Foot Locker partners with rapper Flo Milli for new "Start with Sneakers" ad campaign

The global sportswear and footwear retailer recruited one of rap's up-and-coming female artists in Flo Milli for their recent social campaign.
Benny The Butcher "Everybody Can't Go" Album Release Party
Benny The Butcher "Everybody Can't Go" Album Release Party / Prince Williams/GettyImages

With over 2,500 retail locations worldwide, Foot Locker is a leading force when it comes to an extensive selection of footwear, clothing, and sports apparel. You know you’re at a Foot Locker when you see their trademark employees in what resembles referee uniforms. The brand does its best to keep up to date with the latest trends, and their latest advertising campaign is a testament to that. In fact, Foot Locker has gone out and recruited one of rap’s budding young female artists in 24-year-old Flo Milli.

Renowned hip-hop magazine took note of Flo Milli’s potential in the rap game as she was selected to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class, a list that raises awareness for artists who are slowly making their name up the ranks. Considering the list has included some of rap’s finest including Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Future, 21 Savage, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg — it’s clear making an appearance on an XXL Freshman Class list means you join elite company.

The artist known for her 2023 viral single, “Never Lose Me”, peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and also appeared atop several international charts. March 2024 marked the arrival of Flo Milli’s second studio album titled Fine Ho, Stay, which received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. Nevertheless, there’s no denying Flo Milli is a solid artist to jumpstart a new campaign for Foot Locker, considering her appeal to the younger demographic, which largely makes up Foot Locker’s clientele.

In their string of “Start with Sneakers” adverts, Flo Milli is seen conflicted on what to wear, as a second Flo Milli draped in the classic Foot Locker ref uniform tells her “that’s your problem, you know you gotta start with the sneakers!” The advert works it magic as Flo Milli poofs on a wardrobe largely consisting of New Balance products, including their hockey-style jersey, the 1906 silhouette in the “White/Silver/Green” colorway, and the classic 530 model in “White/Silver/Indigo”. Despite rocking New Balance in full force, Flo Milli herself is not endorsed or signed to a sponsorship deal with the Boston-based athletic brand in any capacity. Rather Foot Locker is using their new ad campaign to showcase the New Balance brand to the masses, with Flo Milli as their selected spokesperson.

Flo Milli dazzles in Foot Locker's new "Start with Sneakers" campaign.

Foot Locker have similar campaigns where they’ve used prominent artists in collaboration with large-scale brands. For example, rapper and fellow 2021 XXL Freshman Coi Leray starred in a Foot Locker x Adidas campaign, but these are merely one-off deals organized with Foot Locker and not part of a broader endorsement deal at hand. Be that as it may, this is certainly an effective strategy for Foot Locker as they put a rising pop culture and music prospect front-and-center to help boost promotion and consumer interest. Whether or not Flo Milli signs an endorsement deal with a brand in the future remains to be seen, but her first foray into the world of sneakers looks to be a successful one at that.