Josh Donaldson finds his Flow

An eco-focused water brand teams up with the Jays star and other influencers on a new campaign.
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Canadian water brand Flow will launch a new campaign this month built on strategic content and influencers – including a Blue Jay with a distinctive do – as it prepares to move south of the border.

“Mind, Body and Flow” will use Toronto Blue Jays player and reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson, as well as local influencers, in a campaign built around an exclusive fitness training program.

“We’ll be releasing strategic content every week from Josh and other influencers about training, about being in your optimal state of performance, about hydrating, about your diet, and really a chance to train with the influencers,” says Flow founder and CEO Nicholas Reichenbach.

The training program, which mixes 45 minutes of circuit training with 45 minutes of yoga, is representative of the branding, which, despite the pro athlete sponsorship, is more about health and wellness than performance, he says.

“It’s not an energy type of pro-athlete positioning at all,” says Reichenbach, who’s not a sports fan and admits he only recently heard of Donaldson. But when he did, he found the Jays’ third baseman appealing as a different type of athlete.

“I just saw that his personality – the haircut, his attitude – was completely in line with our brand values, which is complete mindful positivity. It was a really good fit,” Reichenbach says.

Flow is an alkaline spring water sourced from southwestern Ontario. With its Tetra Pak carton and mineral content, the brand positions  itself as a health product with a low carbon footprint.

The images of Donaldson that Flow will use, some of which were shot in Florida during spring training, won’t involve baseballs or bats, focusing on more general training to fit the brand.

The campaign will launch in Canada on May 20 and will move south a month later for Flow’s U.S. launch, focused on California. Jackman Reinvents, whose CEO Joe Jackman is on Flow’s board of directors, is handling the campaign, including point of sale, while NKPR is responsible for influencers, PR, social and strategic partnerships.

In addition to Donaldson, the campaign will have a number of trainers acting as influencers. Flow has partnered with gyms in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and developed the training program with select trainers.

Throughout the summer, the brand will host special training camps in those gyms. Part of the registration involves would-be participants sharing a photo of themselves “in the flow with Flow” on Instagram. Those whose photos have the most engagement will get access to the fitness camps.

Consumers will also be able to sign up for the contest at retailers’ Flow demo stands.

The digital-only campaign will be focused on Instagram, looking to build a connection with an 18- to 45-year-old target that wants healthy, environmentally friendly local products, Reichenbach says.

“We’re really focused on getting really compelling, unique content that’s been customized to us by Josh and others,” he says. “I don’t think that a lot of our users watch television anymore.”