Case Study: Vibram FiveFingers

The Challenge:

In the summer of 2005, Vibram, the worldwide leading manufacturer of high performance soles, announced its first end product: FiveFingers, a revolutionary glove-styled shoe offering the health benefits of going barefoot with the protection of a Vibram sole.  For over 70 years, the company thrived as a component brand but promoting a consumer product was a brand new challenge.

Our approach: Block and tackle and out of the box

  • Number one priority: Get in front of the key decision makers, core users and early adopters by creating a buzz at the Outdoor Retailer Show.  She secured placement in the show daily, set up line reviews with attending media and aggressively pursued all other pertinent outdoor consumer editors. Over 30 editors tested and reviewed the original product, resulting in numerous hits including: The New York Times, Men’s Health, Outside, Women’s Health, Her Sports, Travel and Leisure and the Today Show.

  • Hit the initial, most important watersports market hard: Since the footwear was initially designed as watersports and boating footwear Tommasi PR secured placement in every major vertical publications including: Boating World, Boat USA, Southern Boating, Paddling and Canoe and Kayak Magazine.

  • Pursue the emerging running and fitness market: It was clear that the footwear offered potential for other applications including fitness training and running. Armed with a second style offering more security, Tommasi placed stories in mainstream media outlets such as Balance, IMPACT, Runner’s World, Running Times and Triathlete, and also secured testing and placement in the top running and fitness blogs, greatly enhancing FiveFingers’ online presence.

Vibram FiveFingers got a shout out from Time Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2007.

Tommasi PR worked diligently and creatively to put Vibram on the forefront of the barefoot/minimalist  running trend:

  • Promoting a Boston Marathon sponsorship of Barefoot Ted
  • Organizing a charity book signing at Outdoor Retailer with Chris MacDougall, avid FiveFingers user and author of NYT bestseller Born to Run.
  • Positioning CEO and President Tony Post as a leader in key spokesmen for the natural running and training movement.

Other media hits included: The Today Show (again), The Early Morning Show, Huffington Post, Wired, New York Times (business section), New York Times Magazine, Popular Science, Wired, Men’s Journal, Health, Reader’s Digest,  Washington Post, and several major dailies, network affiliates and syndicated radio shows.

Vibram USA has seen sales triple every year for Vibram FiveFingers.  Tommasi PR is proud to have played a role in the phenomenal growth of the brand.