LeBron James Headlines Champs Sports’ SWAG Magazine

Swag is slang for describing style or presence that shows confidence.

Champs Sports, a division of Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL), has elevated the term into a hub for sport lifestyle with its new app-based digital magazine called SWAG – Stylish Ways to Acquire Game.

SWAG targets Champs Sports’ core consumers, male athletes ages 16-24 who are into a sport lifestyle, and features interactive videos, player interviews, and head-to-toe athletic gear.

For Champs Sports, SWAG is all about innovation. It is an example of evolving from the tried and true marketing methods of television and point of sales, and pushing to try new things.

The partnership with vendors, including Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour allows Champs Sports to create original content and share a side of athletes that fans are not used to seeing.

Issue one featured Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (second-youngest player to reach 10,000 points and the NBA’s leading scorer the last three seasons) and his love of hip hop.

Issue two drops today and includes the NBA’s and NFL’s most talked about athletes – LeBron James (Miami Heat), Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), and Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons).

The James profile is a four-part video series called SWAG16, and highlights his 16 favorite things. Those must-have things including Twitter, fresh haircuts, NFL Sundays and the ‘90s sitcom Martin- are pitted head-to-head in a bracket-style showdown as James is quizzed by comedian Jerrod Carmichael to reveal the one thing he cannot live without.

James’ rise from a high school prodigy to an NBA Champion, League MVP, and Olympic Gold Medalist is well documented; the SWAG16 feature allows Champs Sports to show another dimension of James that has not been covered.

“We are very excited about this new partnership with Champ Sports,” said Maverick Carter, CEO of LRMR. “It helps us tell an original story about LeBron by connecting directly with fans through our digital and social platforms.”

Along with discovering James’ favorite things, fans can use the mobile app to browse and purchase items from the LeBron James Collection in the reoccurring section called The Blueprint. LeBronJames.com will also include ads directing visitors to a branded microsite on ChampsSports.com where they can purchase the latest LeBron James sneakers, apparel and accessories.

“Building a marketing program around LeBron James and having a product assortment of footwear, apparel and accessories inspired by LeBron is the perfect marriage of product meets marketing,” said Frank Bracken, Vice President of Market at Champs Sports. “Digital platforms make shopping more exciting and a little more unique for the consumer.”

In 2011, Champs Sports became the third member of Foot Locker, Inc.’s $1 billion club, joining Foot Locker U.S. and Europe. This milestone contributed to Foot Locker, Inc. achieving its highest level of profitability ($5.6 billion) in its history as an athletic footwear and apparel company.

While Champs Sports was unable to provide metrics regarding SWAG’s performance, the company disclosed that the Ecommerce traffic to ChampsSports.com and sales have been above industry norm. A strong showing from SWAG during the holiday season should position the brand to match or exceed last year’s earnings.

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