Neiman Marcus Links Sports And Fashion In Spring Campaign

Credit: Arnaud Lajeunie

Break-dancing, rock-climbing and basketball might not be images usually conjured up by Neiman Marcus. The luxury retailer aims to change that with a new spring campaign, shooting the season’s best looks through the lens of athletics. Ads star Ralph Lauren Olympic brand ambassador and top rock climber Brooke Raboutou, NBA point guard Kelly Oubre Jr., Olympic break-dancer Victor Montalvo, and record-setting runner Athing Mu, as well as Charlotte Jones,executive vice president and chief brand officer of the Dallas Cowboys.

Nabil Aliffi, chief brand officer, emails Retail Insider about the campaign.

Retail Insider: Why focus on athletes now?

Nabil Aliffi: Looking ahead to the summer Olympic games, this year is special, as they are hosted in Paris, the fashion capital of the world. With all eyes on sports, we see this as an opportunity to celebrate the intersection of sports and fashion, featuring athletes turned style stars. These timely sports moments also give us the perfect backdrop to talk about American sportswear, which has become an increasingly popular trend among our customers. 

Neiman Marcus is a relationship business, and we have been cultivating relationships with movers and shakers in the sporting community for years. We enlisted CeeDee Lamb, star wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, to be featured in our fall 2023 campaign.We have also tapped many great athletes to participate in our store activations, including our Las Vegas store takeovers during the big race [the Grand Prix] in November and the big game in February. Athletes act as style inspirations for our customers, and many have become great clients.

Retail Insider: Yes, all eyes will be on Paris. Of all the athletes you could have chosen, I love that you decided on break-dancing and rock climbing. Why?

Aliffi: We wanted to maximize our voice to speak to a broad customer audience. It was important for us to show a range of sports, from established categories like track, with Athing Mu, to newer sports, such as break-dancing. We chose this season’s Achievers based on their success in unlocking their personal best. All five reflect our Neiman Marcus values, embodying “the pursuit of the extraordinary.

Retail Insider: Are you going to Paris to see any games?

Aliffi: No confirmed plans yet. But we will send two special customers through our Ultimate Olympic Experience Fantasy Gift that we sold this past holiday season. The gift, created in partnership with Ralph Lauren, includes three nights in Paris, dining at Ralph’s restaurant, pieces from the official Ralph Lauren Team USA apparel collection signed by Team USA athletes, and attendance at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and two Olympic events.

Retail Insider: Where are the ads running?

Aliffi: It’s a 360-degree campaign that will run across all of our customer channels: in stores, window displays, our website, app, social media, email, and our customer catalog, The Book. Content will play out heavily on our social channels, featuring our five Achievers. 

Retail Insider: Will there be in-store activations?

Aliffi: Yes. We are focused on executing unique activations in local markets, supporting our “retail-tainment” strategy. Stores will tap local sports heroes to participate in panels, activations, and meet-and-greets catered to the local clientele.

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