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LEXINGTON, MA (August 13, 2008) â€“ Everyone into the pool! Saucony, Inc., a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel, has been enjoying a cool summer within the empty walls of what was once the largest public swimming pool in North America: McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn, New York. Every Sunday throughout the Summer, Saucony has been sponsoring dodge-ball tournaments at the park, hosting over 5,000 hipster players in cut-offs, tube socks and Saucony Originals. Dodge-ball is just one of the initiatives in Saucony’s strategy to reignite the brand’s heritage collection with indie-influencers. Other activities include sponsorship of a national nontraditional sports league for indie-influencer office teams, product seeding of bands and music bloggers, and a microsite dedicated to the Saucony Originals activities.
â€œThrough this unique marketing approach, we’re reigniting the Originals brand’s relevancy to the indie-influencer, incorporating retro-style with retro-fun,â€ said Mary O’Brien, vice president of marketing for Saucony. â€œThink four-square, kickball, shuffleboard; games that are less about competition and more about inclusivity and hanging out. Just like those activities from the past, the Originals collection, with the Jazz O as its centerpiece, is all about a timeless comfort and style,â€ added O’Brien.
In 1981, Saucony launched the Jazz, the most technical performance running shoe of its time, establishing the brand’s legendary fit and triangular outsole lugs. The Jazz would later become the most popular shoe in Saucony’s history and the champion of the Saucony Originals Collection, which also includes the Courageous and the Shadow 6000, among others.
The Saucony Originals marketing program, which launched in June, features the following components:
* Dodgeball at the McCarren Park Pool Parties
Saucony Originals is the exclusive sponsor of the weekly dodge-ball tournaments held at the McCarren Park Pool Parties. What started as a local summer series only three years ago, jumped to national notoriety as audiences from all over the country make special pilgrimages to the park to experience the phenomenon of the Pool Parties. Some of the world’s best up and coming bands gather to play for their overwhelmingly appreciative crowd that numbers 35,000 weekly. The dodge-ball tournament takes place within the event in a Saucony Originals branded area of the empty pool. Seeding of Jazz O’s on dodge-ball players, bands and other key influencers is ongoing throughout the summer.
* Office Team Saucony Originals League
Throughout the summer, Saucony is sponsoring the Office Team Saucony Originals League in key markets nationwide, including Chicago, San Francisco, New York City and Seattle. Creative and indie-influencer companies compete against each other twice a month, from June through August, in non-traditional games like kickball, urban golf and dodge-ball, commencing in a championship game in each market at the end of the summer. Teams receive personalized Saucony Jazz O’s and other Originals’ swag. Team profiles, game coverage and rival team â€œtrash-talkingâ€ takes place at www.teamsaucony-originals.com, a blog dedicated to the summer’s activities. The Office Team Saucony Originals League includes the following teams:
o Time Out Chicago
o UR Chicago
o Venus Zine
â€¢ New York
o Fader Magazine
o Sony BMG
o The Onion
â€¢ San Francisco
o Frog Design (SF)
o Hyphen Magazine
o Midheaven / Revolver
o Frog Design (Seattle)
o Seattle Weekly
Jazz Originals advertising is appearing in Good and Royal Flush magazines throughout the summer, with banner ads appearing on www.stereogum.com, www.pitchfork.com and www.insound.com.
The Jazz O is available in men’s sizes 7-12, 13, 14 and women’s 5-10, 11, 12. MSRP: $50.00. To find a retailer near you, please call 1.800.365.4933 or visit www.sauconyoriginals.com.
About Saucony, Inc.: Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, is a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony, Saucony Originals and Spot-bilt. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.
About Collective Brands, Inc.: 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 more than 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands American Eagleâ„¢, AirwalkÂ®, DexterÂ®, ChampionÂ® and designer collections AbaetÃ© for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless and alice + olivia for Payless, among others; Stride Rite, focused on lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children’s footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride RiteÂ®, KedsÂ®, Sperry Top-SiderÂ®, RobeezÂ®, and SauconyÂ®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as AirwalkÂ®, Vision Street WearÂ®, LamarÂ®, SimsÂ®, LTDÂ®, geneticÂ®, Dukesâ„¢, RageÂ®, Ultra-WheelsÂ®, and Skate AttackÂ®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand’s units can be found at http://www.collectivebrands.com.