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Champion Sportswear must really like Chicago. Last year, the brand chose Wicker Park for the location of its third retail store and now, after an internal review, the Winston-Salem-based brand has chosen Energy BBDO to lead its global marketing efforts.
London-based Exposure handled previous assignments.
According to AgencySpy, who first broke the story, this is a new assignment for the agency and does not affect Champion’s current U.S. digital AOR 360i or any other agency relationships.
While 360i will remain U.S. AOR for the brand, the Dentsu-owned agency apparently did participate in the pitch. A.S. says McCann was reportedly invited, but declined. A rumored reason given is that Champion would own all concepts from both winners and losers.
Champion, which hits the century mark this year, can attribute its dramatic growth and comeback to its growing relationship with hip hop and pop culture. From hip hop superstar Chance the Rapper to fashion billionaire Kylie Jenner, the once basic brand has become streetwear necessity.
Last year in an Esquire article, Manny Martinez, Champion’s global brand ambassador, said, “I think we’re in a golden hour. The brand doesn’t actually need collabs right now. Not that we don’t appreciate them, but now is when the brand can live on its own. When you see Kylie Jenner wearing the brand on her own, it’s not because it’s a collab. You see people wearing it because it’s Champion. That’s the beauty of it.”