The changes continue at Champion.
Though Hanesbrands recently concluded the activist investor crusade that put the activewear brand up for strategic review, the North Carolina-based company seems to have taken Barington Capital’s campaign to heart. It just named Richard Mcleod, whose résumé includes notable stints with Canada Goose and Foot Locker, as its new vice president and chief marketing officer.
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That move could help Hanesbrands perk up Champion’s digital traffic from a 38 percent tumble documented earlier this year. Doing so would support the company’s worldwide success, said Vanessa LeFebvre, president of global activewear for Hanesbrands, in a statement announcing Mcleod’s appointment.
“The next chapter of Champion’s story is at the forefront of our global growth strategy,” she said. “We are excited to tap into Richard’s extensive experience in global brand management, knowledgeable insights around our core consumers, and dynamic leadership style. Adding Richard to the team will strengthen our connectivity to global consumers by building a community-led, digital-first brand focused on culture.”
Mcleod has carved out a strong career nurturing marquee brands into their next chapters. As senior vice president of brand at Canada Goose for the past year or so, he’s credited with guiding the outerwear marker’s performance and evolution. He also spent nearly four years rising through the ranks at Foot Locker, starting as marketing VP for Footaction before leaving with the title of VP and general manager of the company’s Canadian subsidiary. Before transitioning into the fashion world, Mcleod started his career in spirits, spending 15 years with Bacardi, Pernod Ricard and LVMH-owned Hennessy.
A “former college athlete” who studied sports science and communication, Mcleod said he’ll focus on restoring the Premier Lacrosse League partner to its former glory in the realm of athletic apparel. “I’m incredibly inspired by the evolution of Champion through the “Champion What Moves You” campaign, which is generating meaningful impact with consumers and communities around the world,” he added. “The campaign is already an incredible start to the next phase of the brand’s storied heritage, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
It’s unclear if Hanesbrands is still shopping the brand or has decided to keep it and commit to the turnaround. Reebok owner Authentic Brands Group and WHP Global, the company behind G-Star Raw, have been floated as possible Champion acquirers. Hanesbrands had laid out a plan to get Champion to $3 billion by next year but has run into obstacles reaching that goal.