Nathan, the manufacturer of hydration, visibility and other performance accessories, has launched a comprehensive campaign designed to drive growth of the hydration essentials category in the running specialty channel.  Entitled How Do You Hydrate? this integrated program provides hydration education to running specialty retailers and their customers in a fun, engaging, and memorable way.

There are about 50 million runners in America, and only a fraction of them are running with hydration, says Brent Hollowell, VP of marketing. So its important to create messaging and tools that help retailers increase runners awareness and usage of hydration in order to run stronger and longer.

Hollowell says that both Nathans retail customers and the brands retail advisory board provided feedback about what was needed for them to engage runners about the importance of hydration, and it was simple, memorable educational tools. The essence of the campaign boils down to an easy conversation starter-how do you hydrate-that enables store employees to more naturally engage their customers about hydration needs and options available.

Running specialty stores are a tremendous resource for the community, as they remain committed to providing information, guidance, and clinics to keep runners healthy, safe, and pushing their potential, says Hollowell. The hydration program builds on the merchandising programs Nathan launched last year, providing a foundation of effective tools that empower retail employees to address the needs of their customers beyond apparel and shoes.

The campaign features a number of tools and resources for retailers to use in-store and online, including:

•    Hydration pocket guide for retailers and staff that includes facts and tips on proper hydration
•    Consumer tri-fold brochure for in-store distribution
•    Backroom posters highlighting Nathans Ask>Inform>Fit process and product recommendation chart
•    A combination of product-focused and educational Facebook and Twitter graphics with recommended posts and tweets
•    Nathans version of Quizzo, entitled The Thirsty Games, for stores to use with customers during pub runs and in-store clinics
•    How Do You Hydrate? t-shirts and stickers
•    2-gallon Nathan-branded water jugs for use in-store and on fun runs
•    Core product, ladies night, and pub run tool kits for stores, offering bundled packages on best-selling Nathan products for demos, giveaways, and prizes
•    Dehydration what color is your pee? stickers, providing guidance on hydration needs based on urine color
•    Event overview sheet, providing suggestions on how to use all of these tools and work with the stores local Nathan rep to deliver an in-store promotional event

There is no question that proper hydration is vital to the performance and safety of runners, says Hollowell. Weve provided a lot of powerful, fun tools that help retailers explain the basics of what previously seemed a daunting topic-hydration-and were confident that it will produce an increase in happy customers who keep returning to their favorite shops for more information and better products.

The campaign launches this month. Retailers will be contacted by both their local rep and through Nathans monthly newsletter, Nathan Says, with details on activating and asset delivery timelines.