Everlast tosses its hat into new ring

Everlast turns 100 on January 1, 2010.

Company: Everlast
Campaign: Everlast Centennial
PR team: Internal
Launch: January 1, 2010 

Objective
Everlast turns 100 on January 1, 2010. To launch its yearlong centennial celebration, the company is working to raise awareness of its offerings with its core consumers and also explain its more recent additions that go beyond boxing equipment to the mixed martial arts (MMA) and broader fitness arenas.

“Our brand is synonymous with boxing, but we aren't handcuffed to only boxing,” said Matt Cowan, VP of marketing and product. “It's a huge business opportunity from a product development and marketing standpoint.”

Idea
The centennial will be a yearlong celebration focused on the Everlast brand, but to begin buzz, the company forged new partnerships and added products. It joined with 24 Hour Fitness gyms to help reach the broader consumer. It also teamed with a number of MMA gyms and fight leagues nationwide to target that niche. A new line of Muhammad Ali boxing products developed with Ali Enterprises hews back to its core constituency.

Tools
The company expects the unveiling of the new Ali line, which was planned for release on October 30, and the marketing around it to begin the drumbeat of chatter for the centennial. October “Shadowbox Workout” events with 24 Hour Fitness were also part of the pre-buzz effort, along with outreach to trade and consumer publications, such as Sports Insight, Men's Journal, and ESPN.com, as well as TV product placement.

The centennial microsite launches January 1 with historical images, videos, a special logo, and other items about Everlast's history. A social media initiative will kick off on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter asking consumers to answer the question, “What do you fight for?” Select fighters will wear centennial gold throughout 2010. The year will also see additional product launches and events.

Measurement
In addition to sales, the company will measure the program's success by the number of new distribution channels where the Everlast brand will be placed.

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