Another example for niche brands: when sports marketing dollars are tight, your athletes have to give you more value than some of the big brands.
MARK HERZLICH FINDS HIS "STRONG" AND PASSES IT ON
Recent cancer survivor and former Boston College All-American finds and shares his strength through brand's Find Your Strong marketing campaign
LEXINGTON, MA (December 6, 2011) - Boston-based Saucony, Inc., a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel, has announced that New York Giants linebacker and recently signed Saucony athlete Mark Herzlich will act as a spokesperson for the brand. Herzlich, 24, will support the brand's Find Your Strong marketing campaign, which inspires and engages consumers to find their personal "strong" through running. Herzlich survived Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, while attending Boston College and will share his story through multiple touch points, including the brand's digital and social media platforms.
A former Boston College star, All-American and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Herzlich was signed by the brand to a multi-year endorsement contract prior to his joining the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in September. Saucony is the 6-foot-4 inch, 245-pound linebacker's official training footwear and apparel sponsor.
"I was instantly drawn to the brand's Find Your Strong message," said Herzlich who recently earned a starting linebacker assignment for the Giants. "I thought 'that's me'. That's not only me, that's something I would love to be a part of and share with others.
I felt a connection right away because I remember the process of being told that I had cancer, and finding strength inside me. That's a process, finding the strength inside to say 'you know what, it doesn't matter if I have cancer. I'm going to beat it and do what I love again,'" said Herzlich. To see Herzlich speak more about his story and his partnership with Saucony, please visit http://vimeo.com/33179269
Following his 2008 season at Boston College, Herzlich was forced to sit out the entire 2009 season after being diagnosed with cancer. Herzlich fought through treatment and was back on the field in 2010, starting in all 13 games that season.
Despite a strong final season with Boston College, Herzlich went undrafted by all 32 teams in the 2011 NFL Draft due to concerns over his medical history. The New York Giants offered Herzlich a contract to join the team as a rookie free agent for the 2011 season. The Giants later announced Herzlich had made the September 3 opening day roster.
Herzlich has earned numerous honors for his courage and outreach, including the ESPY Award for "Best Comeback by an Athlete," the Rudy Award, the Disney Spirit Award and the ACC's Brian Piccolo Award, among others.
"Mark is inspired by the campaign and we are inspired by him," said Chris Lindner, Saucony's chief marketing officer. "At the core, the Find Your Strong campaign is about realizing the amazing capacity of the human spirit to reach beyond what we sometimes think is impossible; it's where and how we live and train and the people and moments that strengthen us. Mark's personal journey perfectly represents this spirit. He greatly inspires others to fight their own battles and achieve their dreams in the face of harsh obstacles."
The Saucony Find Your Strong campaign launched in Spring 2011 and will continue throughout 2012.
About Saucony, Inc.: Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc., is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including ProGrid™, PowerGrid™ and ViZiPRO™ apparel. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands Airwalk®, Dexter® and Champion® and designer collections by fashion designers Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Isabel Toledo and Silvia Tcherassi; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite®, Keds®, Sperry Top-Sider® Robeez®, and Saucony®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk®, Above The Rim®, Vision Street Wear®, STRIKEFORCE™, Clinch Gear™, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®, World Snowboarding Championships™ and Hind®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.