LEXINGTON, Ky. — It started as a campaign to build awareness of Lexington leading up to the Breeders’ Cup Festival. But VisitLEX’s Horse Kicks campaign has circled the globe and attracted top athletes as customers for the local entrepreneur who crafted the sneakers.
Horse Kicks was a partnership between VisitLEX and Lexington-based shoe and cleat artist Marcus Floyd, who studied the art of shoe “decon/recon” at The Shoe Surgeon’s SRGN Academy in Los Angeles. Floyd’s business, Infinite Kustomz LLC, specializes in creating customized and hand-painted sneakers and cleats.
Floyd created a sneaker customization service that turned rare, collectors’ item human sneakers into premium “horseshoes” for the world’s greatest equine athletes.
What began as a pop-up activation in the heart of downtown Lexington and debuted at the Sneaker Ball Lex Charity Auction soon caught the attention of media outlets such as The Washington Post, CNN and the BBC.
Overall, the campaign earned 3 billion media impressions.
“We challenged ourselves to get new audiences talking about Lexington,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX. “It succeeded beyond our wildest dreams – with top media outlets and social media influencers from around the globe talking about Horse Kicks. And, we were proud to partner with Marcus Floyd to showcase his amazing art to national and international audiences.”
VisitLEX has transferred ownership of the Horse Kicks brands to Floyd, who is currently fielding custom orders from around the world. His first order for customized shoes sneakers came from NBA star Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks in partnership with Jordan Brand.
“When I was first asked to make a sneaker for horses, I thought it was original enough to make waves… I never expected it to make the global monsoon that it did. I’ve been featured in every major sneaker blog to fashion pinnacle, Vogue magazine. Horse Kicks gave me a platform to share my art with the world and I intend on creating a new culture in the equine industry with it, one hoof at a time.”
Floyd has pledged to donate 10% of all future Horse Kicks profits to local charities.
Here are the awards and recognitions the campaign received:
Silver Winner– National ADDYs
Gold – Cross Platform – District ADDYs
Small Agency Experiential Campaign of the Year, Gold– Ad Age
Best of Show – Lexington ADDYs
Gold Winner – Cross Platform – Lexington ADDYs
Silver Winner – Partnerships/Co-Creation– Clio Awards
Winner – Travel/Tourism– Shorty Awards
Gold Honor – Earned Media – Shorty Awards
Shortlisted– One Show
‘People’s Voice’ Nominee– Webby Awards
Shortlisted– Skift Awards
The Destiny Awards (ESTO) – Finalist (winners announced 8/22)
To see more about the shoes, check out the video here.