Russell Athletic positions as lifestyle brand

Russell Athletic, the American sportswear brand, is repositioning itself as a lifestyle label in a bid to increase its appeal to younger customers.

The label has had limited distribution in the UK for the past three years but is set to reveal a new brand strategy that will focus on its spring/summer 2010 vintage style UK collection.

Russell Athletic intends to distance itself from its sports brand heritage in favour of joining the ranks of youth lifestyle and jeans brands, such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Superdry.

Its marketing strategy includes aligning the brand with “music as a culture” through celebrity tie-ups and music events. Russell Athletic is in talks with record labels to secure a deal with an up and coming music star to be the face of the brand.

There will be an advertising campaign fronted by the music star and targeting consumer lifestyle magazines in early 2010.

Marc Travis, marketing director of Russell Athletic, says: “Celebrity is a huge opportunity for us to speed up the awareness drive.”

He adds that online and social media will be a big part of the brand’s marketing strategy. It has already launched an Eighties-themed viral campaign to build awareness of the brand in the UK.

The brand is also negotiating new retail distribution deals, which could see Russell Athletic opening concessions in UK department stores and an exclusive partnership with an online retailer.

The Russell Athletic distribution licence for the UK is held by Mint Apparel, a trading company of the Integrix Sports Group, which also owns the Fila sportswear brand.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here