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Timberland Treks In Olympic Footsteps

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Although not a sanctioned Olympic marketing partner, Timberland plans to piggyback on the spirit of the Games and snare as much of the enormous domestic and global TV audience as it can by evoking Olympic imagery with an effort that will launch to coincide with event programming.

The outdoor footwear, apparel and accessories company will break a TV spot this week, "Podium," via Leagas Delaney, London, which is scheduled to air on national cable networks such as ESPN and Comedy Central, as well as local network affiliates in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The spot also will run in China, where the 2008 Games are being held.

"Podium" follows a hiker as he ascends a mountain over rugged terrain, using various skills that could be associated with Olympic events (running, jumping, climbing, etc.). He ultimately reaches the summit and the camera pans around him as he views the scene, beaming as if he had won a gold medal. Text reinforces the Olympic references with, "Everyone dreams of standing on a podium. This is yours."

Tim Delaney, chairman at Leagas Delaney acknowledged Timberland's intent when he said in a statement, "The first spot, 'Podium,' ambushes the huge Olympic audience to make a powerful statement about how Timberland consumers feel about the outdoors."

Support will include new spots and print later in the year, Internet and an interactive game. Spend was not disclosed. Timberland, Stratham, N.H., spent $8 million on U.S. media in 2007 but just $300,000 January-March 2008, per TNS.

"We want to appeal to a youthful demo and show in up in unexpected places," said Carolyn Yang, Timberland's vp-global marketing. "The focus is to reinforce our leadership in the outdoor space."