- Sporting goods retailer Intersport has partnered with Nike on an educational, training-focused podcast featuring ultra-marathon runner and influencer Coach Lee, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- The campaign for Nike's Epic React footwear line will cover 26 countries and is part of Intersport's "repositioning" in partnership with brand experience agency HarrimanSteel.
- A new digital platform will feature podcasts that focus on improving performance, training and mindfulness, with topics like "How I got into running," "Running for the mind" and "From 30 seconds to 30 minutes." The podcasts are free to download and are designed for aspiring athletes.
Intersport's new running-centric podcast series was inspired by the trend of fitness enthusiasts opting for podcasts and "in-ear coaching" over music during their workouts. Partnering with running influencer Coach Lee and sharing his training advice could help Intersport deepen its emotional connection with its consumer base and drive sales of the Nike Epic React. The campaign should be most appealing to millennials, who are fans of podcasts, appreciate informative and educational content from brands and are more likely to embrace running, fitness and self-care trends than older demographics.
The campaign illustrates how brands are investing in unique ways to bring value to consumers through high-quality content on digital platforms. Marketers see influencers as an important tactic for connecting with younger consumers in authentic ways, as millennials find influencers to be more engaging and trustworthy than celebrity endorsements. Thirty-nine percent of marketers were planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2018, with most planning to spend $25,000 to $50,000 and leverage a multi-faceted influencer strategy, according to Linquia research.
Influencers have been an important marketing strategy for Nike, which dominates the athletic apparel and footwear segment and remains popular with Gen Z and millennial consumers. But, the space is growing increasingly competitive. Nike has run much of its influencer marketing in-house, as it strives to get the most out of its marketing spend and better control content.
Marketers continue to shift more of their budgets to digital platforms, and U.S. digital advertising grew 23% to $49.5 billion during the first half of 2018, putting it on path to reach $100 billion annually for the first time, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). With younger audiences embracing newer digital platforms like mobile video and audio at higher rates, marketers are also investing more in podcasts. U.S. podcast ad revenue reached $314 million in 2017, a 86% jump from $169 million in 2016 and is expected to hit $659 million by 2020, an 110% increase over 2017, according to IAB and PwC.