Northbrook, IL and Milwaukee, WI March 18, 2014 – As players geared up for the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star game, Wahl Clipper Corporation gave guys an even more compelling reason to get their beard on – releasing a light-hearted study that linked facial hair to superior athletic performance. The campaign was developed by HY Connect, an independent multi-channel marketing and communications firm based in Chicago and Milwaukee. The creativity and effectiveness of the campaign recently earned the agency two honors — Best Use of Social Media for Public/Media Relations and honorable mention for Best Media Relations Stunt from Ragan’s PR Daily, an industry leader in sharing best in class stories and trends in the field of PR, social media and marketing.
“Guys wear facial hair for many reasons: style, confidence and intimidation” said Steve Yde, director of marketing for Wahl. “This study was a fun way to show that enhanced performance may be as simple as growing a mustache or beard.”
HY Connect teamed up with STATS LLC, the world’s leading sports analytics company, to crunch ten years of data and show that players with facial hair in the MLB All-Star game and Home Run Derby outperform their smooth cheeked comrades. A series of infographics helped tell the story and break through to media. The study generated more than 1,600 media placements with major outlets including USA Today, The Associated Press, Sporting News and Men’s Fitness. More than eight million social media impressions were secured as well with the help of facial hair ambassadors MLB All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips, pitchers Sam LeCure of Cincinnati and John Axford of Milwaukee sharing the infographics with their social media followers. The American Mustache Institute also shared the infographics with its community.
“At the time we were taking a little bit of a risk positioning facial hair as an alternative to performance enhancing drugs in baseball but our men’s interest media targets loved the angle,” said HY Connect VP Account Management Patrick Kopischkie. “We are excited to be recognized with these prestigious awards.”
“It was very gratifying to see the Wahl facial hair campaign successfully connect humor with objective sports data. Our research was brought to life through a series of in-depth and creative infographics. They proved to be the perfect forum to tell Wahl’s story. We look forward to partnering with HY Connect and Wahl again in the future,” said Greg Kirkorsky, senior vice president of sales at STATS.