Creating pioneering technology for the planet’s top swimmers, Speedo helps racers everywhere be faster. Their sponsored elite Olympic athletes included Nathan Adrian, Natalie Coughlin, Ryan Lochte, Dana Vollmer, and Cullen Jones.
Speedo asked Hello to engage their athletes in a new and meaningful way. We brought their team of Olympians together with artists and charities to create limited-edition swim caps through a campaign that raised awareness for worthy causes.
In our conversations with the Speedo athletes, we discovered each swimmer had a unique personal story that also tied to a cause that they deeply believed in. To bring awareness to these personal stories and causes, we paired five Speedo athletes with five diverse artists to design limited-edition swim caps. 100% of the proceeds went to each athlete’s chosen charity.
Cullen Jones almost drowned at age five, so he was enrolled in swim lessons that led him to become an Olympic gold medalist. He collaborated with artist Jolby & Friends to design a cap to benefit USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Initiative.
Dana Vollmer had heart surgery at age 15, and despite the risk of heart failure, kept swimming to become a four-time Olympic gold medalist. Her charity was Simon’s Fund, an organization promoting awareness of and testing for sudden cardiac arrest in children and young athletes. Dana collaborated with illustrator Jessica Hische to incorporate a heart into the cap design.
Nathan Adrian advocated for Kids Beating Cancer, which ensures access to care for kids regardless of their family’s financial situation. His cap, in collaboration with artist Gianmarco Magnani, paid tribute to his naval hometown, Bremerton, Washington. The design was a nod to the speed and power of a battleship.
Natalie Coughlin is deeply appreciative of what the sport of swimming has taught her in focus and mental strength. Her passion was in supporting Right To Play, a global organization that uses sports to educate and empower children facing adversity. She has worked with children in Rwanda to teach them about disease prevention and health.
Natalie worked closely with artist Adhemas Batista to create a wave design that showed her passion and respect for the water and the environment.
We directed five short films and shot photos of each athlete sharing their personal story, the cause they championed, and how both guided their cap design. We also created a website to bring these stories together in one place. To reflect the incomparable nature of each athlete and cap, we designed custom packaging for Art of the Cap, and made the caps available as limited-edition items to be purchased exclusively on SpeedoUSA.com during the holidays—the height of the giving season.
By activating the networks of the athletes, artists, charities, and Speedo, we built excitement for Art of the Cap. Through a coordinated outreach plan, we were able to appeal to audiences beyond competitive swimming by getting earned media in fitness, fashion, and design publications—places where you typically wouldn’t expect to find Speedo.
Art of the Cap was an instant success—half of the caps sold out on the first day, and all caps sold out within a week.