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Champs Sports launches app-based magazine to drive brand awareness

Champ Sports has introduced a new quarterly e-zine that promotes sports-inspired lifestyles through editorial spreads, articles and interactive multimedia content.

The new app, called Swag, aims to give teen athletes and fans an inside look at the lives and interests of their favorite athletes. The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

?Swag is a crucial part of our overall brand strategy ? to connect with teens on their terms as it relates to sport-inspired content, product and media,? said Frank Bracken, vice president of marketing, Champs Sports.

?That means our brand communication strategy must include a combination of traditional media investment as well as creating original content and leveraging social and mobile media,? he said. ?Swag is one such element of our mobile engagement and commerce strategy.

?There is a high penetration of smart phones with teens, and that consumer is a heavy user of video content and social media. Swag is at the intersection of what our teen consumer is all about: mobile, innovative brands and products, and engaging sport-inspired content.?

Champs Sports claims to be one of the largest mall-based specialty athletic footwear and apparel retailers in North America.

Game on
Once users download the mobile app, they can read the content without an Internet connection.

The inaugural issue of Swag features NBA superstar Kevin Durant on the cover. the

Additionally, the issue features videos and articles including those from 2010 MLB MVP Josh Hamilton, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Milwaukee Bucks? Brandon Jennings.

The mobile magazine also includes a commerce element.

The e-zine features tap-to-purchase technology that lets readers buy the exact gear worn.

Word of mouth
Champ Sports is using mobile media buys to scale up awareness and downloads of Swag.

Additionally, the company is betting on social to help drive downloads of the app.

Champs Sports is also using in-store POS, as well as its Web site to help promote the new e-zine.

?Mobile is just another extension of our brand and our vision of providing compelling marketing content and product assortment to our consumers ? regardless of the channel,? Mr. Bracken said.

?We want the Champs Sports brand to be an exciting and consistent brand experience in our stores, on our Web sites and in our mobile applications,? he said. ?The consumer doesn't think of the store, the Web site and the mobile applications as distinct entities ? he simply sees those things as extensions of ?Champs Sports.?

?In the case of mobile, our app must be very good at providing premium anywhere/anytime content and shopability, while being easy to use. It's simply what the consumer demands of us.?

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York