Bleacher Report Rolls Out Pop-Up Retail Shop In Manhattan, Will Sell Custom-Made Gear
Bleacher Report yesterday opened to the public a pop-up retail shop and fan experience in N.Y.'s SoHo neighborhood. Developed in partnership with streetwear brand Kith, the location called "#BR99" will be open daily through June 30 offering custom-made Bleacher Report gear, a lounge area and presentation space, a cereal bar, and kiosks to create personalized sports-related memes using Bleacher Report content. The effort will likely travel to other markets after the N.Y. run completes next week, and is part of a much larger initiative by the Turner Sports-owned media outlet to become a bigger brand that also intersects with pop culture, lifestyle and fashion. Bleacher Report President Rory Brown said, "Our goal is to become an aspirational brand. We want to be a top target for not only sports fans aged 18-34, but all people aged 18-34." The pop-up shop and broader brand strategy are also outgrowths of a $100M investment into Bleacher Report that Turner plans over the next three years. Brown: “This is sort of our first foray into experiential marketing. But it certainly won’t be the last." The design and buildout of the pop-up shop was overseen by Bleacher Report VP/Brand Strategy Bennett Spector.
GAME ON: Bleacher Report also is debuting a new daily digital program devoted to e-sports called "eStream," which will be hosted by Malik Forte and Michele Morrow and chronicle developments in multiple competitive video gaming properties, including the ELeague created by Turner and WME-IMG. Brown said, "We have a good history of attaching ourselves to white spaces and creating a footprint for ourselves, and this is still certainly one. There is still a lot of fragmentation in the space, and eStream presents a further opportunity to plant our flag here.”