anybody who is struggling with any kind of a mental health issue — whether large or small — but it is a space to talk about it in a very tangible way.”