Wilson looks to score with digital basketball
Wilson plans to introduce a sensor equipped basketball that can discern between made and missed shots and then feed information to a smartphone or tablet.
Due for release later this year, the new product is the result of a partnership with SportIQ, a Finland-based company focused on artificial intelligence, and Wilson’s recently established digital division.
“We are not pursuing the launch of a digital basketball for the sake of launching a digital product. Wilson has a long history of true product innovation," said Alan Davenport, Wilson’s global director of basketball. "This intelligent basketball brings a unique approach to training through real-time statistic generation delivered to a smart device. The opportunities for individual and coach-directed training are truly unlimited."
According to Harri Hohteri, CEO of SportIQ, the company taught the ball to differentiate between a made shot and a missed shot and we deliver this data to a smart device with no attachments to the rim or additions of any kind.
"During my career as a professional basketball player in Europe, I would have benefited greatly from this type of understanding around my training,” Hohteri said. “What was my shooting percentage from different distance ranges or areas on the court? What did I need to be working on? We’re now bringing our high basketball IQ to the field of digital technology to answer these questions.”
Even though the new ball won’t hit the market until the holiday season, Wilson execs are already alluding to the possibility of smart ball technology coming to other sports.
"We recognize the growing trend around the ‘Internet of things’ and are working to deliver real consumer-centric solutions for the world of sport," said Tom Gruger, Wilson’s vp of digital. "From training to gaming, we want to delight our target players on this new virtual field of play. Our upcoming basketball launch is the first step in an exciting new area of innovation from Wilson."
Kohl’s urges shoppers to find their “Yes”
A new ad campaign from Kohl’s featuring several feel-good family spots positions the retailer as a destination where shoppers can find their “Yes.”
In a one-minute-long introductory spot featuring designer Vera Wang, a voice-over says, “to the thing that matter most to you we at Kohl’s say, ‘Yes.’” Additional spots are focused on life stage events designed to resonate with young families Kohl’s considers its core customer segment. The spots are shot point-of-view style with one featuring a mom teaching a daughter to ride a bike and a second from the perspective of a young boy jumping off the high diving board for the first time.
“There are very few moments in the lifetime of a brand when you have the opportunity to refresh who you are and how you connect with customers," said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief customer officer. “This is our moment and ‘Yes’ is our voice. It is authentic and grounded in our heritage. We know that every day, people have a choice. We celebrate choosing ‘Yes’ and we want to empower our customers to embrace ‘Yes’ in their daily lives. We want to inspire our customers to find their ‘Yes’ at Kohl’s.”
According to Wang, the concept of “Yes” is about embracing new possibilities and being open to adventure and a new journey.
“Designing a lifestyle brand for Kohl’s was my ‘Yes’ moment, affording me the opportunity to bring all my experience and passion for fashion and style to clothing, accessories and home,” Wang said. “‘Yes’ for me means expanding my creative vision for more women. ‘Yes’ equals Kohl’s.”
And what would a new ad campaign be without a strong online and social media component. Accordingly, customers are invited to participate in the campaign by sharing their personal “Yes” moments using #FindYourYes which could be shared on Kohl’s social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
The full commercials can be viewed at www.youtube.com/Kohls.
Kohl’s operates 1,162 stores in 49 states and is coming off a year in which same store sales declined 1.2% and fourth quarter same store sales declined 2%.
Uniqlo, New York City
Uniqlo has transformed the second floor of it Fifth Avenue flagship to celebrate the launch of the retailer’s SPRZ NY collection, done in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art. The renovated floor includes the addition of a full-service Starbucks, a first for Uniqlo.
The first lineup of the SPRZ NY product line is comprised of about 200 items inspired by such world-renowned artists as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Jackson Pollock. The floor has been designed with art in mind, and features special corners for each artist and framed, museum gallery-like displays of T-shirts and other items.