Russell Athletic, the flagship brand of Russell Corporation (NYSE:RML) , unveiled a new integrated communications and advertising campaign entitled "Are You Russell Material?" today. Expected to launch during the beginning of the NCAA men's and women's college basketball tournaments and Major League Baseball season, the multi- tiered campaign includes traditional and non-traditional advertising, sponsorships, in-game signage, promotions and public relations. Terms of the media spend were undisclosed.
This year's integrated plan will leverage Russell Athletic's proprietary on-field assets and its 100-year history in sports while establishing an emotional connection with consumers.
"The most important aspect of our campaign is that it reinforces Russell Athletic as an authentic brand with a strong heritage," said Rod McGeachy, vice president of marketing. "Our extensive on-field presence and leadership status in the team sports uniform market truly legitimizes our claim as a proven, athletic brand."
"This campaign creates an emotional connection with our target consumer through associations with the purity and glory of sport," said Will Thomason, senior vice president on the account at WestWayne, which has been an advertising partner with Russell Athletic since 1998.
"Russell Athletic is more than just the fabric of the uniform. It's about what the person wearing it is made of, too. The campaign speak to athletes who push themselves harder than their coaches do, who practice with passion, who honor the game in the way they prepare for it. That's what Russell Material is," added McGeachy.
The first layer of the multi-tiered communications plan includes a national print campaign expected to appear in Sports Illustrated, Men's Fitness, Shape, and various trade publications. One print ad depicts a man lifting weights with a caption that reads, "How much practice does it take to lift a 34-ounce baseball bat?" Another ad shows a football player dragging a tire behind him during practice with copy saying, "On Saturday, it will be a linebacker he's dragging."
The second layer of the plan includes an interactive media component that includes online advertisements at properties such as ESPN.com, CNNSI.com and Yahoo! Sports.
The final layer includes place-based marketing initiatives at key sporting events that will reach target consumers in attendance. It includes signage at Major League Baseball and collegiate stadiums, mobile video marketing, and event-specific program advertisements.
With a refined brand positioning, a new creative message, and a comprehensive strategic marketing plan, Russell Athletic is poised to impact the athletic apparel market in 2003 and beyond.
ABOUT RUSSELL ATHLETIC
Russell Athletic is the world's largest supplier of team uniforms. A division of Russell Corporation, Russell Athletic is the Official Uniform Supplier to 15 Major League Baseball teams, outfits over 200 D-1 college teams, USA Baseball, and is the Official Uniform of Little League Baseball. Additionally, Russell Athletic is an Official Sponsor of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Russell Athletic apparel can be found in a variety of department and sports specialty retailers nationwide. For more information about Russell Athletic, visit www.russellathletic.com .
ABOUT RUSSELL CORPORATION
Russell Corporation is a leading branded athletic, activewear, and outdoor company with over a century of success in marketing athletic uniforms, apparel and accessories for a wide variety of sports, outdoor and fitness activities. The company's brands include: Russell Athletic(R), JERZEES(R), Mossy Oak(R), Cross Creek(R), Discus(R), Moving Comfort(R) and Bike(R). The company's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RML and its website address is www.russellcorp.com
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