by John Russel Jones

Today, leading sports retailer Lids unveiled its new advertising campaign – “Make Them Look” – spotlighting emerging Black talent through a collaborative creative lens.

With this campaign, Lids is leaning into its decades-long basketball roots by highlighting five emerging Atlanta-based creators – stylist and designer Charlie Chuck, sneaker enthusiast Kayla G., digital content creator Kaylyn, digital content creator Ranen Turner, and creative director and stylist Zoe Dupree – who personify Lids at the intersection of sports and streetwear. Each creator was given the freedom to design their own looks and stylistic design for their portion of the campaign.

To bring this campaign to life, Lids partnered with notable photographer and videographer, Cam Kirk. As the founder of Cam Kirk Studios and Collective Gallery, the first ever record label-style company for photographers, Kirk has turned his passion into a creative community that continuously creates opportunities for others, including paving a way forward for underrepresented communities. He’s photographed and produced work for some of hip-hop’s biggest artists, including Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, and more. Kirk brought his signature collaborative style to working with the featured talent of this campaign on the creative conception and ultimate execution to ensure new and existing Lids consumers can see themselves represented.

“Working with Lids on this campaign was an amazing experience,” said Kirk. “We got to photograph a true streetwear story using real streetwear fans. I was always a big jersey collector growing up, so it was extra special for me to now shoot a campaign for some of my favorite sports jerseys! I also love working on campaigns and with brands that allow me to bring my own authentic style to set and this shoot I was able to do exactly that.”

This campaign, created by award-winning advertising agency Chemistry, will be featured across hundreds of Lids retail stores throughout the U.S. and through its corresponding digital platforms. In addition to highlighting the creators’ social handles within the campaign to draw even more attention to them, Lids will also feature the five creators in a docuseries produced with Kirk across the company’s social media channels this summer.

“Our team at Lids is honored to work with such a talented group of rising creators who are leaving a unique mark within their communities and beyond,” said Michael Curmi, VP of Marketing at Lids. “Beyond this campaign, we will continue to elevate the voices, style, and creative input of our community year-round so that our consumers always see themselves when shopping at Lids.”

The campaign also highlights Lids’ vast assortment of new and existing NBA team jerseys found across their thousands of retail stores across the U.S. and internationally. This includes a reimagined Toronto Raptors jersey, combining elements of historical reference points to create something brand new. The new jersey is now available in Lids stores, including its Locker Room concept stores, throughout the country as well as online at starting. Beyond the NBA, Lids also sells jerseys and apparel across the NFL, MLB, NHL, and more.

Lids is committed to making a positive impact in the communities that it serves and recognizing the legacy of those who have left an impression in the sports and lifestyle space. Earlier this year, Lids launched the “They Gave Us Game” initiative, which honors three historic Black sports institutions – The Negro Leagues Museum, Black Fives, and Harlem Globetrotters – through a first-ever year-round retail partnership.

As part of the initiative, a portion of the proceeds from the collections goes toward the Lids Foundation. In June, the Lids Foundation announced a $50,000 donation, stemming from the They Gave Us Game proceeds, going toward the opening of one-of-a-kind, generational project within the new Mace’s Lane Community Center in Dorchester County, Maryland that is designed to honor the history of the African American educational experience in Cambridge.