Media Bank: Airwalk Up Close… Adidas Scores Big…

Grabbing Air Time
Airwalk is getting up close and personal this fall. The skate brand is breaking out a new print campaign this month called “We Are Airwalk” that offers intimate portraits of some of its top athletes, including Andy Macdonald, Anastasia Ashley and Tulio De Oliveria (at right). The images were shot by Michael Muller, who has worked with Airwalk on previous campaigns, and will appear in the June issues of Surfing, Spin and Skateboarder, as well as in direct mail and in-store materials. “The main idea behind the campaign was to give people a closer and more intimate view into the brand,” said Eric Dreyer, VP of brand management at Collective International, which oversees Airwalk. “The best way to do that was through the people who represent the brand.” Airwalk also is continuing its “Unsigned Hero” music contest, now in its fourth year. Voting began early last month on the brand’s Website and other social media sites, and on Oct. 15, Airwalk will announce the winner, who will perform at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Soccer Mania
Adidas sure knows how to pick ’em. Last Wednesday, the athletic giant unveiled its new soccer boot on the foot of FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi during the UEFA Champions League final — and saw him lead his team to victory over Manchester United. What better way to jumpstart sales for the shoe? But even before the game, Adidas was building buzz. On May 21, it kicked off a viral online campaign with a series of 30-second and 90-second films (below) starring Messi and soccer legend Zinedine Zidane. A company spokesperson said the videos have a comic-book theme and cast Messi as “The Spark,” who can lead his team to victory. “They tell a story, they’re not specific to performance,” she said. “We’re fusing sports with entertainment and pop culture.” And so far it has been successful: The spokesperson said bloggers began picking up the videos immediately.

Ugg Rocks Out
What do you get when you combine Ugg, Ziggy Marley and dozens of celebrities? Kidstock 2009, a music festival organized by a group of Hollywood families to benefit the One Voice Scholars Program. For the third straight year, Ugg Australia was the presenting sponsor at the event, held last weekend in Beverly Hills, Calif. As part of its sponsorship, Ugg’s logo appeared on all marketing materials, and the brand created an air-brushing tent at the festival, where kids could purchase a customized pair of its classic boots, with proceeds going toward One Voice. According to Ugg PR manager Kristen Thomason, between 800 and 1,000 people generally attend the music festival, mainly local families with pre-school- and elementary-age children who were invited by a member of the host committee, which includes chef Giada De Laurentiis and actress Reese Witherspoon, among many others.

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