Alison Weissbrot
Jun 17, 2021

Hoka One One sprints to FCB as first AOR

The running shoe brand is looking for a big idea as it's on track to become a billion-dollar business.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Cult-status running shoe brand Hoka One One has hired FCB as its first global advertising agency of record, the companies said Thursday. 

Owned by sporting company Deckers Brands, Hoka One One chose FCB after a competitive review that kicked off in December and was led by R3. It declined to share which other agencies participated. 

The account will be run out of FCB West, which is a smaller outpost with about 40 people, and will tap into the broader FCB network, as well as parent IPG, as the brand expands globally. 

Hoka declined to share ad spend figures, but sources estimate the account is worth about $40 million globally. It plans to increase advertising spend, however, as it sets its sights on becoming a billion-dollar business. 

“FCB West has a boutique size and feel, so we see having a lot of exposure with the senior leadership at the agency,” said Norma Delaney, VP of global brand marketing at Hoka One One. “On the same hand, they are going to function as a command center into the broader FCB network. It’s the best of both worlds.” 

Hoka was founded in 2009 and is one of the fastest growing sporting and performance footwear brands in the world. The brand exploded in popularity this year as celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Britney Spears, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emily Ratajkowski and Pippa Middleton were spotted wearing them. Sales grew 62% year on year through the pandemic. 

As Hoka grows, it’s looking to seize on its growing appeal as a lifestyle brand. FCB will help the company come up with a big brand idea to grow awareness, Delaney said. The agency expects to debut work for Hoka in early 2022.

“There are such avid fans for the product that we have an opportunity to bring greater meaning to the brand,” Delaney said. “FCB is really well-positioned to help us get there and bring it to market in a way that is consumer-first, digital-first and innovative.”

FCB will tap into Hoka’s “obsessive fanbase” and use the passion customers feel for its products to shape its brand vision, said Simon White, president and chief strategy officer at FCB West. 

“It started in running but is rapidly growing to a much broader group of people, and that's part of what they're bringing us in for,” he said. “How do we connect these disparate groups in different markets, with different reasons for buying and different interests in sports?” 

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