Fans of some of The Firm’s biggest clients – which include Limp Bizkit, Korn, Backstreet Boys, and Linkin Park – were not yet born when Pony athletic shoes were at their peak of popularity during the 1970s. The company folded the following decade.

But The Firm has bought the name from the U.K.-based Pentland Group and plans on reviving the shoes and a line of athletic wear, complete with an aggressive ad campaign featuring its roster of youth-oriented artists, according to AdAge magazine.

The trade paper says The Firm intends to build the Pony athletic-wear brand the way it would an emerging band – on the street.

“We want to keep it cool with the kids,” Pony division chief David Schulte told AdAge. “It’s a very under-the-radar map kind of play.”

Labeling the strategy “anti-marketing,” The Firm and Pony reportedly will attract their target market by sponsoring tours featuring its represented artists, such as the Family Values Tour, and urban community events like the Harlem Rucker League, a summer basketball program in New York City.

The re-tooled Pony logo began turning up over the summer in major urban markets, on the backs of Pony T-shirt wearing influential people in urban music clubs and at events. Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit has been sporting the swag recently, and Pony has also bought ad space on bus stop benches.

The Firm launched a music-heavy Web site for Pony that features animated characters papering Pony logos over “NKE Headquarters,” an apparent reference to would-be competitor Nike.

The site features the usual sections, including videos, apparel and news, and includes a link to “Pony Injustices” – but the heavy use of Flash animation presently makes the site unusable by any but those with the fastest Net connections.

According to AdAge, The Firm’s stable of musicians don’t appear to have any direct financial stake in Pony. However the trade mag notes they are instrumental in promoting the brand by wearing the apparel on stage and in public.

“Maybe Pony is leading with a fashion statement first by using these artists, instead of performance,” analyst David Carter of the Sports Business Group told AdAge. “Maybe that’s how they start.”