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Converse Save The 100 Club

February 15, 2011

The 100 club has been saved! Hurrah! …by none other than the Patron Saints of Quality Footwear…Converse.

What a great move from a brand who are all about rock’n’roll heritage and explosive youth culture.

It’s no surprise there’s a heightened sentiment from all ages towards the survial of venues like the 100 Club. The likes of the Luminaire in Kilburn has recently run into difficulty and the closure of the Astoria two years ago resulted in thousands of fans old and young petitioning for it’s continued existence. These venues, but particuarly the 100 club, represent an ever-escaping past in this new media age. It’s like rock’s rich legacy is losing it’s tangibility. First the record shop then the gig theatre.

Not if converse have anything to do with it. This is a bold statement of intent. At home on both the feet of every kid who ever jammed in a garage, as on the soles of stars who move from private jet to private party, Converse have always been synonymous with rock and music and it’s wider cultural significance on all levels.

It’s also a move that’s much cooler and cleverer than the respective takevovers of musical venues from O2 and HMV. Granted, the former went bigger because that’s what they needed to do (and a lovely job they did of the Dome) and the latter is currently scrabbling for new revenue streams, so sentiment is slightly less high on His Master’s immediate agenda. Nevertheless, Converse’s kiss of life to the 100 Club is a focused and intimate move which slots in nicely with the brand’s nimble comms strategy, while also being massively PR-able on the back of a string of stories building up to the venue’s death knell. Macca did a gig there only a few months ago to raise awareness of the Club’s plight. Converse have gone further. They’ve gone further than a Beatle. They’ve saved it.

Since hearing about their intervention with the 100 Club, it’s really made me consider just how respectable on a mass level ConverseĀ  are. Converse is saving our rock churches they’ve become the counter culture equivalent of the English Heritage. But how will the people who make the shoes run the show from here on it? How will the brand modify the venue’s reach and fame following this much needed blood transfusion?

Rich in history, legend and myth, the 100 Club was a castle of culture, chaos and creativity. The question now is, with survival guaranteed, will it be again?

 

 

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