SBD/July 26, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Speedo Launches Social Media Site In Attempt To Expand Brand

Speedo launched a newly redesigned website that includes an athletes' blog
Speedo is “taking a rather radical approach in expanding” its brand beyond competitive swimmers, according to Natalie Zmuda of AD AGE. Speedo is rolling out a new social media platform called "Pace Club," along with a newly redesigned website, catalog and tagline. Pace Club includes “a mobile app that allows swimmers to sign up for training programs, log workouts, view professional athletes demonstrating proper technique and share their progress with friends through Pace Club's virtual ‘Swim Team,’ as well as on Facebook or Twitter.” There is also “a blog featuring content from a dozen Speedo athletes and a product widget highlighting relevant Speedo products.” Syrup CEO & Managing Dir Omino Gardezi, whose N.Y.-based digital firm is working with Speedo on the campaign, said, "We went in with a digital strategy and came out with a whole new business endeavor. We're hoping to make Speedo the pioneering brand in swimming, as far as online. It's all quite radical to swimming. It's been a very traditional sport." The goal is “to expand the brand's user base and make it more inclusive.” The target audience for Pace Club “is still relatively niche; Speedo has pegged the competitive and fitness swimming market at about 8.8 million people.” But Pace Club “could have broader implications moving forward.” Speedo Marketing Dir Katie Tyrrell cited an industry survey that said that “there are 83 million active purchasers of swimwear in the market and swimming is emerging as an aspirational sport.” Pace Club is “rolling out this month and will be promoted” at the FINA World Championships, which is taking place in Shanghai through Sunday. Tyrrell said that there “will be a digital and social-media campaign, as well as point-of-sale promotion.” But Pace Club for now “will rely primarily on grassroots marketing efforts and word-of-mouth” (ADAGE.com, 7/24).
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