‘Differentiate or die’ – How Sportsgirl deals with disruption

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 9 November 2016
The Sportsgirl summer campaign launches today

Facebook, Instagram and eBay have revolutionised the retail industry, giving every fashion brand an equal playing field to sell their product. The accessibility offered by social platforms has seen thousands of challenger brands come out of the closet and disrupt heritage businesses.

So how does a brand like Sportsgirl, that has been around for nearly 70 years, continue to stay relevant?

“You have to differentiate or die,” Sportsgirl marketing manager Kate Rees told AdNews.

“It’s hard when you have international brands entering the market, but Sportsgirl being a heritage brand is the differentiator for us. Adaption plays a huge role.

“If we hadn’t been able to adapt in our 70 years we wouldn’t still be here.”

Rees’ role has changed immensely since she started in the marketing team at Sportsgirl 16 years ago.

“When I started it was all about outdoor and magazine advertising. The term digital didn’t exist. Now it changes daily let alone annually. It’s a different playing field but we are still targeting the same 16-24 year old girl. We haven’t deviated from our core focus,” she says.

For the latest campaign, released today, Sportsgirl enlisted Australian musician Nicole Millar as the star. The campaign is taking a multi-platform approach across Spotify, YouTube, Instagram and a PR push through Pedestrian TV.

“We’ve never been big on TV. Digital has always been our area and we like to think we are on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the space. We were one of the first retailers to launch an e-commerce site,” Rees says.

Rees explains that collaborating with up and coming Australian talent in the music industry aligns with the interests of the Sportsgirl demographic.

“We love to engage with people in travel, art, fashion and music and showcase them in different a different light. We know those pillars are important to our target market,” she says.

The ad features Millar flaunting the new summer styles for Sportsgirl to her new single Signals. Snippets of the spot will be targeted through Spotify, as well as display and audio advertising placed with the music sharing service.

Millar will also be promoting Sportsgirl through her own social channels, already sharing a teaser video for the campaign on Instagram to her more than 16,000 followers.

nicole millarNicole Millar is the star of Sportsgirl's summer campaign

Previously, Sportsgirl used model Mimi Elashiry in its February marketing push. Elashiry has a huge social following of nearly a million Instagram followers.

“We wouldn’t always use a big influencer – influencers are everywhere and every brand is using them, but it’s about how you set yourself apart. We care more about engagement than reach,” Rees says.

With 2017 fast approaching, Sportsgirl is looking to invest in more events, this year sponsoring the Colour Run. The brand is also looking to increase its social presence across platforms as well as drive sales back to its bricks and mortar through EDMs.

“While EDM’s are not as big as they once were because of social channels, we still see a spike in sales when we send out pre-sale messages,” Rees says.

"For 2017 we are definitely looking at how we can make it easier for our audience to shop and more services we can offer."

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at adnews@yaffa.com.au

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus