Outdoor Voices Debuts a Content Website (and a Zine)

'The Recreationalist' platform includes city guides and profiles to inspire people to stay active

An excerpt of a profile on Isaac Nichols for Outdoor Voices' content platform The Recreationalist
The Recreationalist exists on its own website, Instagram and YouTube pages. Outdoor Voices
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

Outdoor Voices, a direct-to-consumer activewear company whose motto is “doing things,” now wants to make it easier for its customers to find those things to do.

The 5-year-old company is rolling out a content marketing platform today dubbed “The Recreationalist,” aiming to give customers a hub related to doing something, whether it’s in nature, working out or simply getting outside. The site—which is separate from the existing Outdoor Voices product website—will include city guides, two regular story franchises, and for the debut will also roll out a limited-run zine.

“As a brand, we’re trying to become a resource as a whole,” said Chris Ralston, director of digital brand experience at Outdoor Voices. “The launch of The Recreationalist gets us one step closer to becoming that.”

The franchises are a recurring profile feature called “Doing Things With” and “Take Ten,” a set of 10 questions with people that “inspire” the community.

The first “Doing Things With” profile is with Chip Wilson, the founder and former CEO of Lululemon. Other people profiled include artist and activist iO Tillett Wright, and Mashama Bailey, a chef who participated in Chef’s Table on Netflix. Some other pieces already planned for the site’s content calendar include city guides around Austin, Texas, and Mexico City, product recommendations, music playlists and more.

“We recognize that doing things means a lot of different things depending on the individual,” Ralston said. “This unlocks a way for us to shed light on the various ways people are staying active on a daily basis.”

For now, the content team at Outdoor Voices is pretty small—less than 10 people. Ralston said that was done on purpose to keep the team from growing too fast and the site from losing focus. Ralston declined to share the types of KPIs Outdoor Voices will look at to measure the success of the platform, but said that the company is pushing marketing for it in terms of email, as well as an out-of-home campaign in New York and Los Angeles. The site also has its own Instagram and YouTube page.

Outdoor Voices plans on letting the community “dictate” what types of content is working for them and what’s not, said Ralston. One way of achieving that is the forums at the end of each post, essentially a comment section where people can discuss a piece and have a conversation with each other—instead of just the brand.

“This is an opportunity for us to establish that two-way conversation,” Ralston said. “One thing is our community to date has been so willing to have an open dialogue with us as a brand. We always thought internally there are always so many interesting things going on that our community is flagging to us, and now we have a place to put it.”

@itstheannmarie annmarie.alcantara@adweek.com Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.