Life Style Sports - Reopening Post COVID-19

Independent, Irish-owned retailer Life Style Sports was planning its reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of the retail store was a major hit to the retailer, however, its online growth of 200% over the 12 weeks of store closure demonstrated the brand’s resilience. Life Style Sports were confident for a successful return to the high street, to bring the real-life shopping experience to valued customers once again, alongside its highly rated online-shopping service.

The brief was to reopen stores with safety measures at the core of all communications and drive shopper confidence while not losing sight of the energetic and passionate brand personality.

The Approach

To instil consumer confidence in the Life Style Sports reopening our strategy, creative (Design, Animation) and PR teams got to work to deliver a dual creative communications campaign:

  • The first pillar was to address awareness (in-store and digital) of the retailer’s important safety measures via engaging content.
  • The second was to drive national anticipation of the reopening through tenacious PR.

The Output

In-store and social content

Understanding the LIfe Style Sports customer was paramount. We worked with our client to develop light-hearted messaging, that would ensure safety measures were adhered to but that also sparked a smile in-store and online. The tone needed to be friendly, welcoming and informative and resonate with the Life Style Sports customer. The content needed to be developed so that it would catch the eye of shoppers and so a suite of 3D animations were created by our Design & Film/Animation teams. These animations were created to be as multi-functional as possible, being utilised across in-store screens, social media channels and featuring on in-store POS.

National news sell-in

The THINKHOUSE PR team drafted a national press release detailing the new safety measures, the reopening phases and a statement from Life Style Sports CEO; Mark Stafford. The PR team scheduled a sell-in for Sunday 7th June (with stores reopening Monday 8th). However, on Friday 5th June, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made an unanticipated address to the nation with regards reopening measures being brought forward. The team needed to act fast and advance the PR sell-in so that the press release went out on Friday 5th June and landed strongly with relevance while reopening news dominated the news agenda.

Spokesperson interviews

In order to drive complete customer confidence in the reopening plans, we wanted the Life Style Sports client to be at the forefront of all PR, delivering the safety messages first-hand. We pitched CEO, Mark Stafford and Go To Market Director; Gordon Newman for interviews to national news outlets.

The Outcome

  • 30 pieces of national media coverage - hitting every top tier title
  • RTE News coverage of Gordon Newman interview in-store for all three TV bulletins; delivering all safety messages
  • The first retailer to be interviewed as part of the RTE News bulletin COVID-19 reopening report
  • Only retailer interview to feature on RTE 2FM’s 2pm and 3pm news
  • 5.5M PR reach
  • An authentic suite of consumer safety messaging delivered through audiovisuals that maintain the brand’s youthful identity
  • Anticipation for opening: queues across Life Style Sports stores on the day of reopening
  • In-store content driving customer safety compliance across stores nationwide
  • And a few, much-needed laughs along the way ;)