|The launch of On’s flagship London store marks a significant milestone for the Swiss brand. By opening an innovative store in the heart of London, On is inviting visitors to learn about the brand, experience its performance footwear and discover the brand’s growing fashion and sustainability credentials.|
The Swiss success story comes to town
On has been a phenomenon in the sports world over the last decade.
The brand has grown from a start-up to a $7 billion shoe company. The reputation of its shoes has spread far beyond its loyal running fanbase. Roger Federer even joined the team in 2019 to take On into a whole new brand territory for sportswear and fashion.
During this 10+ years of rapid growth, Aspire has worked with On to establish the brand in the UK market. We have stayed true to the brand’s roots by connecting with running communities and raising awareness for new products and technologies with UK media and influencers.
Early 2023 saw On bring its whole self to London with the opening of its European flagship store on one of the UK’s most iconic shopping streets.
Our brief was to gain media exposure for the milestone event and highlight how the store brings On’s purpose, mission, values and vision to life in bricks and mortar.
“We’ve grown beyond just running shoes and we need this type of space for people to come in and learn about the brand.”
Why queue when you can run?
Our goal was to share the launch event with running communities in a multi-sensory, engaging and experiential way. We wanted to cement relationships with loyal customers while creating a whole lot of new brand fans.
In 2010, On set out to revolutionise the sensation of running. In 2023, we wanted to generate excitement and media exposure for how On is reshaping the London shopping experience.
Our big bang event for launch had the headline – Why queue when you can run? Reinforcing the brand’s DNA, groups of runners led by the On founders ran to the new store from locations across London, including the Swiss embassy.
Aspire worked collaboratively with the On UK team to creatively deliver an exciting grand opening celebration where media and the On and Aspire communities came together to celebrate this momentous occasion for the brand.
“Hundreds of runners streamed down Regent Street to mark the official arrival in the UK’s capital of one of the fastest-growing global sports brands.”
Building the big launch buzz
Our PR strategy had a 3 step approach.
Firstly, using press releases and ‘save the date’ invites, we began to build hype with media and influencers that On were coming to London.
In the weeks before launch night, we hosted VIP 1:1 shopping experiences with consumer media, including fashion and lifestyle press. The tours, led by store manager David Plumer, were a great opportunity to discuss wider brand stories.
In the days before the opening, when the On leadership team were in London, we crafted individual media pitches to business, design and tech media and lined up Q&A sessions and 1-2-1 interviews.
And from the launch party we captured photography to sell-in to picture desks and share with guests post-event.
Marking a brand milestone
online readership to build launch buzz
founder interviews in media titles
combined social media reach
Creating an electric atmosphere
We are proud to have worked on such a momentous event for On.
The PR plan delivered a big impact and strong coverage. The results clearly showed that On’s first Flagship Store opening in London gained the awareness, visibility, buzz and hype the launch deserved.
The journalists from Wallpaper*, Glamour, Health and Fitness, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Marie Claire, Bricks and Mortar, and Cosmopolitan, to name but a few, gave positive exposure.
The media loved the VIP shopping experiences and many came away really engaged and inspired, especially that the Cyclon installation focusing on sustainability took up a huge space on a retail floor without driving profit for the brand.
The opening celebration party was a huge success driving excitement with core performance titles, national press, freelancers and content creators and community leaders.
The run from the Swiss Embassy was a really authentic brand touch and running with the founders, Chris Thompson and other UK athletes was a big pull.
The atmosphere was electric. Social media was buzzing. Congratulations On, you really have put yourself on the map.