Mission Athletecare, a performance technology started by a roster of athletes including Dwyane Wade, Serena Williams, and David Wright, has been focusing on its EnduraCool chemical-free cooling-product line for actives and athletes.
We're talking cooling towels that work without various crystals or propylene glycol-type compounds. The company is in the midst of explaining this without getting too much into materials science with its biggest effort since its founding in 2009: a grassroots tour -- its first -- covering 14 states over 100 days.
At each stop, the company is touting EnduraCool by talking about heat illness and the benefits of using cooling strategies. The tour involves giveaways, product sampling, and heat safety information paired with social media elements along with a retail program tied to tour stops.
The tour -- which launched in the spring -- is hitting baseball, beach volleyball, outdoor basketball, racing, tennis, concerts, beaches, camps, marathons and more through the end of August. The social part of it, with the hashtag #ThatsCold, ties consumer-generated social media to the tour. The authors of the best postings get prize packs and other custom giveaways from Mission and its athlete partners.
Wendy Kula, SVP of marketing at Mission Athletecare, tells Marketing Daily that the company sells its products meant for around a dozen sports, from fishing to MMA/boxing, at retailers like Dick's, Sports Authority, Lowe's, Academy Sports, and regional players like Model's and Olympia. At some of these, such as Lowe's, the Mission Athletecare has stand-alone pods that tout the products' technology, using its founding athletes as marketing assets.
"We have two efforts running now, including a national ad featuring the athletes, and we are also doing a direct-response campaign. Immersive marketing lets people see demonstrations, touch and feel it and experience [the product.]"
She says events include NASCAR races, basketball programs at Staples Center in Los Angeles, U.S. Open for volleyball at Manhattan Beach in Southern California. "So we are reaching fans and spectators and athletes during camps, and field testing at the highest levels." She says the tour focuses on the southern tier, northeast and West Coast, but that the sales profile is evenly spread.
"Though there is no doubt that with this tech we certainly see strong sales in Texas and California, but we also have huge markets and lots of volume here in the Northeast; and seasonally, we are strong in the Midwest in markets like Chicago," says Kula, explaining that this year the company is also focusing on Cleat Grip, a product that keeps dirt and mud from clinging to sports cleats and is expanding its line of wearables as well. And, she says, the company is expanding its line of wearables.