Want To Sell Shoes? Use Boobs


Warrior has released their newest shoe, the Coxswain, and with it, they have released a brand new ad campaign featuring Ken Clausen in one video, and a large pair of breasts in another.

While this approach doesn’t quite reach the levels of absurdity that Warrior’s “Ninja Please” campaign delivered, it is still pretty ridiculous, and when you look at it in comparison to older, more classic commercials (like these Nike Lacrosse ads), there is a striking difference.

The vast majority of the commercial in question is actually about the product, what it offers, and it’s great to see so much focus on the shoe itself. But there are moments of breasts, which have absolutely nothing to do with the shoe, that I just can’t ignore.

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No, not for that reason. Well, maybe that reason plays a part… but it’s like someone saw the commercial when it was almost done and said, “I don’t know… I like it, but is there any way we can work a boob joke in there“, and then it was re-edited with two breast shots, and finished up for dissemination.


It’s not illegal to have breasts in a commercial. Hundreds, if not thousands, of companies do it every single year. But this commercial seems to lack any breastacular context whatsoever. Does using a crew term somehow open the doors to breast-centric advertising? And since lacrosse is a game played by men AND women, couldn’t we be a little more conservative in how hard we sell the game through sex and objectification?

It’s just a thought.

Personally, I found Ken Clausen’s portion of the campaign a lot more compelling:


My only problem with the Clausen commercial is that Warrior calls the Coxswain the “first athletically inspired boat shoe“. I’m pretty sure anyone who sails competitively would tell you that ALL real sailing shoes are athletically inspired, because sailing is a sport. But I digress.

Overall, Clausen’s was much better, but it has only a fraction of the views that the boobs video does on Youtube. Taking that into account, maybe Warrior really isn’t to blame here just because they put this stuff out there…

Perhaps WE are all to blame for watching it. Perhaps I am to blame for writing about it. Or maybe no one is to blame, because nothing bad has happened.

I’ve laid my $.02 on the line… so what do YOU think about Warrior’s Coxswain Commerical?


  1. They’re embarrassing themselves, but more importantly they’re an embarrassment to lacrosse players everywhere. When other companies like STX and Maverik are making an effort to promote the sport in a positive light, Warrior continually brings us back two steps. Like we need any more negative attention and reasons for the general public to think that lacrosse players are a bunch of clowns.

  2. Connor,

    I’ll admit – I originally thought that the media was going a little overboard over the perceived racism in the NinjaPlease campaign – especially considering Warrior’s historical use of Ninja’s/Samuri in their old commercial spots.

    But then i saw the AdWork that came out from them afterwards – the “gettin’ lucky” references  in their Irish dyed head, the dubious naming of their Boat Shoe (like, really, you couldn’t have picked any other part of sailing/sailboats?), and now this ad spot – and i’m on board.

    Warrior makes – arguably – the highest quality products in the game.  They have one of the best backers in New Balance to help them come up with innovative products.  They have a stranglehold on 1 of 2 professional leagues (arguably the more visable league – especially to an American audience). Their work to join Liverpool & beef up their hockey line can’t be understated.  I don’t think their ad lines on those 2 sides of their products display nearly the same image as the ads for our sport. 

    Why do they feel a need to marginalize their products with racist, sexist, psuedo-frat-boy (no offense meant to the many legitimate fraternities out there, spoken by a former-fraternity member myself) inspired marketing campaigns?

    If i was a business owner – I’d not stand for it.

  3. You would think after the backlash of the Ninja Please campaign, Warrior would stick to something more traditional. I find all their lacrosse ads offensive. Look at their @warriorkicks twitter picture. The only shoe is in the bottom right corner: hardly noticeable. I use Facebook for my job and had to unfollow them due to racy content. It is odd, like @bsigmund90 says, that they are classy with their other sports, including one of the biggest sports franchises in the world, but choose to be borderline with lacrosse, a sport that is still recovering, in my opinion, from a negative connotation. I would much rather support Maverik and Epoch than every buying Warrior/Brine. 

    •  I think there’s a tasteful, tactful difference between appreciating the genuine beauty in fit, attractive women vs. turning them into sexual objects/using them to make sophomoric euphemisms in commercials.  I won’t lie – I got warrior’s lookbook last year & the twitter photo you’re referring was a poster inside the book & it ended up being a poster that made it onto my wall. Pretty girl, nice summer scenery, cool shoe – why not put that up?

      I just think that with this ad, Warrior, once again, took a giant leap over the wrong side of the line. 

  4. The people who keep coming up with these ad campaign ideas at Warrior need to be fired.  The “lax bro” image that turns people away from the sport is something that needs to be changed.  Companies like Adrenaline are trying to move away from the stereotype by telling kids that they are lacrosse players (there is a difference) and to stop being the traditional lax bros that have gotten a bad reputation for not caring about anything and getting involved in nefarious activity.  After they drew flak for the “Ninja Please” campaign, I definitely thought that Warrior would start to try and stay under the radar for a while and make some more tasteful advertisements to bring their public image back up.  It seems that whatever message that Jovan Miller and the rest of their critics tried to send last time around didn’t stick and they just don’t care.  Needless to say, I will not be buying any more Warrior lacrosse gear from here on out.

  5. They are obviously marketing to the teen/pre-teen demographic with ads like this. Right or wrong, Warrior wouldn’t be marketing this way if it didn’t work, and keep in mind that this has been their marketing technique for at least a decade.  While I do believe Warrior should change their approach, we, as the lacrosse playing community, would be better served to focus on changing the culture of the players of the game.  Focus more on the push away from the “Bro” mentality and what can be done to grow the game rather than exclude others from the game. 

    That said, the “Captain” Ken Clausen ad was far superior, and it would appear that Warrior invested more money into his version of the ad, the other is the “shocking internet only” version meant to create a stir.

  6. To be perfectly honest, whilst this article raises very good points (and I can see why wouldn’t like it because it possibly plays up to the “frat boy”) I do think this article is born out of extremely sensitive public disposition. All to often companies have to tip toe around facts of life to avoid offending a sensitive audience. The press is constantly tells us to be offended at the slightest thing even if its tongue in cheek. So do I think it portrays lacrosse in a bad light, not really, like you said a tonne of other companies do it. What bugs me is the lack of originality. It’s screenplay must have been: Shoe in various situations most of which the shoe will never see in real life, information on shoe, woman in bra holding shoe. <— Distinctly lacking in flare, creativity and originality. Now, I'm no director but if they took any of those points to the extreme it would have been vastly more entertaining. Had they managed to weave, subtly, Kelly Brook on the back of a flaming motorcycle the overall result would have been much more engaging. 

    Moving on to the point of Warrior producing sexcentric adverts. Warrior whilst having a eight of its ten fingers in the lacrosse pie it has ventured in to other areas, such as Liverpool football club. Being from the UK, (cue general sweeping statement to which an overly sensitive public would take offence to) football fans or soccer fans on the whole aren't that forward thinking, I'm not saying they aren't intelligent, I'm merely saying that they would be much more receptive to an advert with boobs in it and for a company thats looking to grow that might be a good thing for them. 

    Also, I may have missed something here but aren't the Ninja Please campaign and the Coxswain campaign just representing their line of shoes. Is there any link other than Ken Clausen to lacrosse? They might have just used Ken Clausen because he was the most attainable athlete and to appeal to their largest demographic. In truth anyone that isn't schooled in lacrosse isn't going to know that it's just a guy. My point is the people that might be judging and stereotyping lacrosse based on this advert won't see the link between the shoe and the sport. Of course they could assume that there is a link because Warrior also make lacrosse products but I refer to my point that Warrior have two of their fingers in the football and ice hockey pies to and based on that logic you would have to come to the same conclusions about those sports too. 

    Conclusion: Not particularly clever advert but ultimately nothing to be offended over and as for previous campaigns, take it with a pinch of salt it's tongue in cheek lighten up etc.

    • great comment. Like you and I both said, this type of marketing is abundant. It’s why I posed it as more of a question than a straight up condemnation.

      Thanks for your insightful comment… it’s a 100% valid point of view. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I think the proof is in the pudding. On what looks like a very small budget, they managed to get a ton of mileage out of a video. It might be unoriginal, but let’s face it, it’s achieved its goals- convey the shoe’s features/benefits and drive awareness. You might not like it, but for a guerilla marketing campaign, it seems to be working. Kudos to Warrior. I agree it could be more original, but it looks like it was shot on the cheap and has now almost 13K views. 

  8. This commercial is completely wrong. Not only is it a poorly made commercial it is an insult to women. Unfortunately girls are completely numb to the media making women into sex symbols and most girls wouldn’t think twice about this ad. The problem is that they later approach life thinking that boobs will make them more liked. This also is the same for wanting to be skinnier, straighter hair etc.. We don’t know how much it effects us but it does!! 

    Girls sports help to empower and develop strong, confident women. If warrior was truly out for the best intrest of the sport they would respect the women athlete. This commercial basically makes the women and the shoe on the same level. That is just a mess. I think these Ad men should be ashamed of themselves and their lameness is felt on all levels. USE YOUR POWER FOR GOOD!!!!