Foot Locker has a little fun with bad behavior in its new back-to-school ads, featuring two of professional sports’ most controversial athletes bantering their way through some crutch-kicking and foot stomping.
Themed “Make An Impression,” ads feature the NFL defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who has racked up record fines for his dirty plays, and NBA center DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins, known as much for punching out opponents and screaming fits as for his outstanding play. (To be fair, Suh is also said to be one of the NFL’s most generous athletes.)
The two stroll along while discussing their image issues (“Everyone’s so quick to judge,” says Cousins), as they absent-mindedly barrel through one woman’s dropped groceries, shut an elevator door on an older woman with a walker and kick a crutch away from a man with a broken leg. Suh even manages to step on the poor guy’s cast, reenacting a casual leg stomp of quarterback Aaron Rodgers back in 2014. “Image is everything,” the two agree.
The spot, created by BBDO NY, features an assortment of Nike gear, including the hot new Air Max 97.
The back-to-school season is one of the most critical time periods for athletic footwear, and Nike still rules, at least according to a new report on BTS trends from PMX Agency, an integrated marketing agency in New York. In an analysis of last year’s data, it says Nike led all brands in sneaker searches, with searches peaking on Sept. 3. Amazon led in organic clicks, followed by Nordstom.com and Foot Locker.
In its most recent quarterly results, Foot Locker reported disappointing results, with same-store sales rising less than 1%, which it blamed on delayed income tax returns. “Nonetheless, we believe our banners remain at the center of a vibrant sneaker culture,” said Richard Johnson, CEO, in its announcement. “We are confident that our customers have not lost their tremendous appetite for athletic footwear and apparel and that our position in the industry is stronger than ever.”