Lids debuts Spike Lee-directed video promoting retailer, cap culture

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A short documentary-style video about sports-cap culture directed by famed filmmaker Spike Lee will debut Tuesday in Lids stores across America.

The Zionsville-based headgear retailer hired Lee to produce the piece, which prominently features the company. It also will be used in an online campaign to promote Lids.

The video is intended to give viewers an inside look at contemporary headwear culture and how Lids caters across the fan-to-fashion spectrum, according to the company. Lee not only directs the piece but is featured prominently.

Lee interviews sports-cap fans on the streets of New York City and in Lids stores to learn about their favorite styles and what headgear can say about the wearer.

There are three versions of the video. The full version is just over three minutes, and it has been distilled to 90-second and 30-second versions as well. 

“Spike Lee is one of the most iconic filmmakers of our generation who embodies an undeniable passion for headwear,” Jeff Pearson, Lids senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce, said in a statement. “The synergy between our brand’s heritage and Lee’s unique storytelling ability delivered a video that perfectly encapsulates the qualities of today’s headwear culture and why Lids continues to dominate in the headwear space.”

Lids CEO David Baxter told IBJ earlier this month that Lids strives to attract customers interested in fashion, as well as those captivated by sports. The video is a part of that effort.

“For many like me, hats make a personal statement and communicate what you represent, who you are, how you live and what you love to the world,” Lee said in a statement. “As an avid hat wearer, it was my team's goal to bring the conversation of today’s diverse headwear culture to light by accentuating the underlying reasons why cap lovers, sports fans and others wear and invest in headwear.” 

The video kicks off in New York City, where Lee embarks on a quest toward “Captown USA,” referring to central Indiana and Lids' headquarters. Lee visits Lids locations in Times Square where he chats with store patrons about why and how they wear headgear.

The Spike Lee-Lids campaign is debuting as the cap seller is making major operational changes, including rolling out a new app and loyalty program, beefing up its website and testing a new store design.   

Lids, founded in 1995 as Hat World, is planning changes to its 1,200 stores across North America to make them more inviting and to bridge the company’s online efforts.

This is the first time Lids has partnered with Lee, an Oscar and Emmy Award-winning producer also known for his love of pro basketball, a series of Nike commercials promoting Air Jordans, and sitting courtside at New York Knicks games for more than two decades. His Mars Blackmon character often promoted Air Jordans in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the phrase "it's gotta be da shoes."

To see the full video, click here. For the 90-second version click here and for the 30-second version click here.

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