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Volume 26 No. 231
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Social Studies: Bedgear Spreading Sleep Benefits Through Sports

The upcoming TCS N.Y. Marathon will be the third with performance bedding company Bedgear as a sponsor. Although Bedgear Senior Communications Manager Allie Hartman (@Bedgear) has almost two years under her belt with the brand, this race will be her first since social media duties were added to her responsibilities in April. She said Bedgear at the Oct. 31 Marathon Expo Presented By New Balance will “feature a never-before seen social media experience that will immerse an individual in a Bedgear bedroom that is upside down.” Hartman said this will be an “engaging environment to interact with our products," while creating "new content to share as part of the storytelling with the thousands of people we will see over those three days that will be shared over their social channels.” On the company’s YouTube page, the content also serves as a resource for retailers. Hartman said even though most people see the consumer-facing element, Beadgear wants to make sure it is “supporting our retailers and providing them with content that is relevant to our brand and theirs to share on their social channels.”

SOCIAL SNAPSHOT
Must-follow: I follow a lot of media outlets and lately I have been really enjoying the content from outlets such as Popsugar, Well+Good and Mindbodygreen.  
Favorite app: Probably Instagram. I also use TeuxDeux; it’s a fancy to-do list where you can cross things off.

Average time per day on social media: About 25% of my time is on social media each day.

How Bedgear’s social changed since April:
We are definitely trying to infuse -- especially on Instagram which is one of our fastest growing channels -- more user-generated content. We recently did a new photo shoot with our creative department, and it really is partnering closely with that, with our brand team, to have a 360-degree approach to make sure we are aligned with Bedgear’s omnichannel strategy. We want to make sure our conversations on social are consistent with that on our website and also with our in-store experience.

Social media philosophy:
We try to really engage on a community level. For us, it is really about sharing content that really speaks to our brand and that is rooted in performance. We don’t want to post things that make you want to crawl into bed; we want to post things that make you want to get out of bed. Our products are designed to help you make the most of the hours you spend in bed, so when you wake up, you have the energy and enthusiasm to take on whatever challenges you have in the day. Part of that is the aspirational element, whether it is setting a PR for a run, or what a fitness influencer is doing that is inspiring, or getting up for a nice walk.

Bringing sleep-product awareness to the sports world:
A big part of that is our brand hashtag #sleepfuels. It’s really this idea that sleep has the power to fuel you for your day. A very tired way of thinking is, pardon my pun, to really think about sleep as something that is boring, a waste of time, something people put off doing. We want to change that conversation and be more about getting into bed when you need to, making the most of it and making sure you have product that is fit for you and breathable. It’s having the conversation that makes people feel empowered by sleep.

Growing roster of pro teams:
At present, we are currently partnered with the Redskins. It is our second year partnering with them. It is something that is evolving. At this stage, we are looking to work closely with the team on some of their key principles and aligning them with the value we bring, namely recovery. Earlier this year, we worked with them to announce a brand new recovery center. That followed a great fitting event to kick off last season. As we are evolving the conversation this year, we are making sure their rookies have the product they need. We have also been a longtime partner of the Mavericks. We are constantly doing partnerships with the Mavericks and Nebraska Furniture Mart to bring that next level of excitement.

Incorporating athletes as brand ambassadors:
One of the great things about social media is the testimonials when you give someone product. To see people apply that level of excitement to our product is really great. We view it as a two-way street. We want to support them as they continue to grow their careers. Every day, we are getting emails from players from different sports looking for the missing link in their training and recovery.

Platform best for telling Bedgear’s story:
A lot of our growth on Instagram can be attributed to our influencers. Whether a top NBA player posts pictures of the product, depending on how many followers -- if he has 300,000 followers -- we’ll likely see a rush of about 100 new followers to our account. It comes down to the user-generated content spreading that awareness of our brand and getting us the recognition. One of the biggest KPIs for us right now is engagement. So we are really looking to grow our account, but have meaningful conversations and have an engaged community of people who understand the quality of our product. Instagram has more of the brand vibe; it has more of the aspirational edge of Bedgear and what our brand is hoping to achieve.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at jperez@sportsbusinessdaily.com.