Benny the Bull, the enduring mascot of the Chicago Bulls, received a pair of brand-new sneakers from Klarna on Friday, March 3, in collaboration with internationally known designer and artist Don C.
The sneakers were created by Don C and Klarna and were inspired by the team’s 2023 City Edition Uniform. They have a rust color that is reminiscent of Chicago’s bridges and hot pink accents that match Klarna’s pink logo.
“For a kid from Chicago that grew up going to Bulls games with my dad, it’s an honor to be able to design a pair of shoes for the iconic Benny the Bull,” shared Don C. “Even beyond that, I am inspired by the opportunity to work with Klarna to connect fans just like me all around the world with this beloved team through fashion.”
Limited-edition Just Don Courtside Hi basketball shoes were released exclusively through the Klarna app and are now available at www.klarna.com/us/justdon for $460.
Speaking with The Source, Megan Gokey, Head of B2C Marketing & Brand Partnerships for Klarna, details the partnership, the Just Don collection, and more.
Klarna has activated in the United Center, specifically with merch. How has the response from fans been, and are there any additional components on the way that we haven’t seen yet?
Fan response has been overwhelmingly positive. We are always looking for ways to make a fan’s experience smoother and have found that the community has responded to our innovative tactics. Not only are they eager to get the new merch we collaborate on, but they are also leaning into shopping smarter with our Klarna Smoooth Delivery in-seat shopping experience that allows them to purchase Bulls merch, split the cost into four interest-free payments, and get it delivered directly to their seat, so they don’t miss a moment of the game.
In an executive role, how have you felt about the partnership with the Bulls so far?
We’re now in our second year of Klarna’s partnership with the Bulls and we’re really taking the fan experience to the next level. We are continuing to challenge ourselves to deliver something truly extra to the fans in an effort to bring them closer to the game and athletes they love through unique in-arena experiences like designing and unveiling the limited edition Don C Benny the Bull shoes, delivering a new in-seat shopping experience and introducing shoppable content such as the exclusive Just Don sneakers inspired by the design for Benny.
There are so many integral features to the Bulls – including players, personnel, and announcers. What made Benny the Bull the person to wear this sneaker?
Benny is beloved by everyone, from fans to players. He is such an integral part of the Bulls, both on game day and on social media.This is our second consecutive year partnering with a Chicago artist and designer on new shoes for Benny and it’s a tradition we hope will continue as everyone needs to upgrade their kicks after a while!
The Just Don sneaker was a Klarna exclusive – will additional items be solely available on the platform?
We are constantly looking to bring moments and offerings that will create the best and smoothest experience for fans – including new merch – to fans in-arena and outside. Previously, we worked with Zach LaVine to put together collections of his game-day essentials that fans could easily shop on the Klarna app.
There is basketball family synergy here between your team, the Bulls, and Don C. How hard was it to collaborate across all entities for this specific campaign?
Not hard at all. Especially having Don C on board as Creative Strategy and Design Advisor for the Bulls, it made working together pretty seamless throughout the design process.
What is your favorite component of Benny’s sneakers?
I love how the passion for the team and the city of Chicago really shines through in Benny’s sneakers. The rust coloring is reflective of downtown Chicago’s bridges, and of course, I love to see the hot pink of Klarna in there as well.
As we are heading into this stretch run – what do you hope to see from the Chicago Bulls? and do you have any predictions?
Like all Bulls fans in Chicago and around the world, we’re going to support the team every game. Bulls fans are some of the best in all of sports, and we’re thrilled to be a part of helping them cheer on their team.