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In 2014, Finish Line identified an opportunity within the fragmented running specialty market and began acquiring a number of local stores, bringing them together as the Running Specialty Group (RSG). Acquisitions ranged from well-known franchises like JackRabbit Sports and New York Running Company, to regionally renowned stores like Garry Gribble’s Running Sports. By early 2015, RSG had acquired over 50 local running destinations across the country, with that number continuing to grow. RSG recognized the need to lie out a clear plan to unify disparate employees around a common purpose and turned to Lippincott to help make their ambitious five-year vision a reality.
The new brand needed to stand for something unique and exciting. Something that resonated with target customers while also engaging staff at both the corporate and store level. And to be competitive, it had to offer customers a differentiated retail experience, integrated across key digital and in-store touchpoints.
Our research revealed a powerful opportunity for RSG to create a lifestyle brand that tapped into the energy and passion of the specialty running community. The name, JackRabbit, was chosen as it built on existing brand equity while aligning with who the company wants to be. It hints at running without being explicit or limiting. It is memorable, distinctive and evocative enough to support its customer’s active lifestyles. And by removing the word “Sports” from the name, we were able to extend the new brand’s reach.
While the existing JackRabbit Sports logo was fun and playful, it lacked the maturity needed to steer the brand forward. The new icon is fluid in form and embodies the brand’s story of action and movement. Its distinctive color is bold and warm, retaining the spirit of the original. The typeface evokes motion and reinforces the brand’s friendly and fun loving personality through its rounded forms.
Building on the new positioning, we helped JackRabbit bring its brand to life through a series of signature experiences designed to emotionally connect with customers. In stores, a team of running experts offers personalized shoe fittings and gait analysis. New training and fitness programs help customers meet their personal fitness goals. Locally organized runs and sponsored events help support local running communities.
Focusing on the New York market, JackRabbit renovated five local stores to become an immersive representation of the brand. JackRabbit was formally launched during the 2015 New York City marathon, cementing the brand’s position within the northeastern running community. The company plans to continue to roll out new stores and elevated experiences that will surprise, delight and serve runners across the country.