Remember Champion? The brand behind that Harvard hoodie you stole from your roommate that summer in Boston. You know, the one you still wear so everyone thinks you were Ivy League?
Well they're coming back in a whole new way. The Hanesbrands subsidiary announced this week that it will launch an estimated $27 million campaign dubbed: “How you play.” It's their largest campaign in about a decade—which is like a century in the fickle world of fashion—and it's all aimed at getting twentysomethings back in the brand's coffers with a more lifestyle image. The hitch is that the brand is now best-known among consumers ages 30-50 who discovered the brand in college. To date, it’s still number one in branded, collegiate memorabilia apparel.
“The strategy is to engage the twentysomething consumer, which is the right place for the Champion brand, with creative that shows the genuine, approachable sports activities in everyday life,” Claire Edgar, Champion's brand marketing director, told me.
Print ads, out-of-home and online component, per Kaplan Thaler, New York, are “about people being active in a social space; a pick-up football game, a guy and a girl wrestling,” said Edgar.
Anyhow, it's a good, if rather predictable, move for Champion, since consumers are increasingly incorporating athletic wear into the more casual facets of their lifestyle.
The print ads hit December issues including Details, US Weekly, and Vogue. Initially, the spots will be focused on showing off the more stylish looks, but early next year Champion will shift its focus to play up performance-related products as consumers rush to sign gym memberships after packing on a few holiday pounds. Out of home advertisements start this week in Los Angeles. It will then roll out in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and New York through December.