NATHAN Launches Retail Hydration Initiative

NATHAN is partnering with run specialty retailers nationwide to kick off spring with coordinated in-store events celebrating the arrival of the season, its new hydration products and the brand’s new 2014 hydration initiative, “What’s Your Hydration Plan?” Launching at more than 75 different locations on March 20, the first day of spring, the What’s Your Hydration Plan? initiative encourages both runners and retailers to incorporate a hydration plan into the running experience. The program rolls out to all run specialty stores the first week of April.  

“As athletes, we run on water. A hydration plan is essential for runners to fuel, perform, recover, and enjoy the experience,” says Brent Hollowell, VP of Marketing for NATHAN. “Yet, only about two out of every 100 runners invested in a hydration solution at run specialty last year, which speaks to the overwhelming upside potential of this category.”

Hollowell continues, “The long-term strength of the running specialty channel depends on expanding essential product categories in an era where we know that overreliance on one or two categories will not sustain growth. This initiative empowers staff to engage on all things hydration, and kicks off on the first day of spring so our winter-weary running community can say goodbye to a challenging season and welcome one that symbolizes fresh opportunities for growth.”

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At the March 20 event, retailers will host fun runs, demo new NATHAN product, and create an official start to the season with spring-themed assets, merchandising, and giveaways. Retailers will utilize a retailer “spring toolkit” created by NATHAN that includes:

A custom branded toolkit with over $150 worth of demo product

Spring window displays and in-store POP

$50 toward food and beverage

Themed giveaway items, including custom wildflower seed packets

Merchandising contest and prizes

NATHAN is developing additional tools including an H20 Pro initiative that trains, empowers, and rewards in-store employees for engaging with customers on hydration education and information. This includes “What’s Your Hydration Plan?” backroom posters, consumer handouts, and themed t-shirts; product educational videos; a custom website and Facebook group built specifically for H20 Pros for idea-sharing and tool access; contests, goal tracking, and more.

“Virtually every product sold at a run specialty store will perform better on a properly-hydrated athlete,” Hollowell says. “By providing tools and training to employees that instill the importance of building a hydration plan, we can drive results in an underdeveloped category, and create an opportunity for retailers to recognize the efforts and impact of their associates.”