New Balance to make Euro advertising debut

Athletics brand New Balance is launching its first integrated above-the-line campaign across the US and Europe. The move is unusual for the brand, which does not sponsor celebrity athletes and rarely uses above-the-line advertising – it will be the first time New Balance has used above-the-line marketing in the UK and Europe.

The campaign, created by US agency Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners, will use the strapline “N is for Fit”. UK marketing manager Robert Ward says the brand needs to make itself “heard” in the increasingly competitive sports performance market.

The campaign, which will break in April, will air on sports channel Eurosport, which covers 54 countries. It will include promotional spots, short brand features, titles and full ads to be shown around key events such as the London Marathon and the World Athletics Championships. In the US, the ads will go out on national TV networks and will be supported by a print campaign.

Ward says that New Balance wants to raise consumer awareness of its heritage as a running brand, particularly as brands such as Nike and Adidas are investing heavily in the sports performance market.

New Balance’s renewed focus on the European market follows a number of appointments to its marketing team last year. Tobi Richter was named as the brand’s first European marketing director in January (MW December 12, 2002) following the appointment of Ward and UK head of marketing Chris Cotcher last summer (MW June 27, 2002).

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