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I-AM partners Kan D:FY Sports to create a uniquely Indian Sports Brand
12 December, 2018

Kan D:FY Sports, has appointed I-AM, the international multi-disciplinary branding and interior design agency, to fine tune its brand definition to create a retail brand experience that captures its core brand ethos. The mandate involved conceptualizing and executing the entire branding and communication concept for their new store in Mumbai. The design branding mandate for I-AM was to ensure that the store embodies and reflects Kan D:FY’s core vision and values and is able to seamlessly communicate the same to guests visiting the store.
 
Sensing a massive market opportunity straddling the global sports brand on one end and low-end Indian brands on the other, the Kan D:FY promoter team wanted to launch an Indian brand that targeted this mid-segment. D:FY was incepted with an intent to create value-for-money aesthetic sports gear which kept the Indian sensibilities and conditions in mind. Respecting Indian preferences D:FY introduced shoes made for walking, multisport usage and hitting the gym. The D:FY apparel is designed in Portland, USA and yet keeps in mind the conditions that the wearer has to face in the Indian tropical climate.
 
The I-AM team researched various global brands prevalent in this segment along with the mainstream global sports brands. I-AM also researched the prevailing global retail trend. The company assimilated the learning from the research and applied it to their insight of the core target audience – the Indian millennial. With a brand archetype defined as ‘an outlaw’, I-AM created the concept of ‘Adrenaline Rush’. This strategy builds on the core emotion of a player that he explores through sports — where the expression is raw and unadulterated and in its purest form. The terminology well defines the high energy flow experienced through the body when endorphins are released to induce excitement.
 
Said a visibly thrilled DJ Chetas, “The first edition of my Bollyboom Red Carpet show in Mumbai was massive and one of my favourite nights as a DJ. A memorable event indeed as it was one of my longest sets till 6am. I am really looking forward to an even more awesome experience with my fans at the all new curated 'Bollyboom Life Is a Mashup Club Tour” kicking off in Hyderabad. The album ‘Life Is A mashup’ has already received rave reviews and I can't wait to meet my fans across India and make them groove to the popular numbers from this album!"
 
I-AM played around the rawness of emotions for the interiors by using rough natural material, diverse textures and showcasing details that symbolised the concept of adventure. The high energy element has been expressed through the use of colour blocks and neon lights with natural materials to keep the look youthful and vibrant. The story of sports and the player within is brought alive in the store by bringing in different design elements that celebrate sports, such as the central feature unit which is filled with sports gear and keeps changing in different seasons. Bright stadium lights that loom above the central feature unit create an allure of a real life stadium, and funky stadium chairs are offered to customers to sit and try out their new range of D:FY shoes. All the fixtures used within the store also have a very distinct and locker room feel to it, and further add to the holistic gaming experience of the visiting sports enthusiast.
 
The brand ethos of ‘Defy The Everyday’ and being your own competition has been elaborated further via the visual language and the in-store graphics. The look and feel is bold and strong, and the visual language has been designed to reflect movement and energy. Information graphics were designed to speak of the various technologies that went into the design of the product. All the materials of the store design palette exhibit a lot of rawness and strength which is what lies at the core of brand D:FY.
 
D: FY launched their first store on 21st August 2018 in Mumbai with Anil Kumble and Nidhi Agarwal as their brand ambassadors.
 
Commenting on the D:FY brand experience design, Brian Pinto, Country Head, I-AM said, “We were thrilled to receive the mandate to design a brand experience for D: FY. For the first time in the sports retail domain, we included the sports equipment wherein one could experience the product. Additionally we made the brand ambassadors an integral part of the visual language. I am sure the raw look of the store will resonate with its core audience.”