As marketers are more inclined to do these days, Everlast Worldwide wants to start a conversation. The topic: Recognition-or more precisely the lack thereof-- of the achievements of female athletes.
To kickstart this conversation the brand is launching a new campaign called “Invisible Athlete,” that was developed with ad agency Other NY (explain that name to me, PLEASE).
The campaign features five-time boxing World Champion Alicia Ashley and her battle to receive recognition in the male-dominated boxing industry.
A key fact driving the campaign’s messaging: female athletes receive just 8% of media coverage devoted to sports and hence the idea that even the greatest professional female athletes are nearly invisible in sports media.
The clips of Ashley’s journey in the campaign are intermixed with Everlast Worldwide products.
But Other NY insists that the campaign is "not a feature of product but instead a feature on the powerful female athletes Everlast supports."
Well, that’s complete bullshit. At the very least the campaign is about both. Spare me the righteousness and give me a little more transparency (translation: honesty).
The campaign is utilizing a social media strategy. A spot went live on Everlast's YouTube page on May 24 (that’s today btw, for those of you who lose track of time). That will be followed with a two-week roll out of clips, quotes and images which will be released through Everlast's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.
A follow-up interview with Ashley to take a deeper look into the life of a professional female boxer will be released at the end of the summer.
I don’t know, maybe it’s an unfair question, but Everlast, where the heck have you been for the last 45 years? That’s when Title IX was enacted into law, banning discrimination against female athletes by educational institutions receiving federal funding. You were founded in 1910. The lack of recognition of the achievements of women--including female athletes--is a controversy that spans generations.
I mean, I guess you deserve some credit for taking a stand on a legitimate issue—that the media more or less ignore the achievements of female athletes, compared to their male counterparts. But, you’re no babe in the woods. You’ve been around, obviously aware of this disparity that you’re now attempting to shine a light on.
What took you so long?