Photo op: Nike, Polaroid pair up for footwear line

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In its latest move to stay fresh with fickle teen girls, Polaroid Corp. has entered a co-branding initiative with Nike to introduce the Nike Runamok Pic, a special sneaker with a clear display window for the postage-stamp-size photo stickers from the No. 1-selling i-Zone Instant Pocket Camera.

"We're always looking for a way to refresh the brand. It's all about the pictures and how teens use them," said Ronni LaCoste, group marketing manager for i-Zone. Polaroid also has teamed with Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys to promote the i-Zone.

The new sneakers-which will retail for $64.99 at Niketown, select Foot Locker stores and teen shoe store Journeys-are supported by a print ad from Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, breaking in May teen magazines such as Primedia's Seventeen and Time Inc.'s Teen People. It's part of a larger TV and print campaign launching the i-Zone Convertible Instant Pocket Camera, which lets users change the camera's color with face plates.

Polaroid's marketing aim is to demonstrate "new, fun ways to enjoy the i-Zone camera and sticky film," said Polaroid's Director of Worldwide Advertising Randall Smith-whether it's launching a new camera or "providing a new way to experience and share the i-Zone with others, like the Pic shoe." The co-branded sneaker is one of four girl-targeted athletic shoes in Nike's new Runamok series, whose logo is the classic Nike swoosh in a flower petal. Polaroid saw Nike as a perfect partner based on "the relevance of that brand in terms of [teens'] lifestyle and the way they express themselves," Mr. Smith added.

Nike initiated the deal with Polaroid, said a representative for the footwear marketer, adding that co-branded deals such as this one "are very rare for us."

The companies also will introduce a co-branded shoe clip-available in special packages of i-Zone film-that allows teens to display photos on any shoes and will sponsor the "Best Friend Search" with Seventeen (winning teens get their pictures in the magazine). Girls can enter through Seventeen or at Journeys, a new distribution outlet for i-Zone.

Contributing: Laura Petrecca

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