Target has teamed with two-year-old, direct-to-consumer personal care brand Art of Sport to broaden the digital native brand's reach and give it an in-store presence.
Co-founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs Matthias Metternich and Brian Lee, and National Basketball Association legend Kobe Bryant, Art of Sport boasts its assortment of unisex personal care SKUs, such as bar soap, shampoo and conditioners, face and body lotions, body wash, sunscreen and deodorants, were created to withstand the rigors of an athlete's day. While Art of Sport sells its products via its own e-commerce site (artofsport.com) and Amazon, the company brokered an exclusive deal with Target, according to Ad Age, to sell its items at the retailer’s some 1,868 U.S. stores and target.com in February. The SKUs range from $6.99 to $9.99 in price on target.com.
Sponsored Google ads, TV spots starring National Football League player JuJu Smith-Schuster and NBA player James Harden (see one spot below), Facebook and Instagram updates from Art of Sport, and multiple videos on Target's YouTube channel plug the brand's arrival at the mass merchant. Art of Sport also touts its partnership with Target on the artofsport.com home page, which contains a "Now at [Target]" message and directs users to a page to find the nearest store.
The digital native brand typically markets its assortment through awareness-building at live sporting events across the country, Ad Age reported. The company’s sports calendar reaches some 200,000 young athletes a month, Metternich told Ad Age for an article published March 9. COVID-19 most assuredly threw a wrench in those marketing plans as most sporting events and group gatherings have been canceled.
The brand has also had to find its footing following the sudden death of Bryant in January. Metternich told Ad Age the brand plans to “take the spirit and the values” of Bryant to “take our mission in the company to a new level.”
Target regularly teams with digital native brands — including Winky Lux, Myro, Harry's Inc.'s Flamingo, Quip and Procter & Gamble's Native — to give them an in-store presence while differentiating its product mix.