New Balance: Global domination

How we helped New Balance enjoy £1m increased revenue and launch their affiliate programme globally

For those with only 30 seconds, this is what we achieved

  • YoY affiliate channel performance increased revenue by £1million
  • Reduced average cost per acquisition from 15% to 7%
  • Increased order active partners by 26%
  • Reduced average platform costs from 25% to 13% 
  • Over 12,000 new email subscribers from partner competitions

Who is the client and why did they come to us?

Client: New Balance

Industry: Sport

Territory focus:: Global

Target customers: Young sports enthusiasts

New Balance is one of the world’s major performance and lifestyle manufacturers, founded in 1906. The brand was expanding its affiliate programme into ten new territories, with scalable expansion crucial to success. 

Going global meant a re-assessment of the existing strategy, a review of partnerships and careful delegation of time. The New Balance team made it clear they wanted an agency to manage the expansion and drive incremental value alongside it. With team Silverbean’s expertise in launching affiliate programmes in new territories, we had the critical knowledge and experience New Balance needed for a hugely successful international launch.

So, what did we do?

Laying the foundations

Before making any big decisions, we carried out a full audit of the brand’s existing UK affiliate partner programme. The transition to a multi-country channel called for a number of strategic changes; we approached the transition tactically so we could set our sights on long-term success, not just quick wins.

Consolidating networks & fees

Our first move was to migrate all UK partners from two networks to one, which created a more streamlined approach and enabled us to take advantage of our gold level partner status with one of the UK’s leading affiliate networks. During the migration, we renegotiated all existing network contracts to reduce the override paid, and established network SLAs to be followed going forward.

Keeping CPA under control

The commission structure also needed attention. The average cost per acquisition (CPA) sat at 9-15% – far too high – and was eating into product margins. By taking a critical approach to partner performance, we introduced some restrictions on the CPA to ensure the brand was not overpaying. This set the right foundations for global market expansion; we set boundaries with an established affiliate network to CPA, which served as a strong basis for the programme’s launch in nine new territories.

Going global

With a solid programme foundation built, we added Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands to our management remit. As part of the global expansion, we worked closely with the merchandising teams in each territory to gain a better understanding of business needs and how the affiliate channel could support.

Geo-targeted promotions

We ran exclusive promotions on high stock products, supported end of season sale (EOSS) launches in all countries, launched seasonal promotions including Cyber Week, Christmas Countdown and more. Team Silverbean also introduced leading partners in each market to ensure a strong mix of order active partners by utilising our 3 As approach: Acquire, Activate & Amplify partners.

What outcomes were achieved?

From a comprehensive audit to global penetration, New Balance YoY revenue growth topped £1million. This, paired with a budget maximisation strategy, led to a super-low cost of sale.

We boosted revenue, reduced CPA and increased orders, all while overseeing the brand’s affiliate partner programme expansion into ten new countries – no mean feat!

The affiliate channel’s year over year performance increased revenue by £1million, and reduced the cost of sale to an average of 7% from 15% by introducing an affiliate group centric commission structure. 

Our work to recruit new partners – on a global scale – led to a 26% boost in order-active partners. By leveraging our relationship with key networks, we reduced average network costs from 25% to 13% of sales value!

If you are inspired by this case study and want to get more from your current affiliate programme, book your free affiliate programme audit.

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