How Hustle Hart Will Change Sneaker Wars In 2016In Trends
The rivalry between NIKE, Adidas and Under Armor has set 2016 up for a sneaker war year. NIKE ended 2015 in style by signing LeBron James to a lifetime deal worth $1 billion, ushering in a new legacy brand for NIKE. As NIKE’s competition are associating themselves with the usual suspects, rappers or athletes, NIKE decided to break the mold and sign Kevin Hart to create his own sneaker line and increase NIKE’s dominance. We look at how charting your own road whilst remaining firmly set in your roots, breathes a breath of fresh air into your brand.
Kevin Hart recently announced his collaboration with NIKE to create the Hustle Hart cross-training sneaker line, on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. To date NIKE has collaborated with athletes and rappers but never with a comedian or entertainer. The Hustle Hart sneakers are part of the inner strength campaign which has a number of different athletes capturing the inspiration and motivation that drives them during training. The campaign hails great athletes like Rory McIIroy, Manny Pacquiao and Kyrie Irving telling their stories.
NIKE’s opportunity to Kevin is a massive feat for the comedian but a huge stride for the brand in stepping beyond their comfort zone, a move that could help the brand continue to speak to a wider youth audience.
A Step Above The Rest
The launch of the Hustle Hart served up a whole new strategy in the battle of the sneakers. NIKE with this product, has acknowledged the growing mega celebrity status of Kevin Hart and taken his love for healthy living, exercise and being the best one can be and brought this mantra to life. The new sneaker line will serve NIKE in reaching out to their Afrillennial™(African millennial) audience who don’t identify with the grand stories of individual physical greatness of athletes. Instead they now have a new superhero to look up to – a man just like them who simply loves living a healthy lifestyle.
Taking The Swoosh To New Borders
In their unconventional approach of not using a sporting demi-god, to market a new sneaker line NIKE has effectively taken a road less travelled. The brand has remained true to what it is known for traditionally by delivering yet another ground breaking high fashion sneaker line. It also created a new avenue to communicate to its health conscious consumer whilst carving a new niche for competitors to compete in. In a period were competitors are becoming more creative with collaborations, bending the rules with how they bring their brands and innovations to consumers, NIKE’s strategy is likely to win the youths hearts.
Using Kevin Hart to create a new product line and to be their face, shows that their brand is evolving towards being closer to the day to day young consumer. It says to the students, “even you can be a part of our story, you don’t need to strive to be a sporting legend to be able to use our product”. A powerful sentiment that will pique Afrillennial™ interest across the board.