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Case Study

JD Sports Reshapes The In Store Appearance

JD Sports transformed store openings in New York and Los Angeles by having athletes like P.K. Subban and Dexter Lawrence shop like regular customers. This innovative approach, blending Pro Athlete's presence with social media promotion, led to lines of new customers at their openings.

JD Sports OpenSponsorship Case Study

The Problem

As JD Sports prepared to open four new stores, they needed a creative marketing strategy to ensure these launches stood out and attracted crowds. Recognizing the potential of Pro Athlete appearances yet wanting to avoid traditional approaches, JD Sports sought the expertise of OpenSponsorship to help brainstorm and execute a unique concept that would generate excitement and draw attention to their store openings.

The JD Sports Solution

JD Sports, in collaboration with their account manager, crafted an innovative and repeatable strategy for their store openings. Moving away from traditional signings or photo ops, they arranged for athletes to casually shop and interact with customers, creating a more engaging and relatable atmosphere. This approach not only fostered a genuine connection with the audience but also seamlessly integrated the athletes into the shopping experience. The strategy was designed to build hype, attract media attention, and draw significant crowds, making the store openings both easy and successful. Additionally, this method enabled JD Sports to organize a comprehensive social media push alongside the athlete appearances - everything was efficiently executed in just over two weeks.

Day 1

Consult with their Account Manager

The JD Sports team meets with their account manager to give the details about the store such as opening date, location, and information about the ideal athlete.

Day 2

Build a Campaign

After the first call, their account manager has built out a campaign on OpenSponsorship to bring in applications from Athletes that fit the criteria.

Day 7

Athlete Review

Their account manager delivers a curated list of Athletes to select one for the in-store appearance.

Day 9

Athlete is Locked In

Their account manager locks in the Athlete they have agreed on the sets the deliverables in the terms and conditions.

Day 13

Athlete Publishes Social Media Story

The first deliverable comes due 48 hours before the store opening. An Instagram story post is made by the Athlete promoting their appearance at the store. This also sets off the JD sports promotions.

Day 16

In-Store Appearance

The Athlete appears in the store. All logistics have been managed by the account manager and the Athlete's team. The Athlete also makes an additional social media post while at the store.

Day 17

Post Opening Social Content

With the opening appearance completed, JD Sports develops and publishes social content that includes the Athlete's name, image, and likeness. The Athlete shares this on their social story.

The Content

Iman Shumpert


P.K. Subban


Christian Wood



From JD Sports & Their Account Manager

“Our Account Manager Gus has been incredibly helpful. He’s taken so much off my plate - finding athletes, negotiating with agents, and making sure campaigns roll out smoothly. Anything we needed, he’d had our back!”

Nick Sato OpenSponsorship JD Sports

Nick Sato

JD Sports Cultural Partner Specialist

"Thanks to Nick and the JD Sports team for taking a risk by adopting my strategy. In the end, we were able to secure some great talent for their openings and draw in some big crowds."

Gus OpenSponsorship JD Sports

Gus Burge

OpenSponsorship Account Manager

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