Art of Sport skincare brand, co-founded by Kobe Bryant, debuts first TV spots
Direct-to-consumer skincare company Art of Sport is ready for the big leagues. Earlier this month, the unisex brand, which was co-founded by Kobe Bryant two years ago, began selling at Target stores nationwide. This week, the company is airing its first TV campaign, composed of two 30-second spots with athletes James Harden and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“As a sports brand, we have a really cool opportunity,” says Matthias Metternich, chief executive and co-founder, noting that even if consumers are watching Netflix, they are still forced to tune into TV for live sports. “We’re a digital-first business and we understand TV is one part of the experience.”
Art of Sport, which sells a collection of skin and body products designed with the sports hustle in mind, typically markets its wares through awareness-building at live sporting events across the country. The company’s sports calendar reaches some 200,000 young athletes a month, says Metternich. Of course, with the rise in recent event cancellations due to the coronavirus, reaching consumers through TV could come in handy if Art of Sport pulls back on in-person games.
“Unless gyms and training facilities and event organizers decide it’s too risky—we’re leaning into their level of discernment there and playing by their rules so we’re not taking any unnecessary risks,” says Metternich.
The brand is also finding its footing following the recent death of Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in January. In addition to co-founding Art of Sport, Bryant was an investor in BodyArmour, the sports drink, which included work on its marketing. Metternich says Art of Sport plans to “take the spirit and the values” of Bryant to “take our mission in the company to a new level.”
Debuting Monday, the new spots adopt a fun and quirky tone that marks a departure from some of the endurance and performance-focused marketing of typical sportswear brands. In one, Harden, called Dr. James Beard Harden, walks viewers through a Museum of Athlete Skincare, filled with old products that athletes of yore had to use—including rocks and donkey milk. “These athletes had it tough,” he says. “Now, we have Art of Sport—high-performance skincare without the weird stuff.”
The spots were created and produced internally.
While Art of Sport had sold through its own digital channels and on Amazon, the company recently brokered an exclusive deal with Target to sell at the retailer’s 1,900 U.S. locations. The relationship is noted in the new commercials.