Renegade HBO Cult Hero Kenny Powers Returns as the Face of K-SWISS in Hostile Company Takeover
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — On the heels of its widely successful 2010 TUBES(TM) training footwear campaign, California Sports Company K-SWISS has elevated the plot this season in a new campaign featuring Kenny Powers, the fictional character played by Danny McBride in HBO’s hit series “Eastbound & Down.” In the new campaign Powers is dissatisfied with just being an athlete endorser for the brand. He anoints himself CEO in an effort to take over “basically the whole sports world” taking K-SWISS and TUBES(TM) training footwear to the next level.
“Kenny Powers has definitely helped trumpet the assets of TUBES training footwear in an irreverent and unique way,” said Chris Kyle, vice president of marketing at K-SWISS. “With this new chapter of our campaign, we’re pushing the limits of how traditional sports companies market, and hopefully making a lot of people laugh in the process. At the end of the day, the campaign is meant to connect the young male audience with our product in a meaningful, original and completely entertaining way – that’s our goal.”
In the new campaign, created with agency partner 72andSunny, Powers’ mission as CEO is to change the sports world from being “so safe and lame ass” to “being more gonzo” by any means necessary. He retools senior management, enlisting a wide range of elite and entertaining professional athletes including: Kansas City Chiefs’ Quarterback Matt Cassel as chief marketing officer, San Francisco 49ers Linebacker Patrick Willis as the vice president of carnage, America’s Toughest Trainer and wellness coach Jillian Michaels as director of community outreach, U.S. 50k record holder Josh Cox as chief super long distance runner officer, and wrestling superstar Rey Mysterio as director of security. The campaign also features the return of former MMA World Champion Urijah Faber as the chief operating officer, and MMA fighter and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones heading up human resources.
Targeting young, athletically-minded males, the original campaign also includes cameo appearances by Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban and Film Director and Producer Michael Bay.
“Not only does Kenny resonate with our audience but so does the idea of being the big boss-man and running your own company,” said Matt Murphy, creative director at 72andSunny. “Every kid dreams of running the candy store. It’s just that this particular candy store has All-Pro NFL players, the world’s top fighters, and some harpoon guns.”
The campaign breaks nationally with a 90-second TV spot during ESPN’s 19th Annual ESPY awards on July 13, 2011 at 9 p.m. EST. Throughout the summer original content will air on TV, the web and in-theaters nationwide. Additionally, the campaign will be supported in print media, a robust digital/interactive campaign, including a mobile tagging sweepstakes, and in-stores displays at more than 500 Foot Locker stores where TUBES are sold. A sweepstakes powered by Microsoft Tags, appropriately named “Kenny Powers T & A Sweepstakes” (for TUBES & Apparel), will be available exclusively at Foot Locker stores from July 15 – August 15, 2011, supported by 15-second TV spot and print ads. When the Tag is scanned by mobile phone, consumers will unlock access to sweepstakes entry and a trove of Kenny Powers’ multi-media entertainment including: Kenny Powers ringtone, Kenny Powers soundboard, a digital shoe tour of TUBES, and additional video content. The sweepstakes will award three grand prize packages of K-SWISS gear for a year.
Outside of attracting thousands of new fans to the social media sites, the campaign earned a Webby nomination nod in the Comedy: Individual Short or Episode category. All activations lead up to the debut of “Eastbound & Down” Season 2 on DVD, Blu-ray(TM) and Digital Download August 2, 2011.
K-SWISS TUBES training collection continues to be the brand’s most successful fitness shoe to date. The lightweight training shoe features the patented TUBES cushioning technology. Each execution of the campaign reinforces the TUBES’ performance story: lightweight and cushioning while providing stability and flexibility. TUBES will be available at Foot Locker nationwide or at www.kswiss.com.
Founded more than forty years ago in Van Nuys, California, K-SWISS (NASDAQ: KSWS) introduced the first all-leather tennis shoe, the K-SWISS “Classic” in 1966. Since its inception, K-Swiss has rooted itself in California Sport with an aim to be the most inspiring and innovative sports brand in the market. Today the company offers performance and lifestyle footwear and apparel for several categories under its California Sports umbrella including Tennis Heritage, California Fit (Running, Triathlon and Fitness) and California Youth. K-SWISS also designs, develops and markets footwear under the Palladium brand, and owns the FORM Athletics brand. For more information about K-SWISS, visit www.kswiss.com, @KSWISS on Twitter, and Facebook/KSWISS.
72andSunny is a total marketing partner that makes brands matter in culture. The company has offices in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Clients include Activision, Bugaboo, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s, Discovery Channel, HP, K-Swiss, Nike, Sonos, and 2K Sports. 72andSunny is part of MDC Partners, Inc, a portfolio of best-in-class marketing communications companies based in New York and Toronto.