Friendships Formed in Communities

Athleta has been outfitting sporty women since 1998 and upholds inspired communities across the nation with 100 stores. Based out of Petaluma, California the company is owned by Gap Inc. and employs about 300 people. They offer high quality, functional sports clothing and footwear with lots of marketing via fitness activities.

An ongoing campaign since 2012 is “Power to the She” focused on empowering women via storytelling and imagery.  The campaign’s goal was to create a community where women can encourage each other and strive for their goals regardless of their personal pursuits.  The strategy, aimed at their niche customer who gets it all done, balancing family, friends, exercise, work, and still reaches for more. Photo shoots focused on women, are integrated across the website, ads, and social media (Gap Inc, 2012).  The campaign was designed by Athleta’s in house marketing & creative team in conjunction with Peterson Milla Hooks advertising agency.

Athleta Power to the She

Currently TheTimes Square Solstice: #SolsticeTSq is being actively tweeted to meet on June 21st. Their call to action strategy on Twitter asks fans to let the company know you follow them on Twitter, and they will give you a 25% discount.  Each Athleta store and fans connect with hashtag #fuelamazing with store tweets on opportunities to connect with a running club or class that is hosted weekly.

Athleta_class in store

Athleta vigorously partners with health minded events like Wanderlust, a mindful triathlon where women do guided meditation after a 5K run.  And Bryant Park Yoga offering free yoga all summer.  All the retail stores nationwide offer free exercise classes and a 30% discount to all industry professionals on regular priced apparel.

Times Square Solstice
Times Square Solstice

Everyone is aware of the benefits of exercise these days, and Athleta posts lots of colorful photos of clothing that quickly goes from gym to casual wear. A growing trend called “Athleisure” incorporate exercise wear for everyday leisure activities boasts Daily Motion. See fun summer dresses and bathing suits that protect from UV rays on Pinterest.

A competitor, Lululemon is more global, and their strategy includes going for a younger clientele. According to retail analyst, Phalguni Soni, the competitive strategy is to build brand loyalty through an ambassador program including 25 Olympians that represent a similar lifestyle and value.  An ambassador program is one avenue for Athleta to pursue for future campaigns.  The money spent on the ambassador would be trackable to finalize ROI or increase fans.

Recommendations for Athleta are to use a call to action on their Facebook pages.  Presently, each store uses the same photo below on their page.  With a call to action button on the page, the customer can link to a contest, website, watch a video and engage more in the community.

Athleta cta

Atheleta’s growth will depend on real-time opportunities with continued participation in trending events and conversations providing content to help drive buzz around their brand.

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