Academy Sports + Outdoors, FCB Counter Elitism They Say Is Pervasive Sports Marketing

Academy Sports + Outdoors and its new agency FCB Chicago say a new campaign for the client is designed to offer an alternative to the elitist approach that’s implicit--or explicit--in much of the marketing for the sporting goods/outdoor category.

The “For All. For Less” creative celebrates everyone's passion for sports, regardless of their skill set or body type.  And according to the agency it pushes against the norms of the category and is rooted in the idea that the joy of sports and outdoors should be accessible to participants at all levels.   

“The conventions of the category tend to chase the image of the elite athlete and focus on the sacrifice and determination required to be one", said Jon Flannery, executive creative director, FCB. "We wanted to create work that didn’t just speak to the .0001% of those who are actually elite athletes.” 



New TV spots will air across the retailer's 230-location footprint. Other campaign elements include outdoor billboards, print, radio, digital, and in-store displays.

The Houston-based retailer selected the IPG-owned agency as its first official AOR in late 2016 as it executes a strategy to evolve from a regional to a national sports/outdoors retail chain.

Currently the business is best-known throughout the South and Midwest for its selection of sports and outdoor gear, casual and athletic footwear and apparel, fitness equipment and other products in the category. 

The brand spent $45.5 million on ads in 2015, according to Kantar Media.


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