Player Profile: Lockard is eager for brief marketing effort at Jockey

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Her first week on the job was a bit of deja vu for Jamie Lockard.

Shortly after becoming VP-marketing and advertising at Jockey International, Ms. Lockard had to travel from the company's Kenosha, Wis., headquarters to Jockey's New York showroom. As she headed to her meeting, something struck her. The address seemed familiar. Then she realized the Jockey offices are on the floor directly above her former employer, Lee Apparel Co.

"Well, I'm glad to be back," she jokes now.

After a brief detour into the world of appliances, Ms. Lockard returned to apparel in February, when she joined Jockey from Whirlpool Corp.'s Kitchen Aid Appliances division, where she was brand director. Before her time at Kitchen Aid, she spent 10 years at VF Corp.'s Lee unit in various marketing and brand-management duties.

Trading jeans for dishwashers was a good change of pace, but not as big a departure as it seems for Ms. Lockard.

"I'm a branding person and a marketing person," she said. "That's what really pulls my trigger." Kitchen Aid and Jockey are both established, traditional brands that need to keep updating their images to keep up with the public, she explained.

Jockey, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, has been updating its image recently, to transform itself from a maker of the traditional "tightie whitie" briefs that have become synonymous with its name into a more fashionable company that appeals to younger, fashion-conscious consumers.

The company began its latest image overhaul this spring, after it changed ad agencies and dropped its three-year-old "Let them know you're Jockey" campaign. That campaign, featuring groups of real people such as firemen or doctors posing in their underwear, was created by Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York, which split with Jockey last November.

Shortly after the split, Jockey hired Octopus, a small New York creative shop, to handle the account, worth about $5 million. Octopus created the spring 2001 campaign, featuring images by fashion photographer Albert Watson and tagged "The next best thing to naked."

But after Octopus was hired, Jockey lost its head of marketing. Mark D. Hogan left the company in December 2000. Enter Ms. Lockard. She arrived in February, after the spring campaign was breaking and work on the fall campaign was already under way.

Ms. Lockard is happy with the campaign, which she believes plays up Jockey's strength as comfortable underwear, while also promoting its styles. While the ads focus on particular product lines-such as the No Panty-Line Promise women's underwear in spring and men's Stretch line for fall-the tagline and the look serve to enhance the overall brand message, she said.

The company has not altered its spending plan for 2001, despite the tough economy, Ms. Lockard said. The success of lines like No Panty-Line has helped the brand's profile.

"When you have something new that generates this interest, it creates a boost," she said. "It comes down to having great product."

Jockey will introduce a line of home textiles in the fall under a licensing agreement with Guilford Home Fashions. Jockey will also introduce a line of men's and women's fragrances, Physical by Jockey.

Next year will mark a new start for Ms. Lockard, when she will run the whole show from the start. She insists she's ready to go. "Hopefully, I'm smart, picky, but won't rock the boat too much when things are working," she said.

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