Cole Haan takes a swing at DM with tennis-focused push

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Tennis star Sharapova is the face of the campaign
Tennis star Sharapova is the face of the campaign

Luxury footwear brand Cole Haan is brushing up on tennis and direct marketing for its spring 2009 campaign.

Tennis sensation Maria Sharapova is the new face of Cole Haan's marketing efforts, which will focus on the integration of Nike Air Flywire technology in Cole Haan prod­ucts. This is the first time that Cole Haan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nike, has collaborated with a Nike athlete to serve as the face of a new collection.

Also new this spring is the marketing mix, with digital and catalog marketing playing a bigger role.

“In the past, digital media represented a small portion of the Cole Haan media budget,” said Michael Capiraso, CMO at Cole Haan, via e-mail. “However, we con­tinue to increase dollar allocation to this increasingly influential medium.”

The spring 2009 digital media buy repre­sents a “significant increase” over the spring 2008 buy, he added. The digital campaign will consist of a combination of rich media and static banners on sites such as NYTimes.com, Style.com and Wired.com.

Also for the first time, Cole Haan will polybag a spring catalog with the April issue of Elle magazine.

“Through our research, we have found that readers react positively to what they see in our ad campaign and will… request cata­logs,” Capiraso said. “Polybagging with Elle allows us to communicate our full story of season, showcase the breadth and depth of our product and support our collaboration with Maria Sharapova with greater impact.”

The 30-page catalog will be targeted to 20,000 subscribers from age 25 to 49 in sev­eral major cities, including Boston, Los Ange­les, Chicago and San Francisco. It includes a toll-free number for placing orders and the URL for the company's Web site.

Other elements of Cole Haan's Spring '09 campaign include a mix of single page, spread and four-page insert print ads in top women's magazines and out-of-home execu­tions, including a billboard in New York City's meatpacking district and wrapped bus shelters and buses.

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