Like other companies, Lacoste sponsors professional athletes, including tennis star Andy Roddick (the company is reportedly paying Roddick more than $5 million annually to wear the brand while competing.) But in a twist, the brand also recently began outfitting non-celebrities, including the wait staff, bus boys and valets at the Hamptons location of Nobu — the upscale Japanese restaurant chain co-owned by Robert De Niro — in clothing featuring the Lacoste logo, an open-jawed crocodile.
“As a consumer, you’re sitting there and Lacoste is all around you,” said Charlie Walk, a partner at RJW Collective, a marketing agency based in Manhattan that works with Lacoste. “But it’s not in your face screaming to you that there’s a branded moment here in the middle of your meal — it’s an elegantly disruptive activation.”
Employees at the Soho House and two Hotel Gansevoort locations — all in Manhattan — also are wearing clothing provided free by Lacoste. Outfitting concierges and waiters is representative of a broader effort to reinvigorate Lacoste, which some may associate with a bygone preppy era.
“It’s an iconic brand with a ton of history, but in the last few years I think it lost touch with the next generation,” said Mr. Walk. “It felt kind of stagnant — you respected the croc but you weren’t really sure who it was touching, how it was connecting with you.”
Source: NY Times