In Social Splash, Speedo Connects Artists With Athletes

by , Dec 10, 2013, 4:02 PM
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In an effort to make a splash in social media and pep up its e-commerce, Speedo is rolling out a new “Art of the Cap” digital campaign, promoting a limited-edition line of swim caps. Each of the five designs is part of a three-way partnership, pairing its five Team Speedo athletes with five different artists, to come up with their unique cause-related spin.

“Swim caps are sort of the t-shirt of swimming,” Alyssa Igawa, marketing director for Speedo USA, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s something people can change on a daily basis, and moms can buy new ones often for their kids.”

The launch centers on a microsite where users can view new and interactive content, including videos of each athlete talking about their personal connection to each cause, in an effort to spur holiday donations, as well. But the main play is social, Igawa says. Speedo has already begun pushing the effort out on all its channels, and while Twitter has had the most impact so far, she says the campaign, from Hello Design, based in Culver City, Calif., created assets for Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram as well. And each of the athletes’ causes are promoting the caps across their social channels as well. In addition, Speedo, owned by PVH Corp., is also reaching out to bloggers for more earned media.

The short videos explain the evolution of each design. For example, Natalie Coughlin (the most decorated U.S. female Olympian of all time) worked with Brazilian artist, Adhemas Batista to create a cap inspired by her love of the ocean, with proceeds benefitting Right to Play, a global organization that uses sports to educate and empower kids. And 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte teamed with artist Dave Kinsey to create a bold argyle, with proceeds dedicated to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, a non-profit organization that seeks to end Duchenne, a form of muscular dystrophy that took the life of one of Lochte’s close relatives. 

Igawa says the effort is aimed not just at the two million performance swimmers in the U.S., or even the 21 million fitness swimmers, but also the millions more doing anything else in the water, from surfing to stand-up paddle-boarding.

In addition to creating some brand buzz with limited-edition caps, the effort is also part of a push to increase e-commerce sales. She adds: “The digital space is not where we are selling suits right now, and we could be.”

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