North Sails

Founded in 1957 by Lowell North, an American sailor, engineer and Olympic gold medalist, North Sails started life by developing pioneering and innovative technologies to allow sailors to explore the oceans and succeed in both amateur and competitive sailing.

Today Lowell North’s inspiration lives on in North Sails Apparel and the motto “Go Beyond”, designed for people to focus on what’s important for them – taking on the sea or just navigating modern life in style.

Sustainability and brand purpose

A core purpose of the North Sails brand is to support initiatives to conserve the ocean and marine life for future generations to explore and enjoy. The business contributes 1% of revenues to ocean conservation through the Ocean Family Foundation, uses sustainable and recycled fabrics and other near zero emission materials and plays a part in raising awareness of issues related to ocean conservation and sustainability in a bid to reduce the use of disposable plastic.

To support North Sails’ mission, the brand partnered with TranslateMedia to ensure that their website content, marketing campaigns and philanthropic initiatives could be adapted for use in different markets with the right approaches to localisation and transcreation to successfully communicate the brand’s ethical purpose to global audiences.

“Free the Sea” campaign

A key feature of the brand’s commitment to sustainability is to create sustainable products, and thus the brand produced a collection of T-shirts made entirely from Recovered Blue©, an innovative new yarn created from 100% up-cycled cotton and recycled PET bottles as part of a campaign which they called “Free the Sea”. The products also carry awareness raising prints.

North Sails also partnered with influencers like Ocean Ramsey, a marine biologist and shark conservationist with a large social media following, and 60 other influencers in the fields of conservation, lifestyle, travel and fashion, to shed a light on the issue of plastic pollution in the oceans.

TranslateMedia was selected as North Sails’ preferred language service provider in order to support the campaign and we worked together on the creative brief, selecting a team of linguists with expertise in working with outdoor apparel brands and a passion for adventure activities to work on the project. A key goal of the project was to ensure tone-of-voice consistency across markets and to capture and convey the emotive spirit of the source text – creating compelling stories to foster brand loyalty and help North Sails customers feel confident about their choices.

Once the ideal team of linguists had been selected, TranslateMedia helped North Sails Apparel localize every aspect of the campaign messaging for audiences in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Germany and France – working across various channels and formats including eCommerce, social media, print and video.

The additional exposure afforded by the localized assets allowed the campaign to be picked up by a large number of popular publications in each target market including Italian GQ, Vogue and la Repubblica, DIE WELT in Germany, MARCA – the Spanish national daily and more – accompanied by a huge number of high-quality backlinks to the North Sails Apparel website which allowed it to boost its SEO efforts.

“The TranslateMedia team is very dedicated and we’re impressed with the quality of their work. They work closely with the North Sails Collection team to localize and optimize the campaigns across the various countries and channels. Their easy-to-use workflow to submit, review and deliver translations ensures fast delivery – allowing us to meet our tight deadlines.” – Koen Ouwens, North Sails.

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