Case Study:

Brand refresh after ending of an exclusive partnership to open
new market opportunities

Sole Revolution is a synthetic turf infill solution made from 100% recycled athletic shoe rubber. An affordable, yet sustainable alternative to traditional crumb tire rubber, its optimized chemistry and emphasis on player safety and performance makes it a superior choice for synthetic turf athletic fields.

The problem: An exclusive partnership with a major global footwear brand ended, and required Sole Revolution to rebrand and refresh their marketing to remove ties to this previous partner.

The solution: Visually divorced Sole Revolution from the global partner, but without completely reinventing the wheel, as there were many stakeholders already familiar with the company.

The result: The refreshed brand and focus on the product chemistry gave us a new platform with which Sole Revolution could use to approach the market unfettered by the previous brand partnership. New sales tools and website allowed for aggressive lead generation.

“I came to Rains | Birchard because I had to remove all ties to my previous partner. But, the opportunity to refresh the Sole Revolution brand and explore sales opportunties that had previously been closed off to me, was something that the agency seized on and really delivered creative solutions for. They’ve become the marketing arm of my business.”

– Nathan Harris, Owner, Sole Revolution

An exclusive partnership with a major global footwear brand had helped Sole Revolution pioneer the market for synthetic turf infill made from athletic shoes. But, the partnership came to an end and required Sole Reovolution to rebrand and refresh their marketing to remove ties to this previous partner. It also allowed them to expand their sources and product offerings.

Because of the existing brand equity in the name Sole Revolution, and the fact that it had always been separate from the brand partner, we were able to retain the name, logo and much of the visual content. However, we did need to neutralize the imagery and text content, thus we took the opportunity to refresh the brand. While not a major change, an updated color palette, slightly refined logo, and new photography showcasing the Sole Revolution product, helped put a fresh face on the company.

Sole Revolution infill is sourced primarily pre-consumer, from factory defects and waste generated when manufacturing shoe soles in southeast Asia. What would previously be landfilled, is reclaimed and processed by Sole Revolution into artificial turf infill. Infill is required in syntheic turf fields to help stand the blades of “grass” up, as well as provide the appropriate bounce, roll and cushioning effect needed for athletes. Because the global footwear brands focus on the performance of their footwear products, the materials used are chemically safe and designed and tested to acheive optimal performance. The global footwear brands also use contract manufacturers to make their products to spec, but don’t own the waste, allowing Sole Revolution to source directly from multiple manufacturers in several countries, who produce footwear for many leading brands.

A challenge and opportunity arose, without the brand backing of the global footwear partner. We wanted to focus more on the physical and chemical properties of the material the infill is made from. Those translate into benefits for the buyers and users of the product, and highlighting them influenced additional new marketing materials we created.

The first of which was a custom sample kit, designed as a hexagon, to pay homage to the shape of carbon as graphite – what Sole Revolution is down at it’s very core. The sample kits are boxes with hidden magnetic closures, that open to reveal a piece of artificial turf (we had cut on a water jet!) filled with Sole Revolution infill, along with a small plastic container of the infill. The turf sits on a removable tray the reveals a space for additonal infill samples to be stored. A hexagonal brochure fitted inside completes the package. Used for in-person meetings or as a direct mail piece in response to a request, the custom sample kits put the product in the potential buyer’s hands in a sharable way.

Additional sales literature, coupled with a new website and advertising in industry publications, lead to increased lead generation and ultimately new sales opportunities for Sole Revolution.