luxury watch

Frigo is Talking Men's Underwear, and You Should Probably Listen

Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2013 02:38 PM

One of the entrepreneurs behind the TempurPedic foam-mattress phenomenon is bringing an intriguing new line of expensive men's underwear to America with high-tech appeal, a bevy of Swedish models for marketing purposes, and a stiff price point: $35 to $100.

Frigo by startup RevolutionWear has been designed in Europe to incorporate high-end design with what the company called "superior active support into the silhouette of a boxer brief." It features the Frigo Zone, an adjustable mesh pouch that "provides ultimate support, coupled with the perfect fit."

What does that mean? Think "lift and separate" for men's privates. "It separates your genitals from the rest of your body," CEO Mathias Ingvarsson explained to brandchannel, noting that his specific language came from the patent itself. "It lifts a little bit so [men] feel the comfort."Continue reading...

sporting brands

In China, Under Armour Looks to Brand the Workout Experience

Posted by Kristen Van Nest on October 29, 2013 07:07 PM

Earlier this month, Under Armour introduced a completely different retail concept to the Chinese sporting apparel market—a market that has proven hard to crack even for the most seasoned retail veterans, including Nike and Adidas. But Under Armour's new Shanghai retail theater experience aims to do much more than just sell clothes and sneakers. 

Located in the Jing An Kerry Centre, the store features a 270-degree screen that covers 90 percent of the relatively small boutique, encapsulating store-goes in the sights, sounds and experiences of athletic training—a truly foreign concept in China and greater Asia. 

In China, especially, working out is not a common activity. Seeing joggers is a rarity and oftentimes in the gym, Chinese are seen wearing jeans or leather shoes as opposed to sporting apparel. Sports participation is also low due to lack of time, the single child policy, and limited governmental support to popularize sports. But, there is still huge market potential; after the Beijing Olympic Games, there has been dramatic growth in sporting brands. 

Still, the market has proven difficult, with Nike, Adidas, and others struggling to localize their retail approach to fit the unique needs of Chinese consumers, both young and old. In fact, Nike and Adidas have spent much of their time in the country with a hard focus on building a lifestyle brand around young consumers, capitalizing on consumer trends towards creativity and self-expression. Still, Nike recently saw a three percent decline in its China sales while it experienced an increase in all other geographic locations.Continue reading...

sporting brands

LeBron James Teams With Old Pals Nike and Samsung for NBA Season Opener

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2013 06:33 PM

The NBA season kicks off Tuesday night with the defending champion Miami Heat versing the Chicago Bulls, and if LeBron James' latest Nike ad has anything to say about it, it seems that James is feeling pretty carefree heading into another season.

The new TV commercial, titled "Training Day," follows James riding his bike through the streets of Miami, all along collecting a troupe of neighborhood kids like a scene out of Rocky II.

James, wearing his new LeBron XI shoes, is seen heading to the arena to practice some shots, the beach for a swim, and ending at the playground to play some pickup with the kids.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Coach Stretches Itself Thin with Brand Extensions as Sales Continue to Fall

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 23, 2013 04:41 PM

The brand graveyard is littered with those that have lost their way, primarily because they try to change who they are and what they stand for. As any brand marketer knows, it is exceedingly difficult to change the perception of an established brand.

Coach is a good example of that difficulty. Once renowned for its leather goods, the luxury brand has made a concerted effort this year to reinvent itself as a lifestyle brand with broader appeal beyond its signature wallets and handbags. The company has introduced an array of products, including footwear, women's apparel, jewelry, sunglasses, and watches. In an attempt to gain the attention of men, Coach even brought to market a luxury baseball glove with accompanying bat in July. (The bat has since been discontinued.) That gambit, at least, seems to be paying off, as sales of men's accessories—bags, driving gloves, and even alligator-wrapped flasks—have increased by 25 percent, according to Bloomberg Businessweek

Unfortunately, the men's line has been about the only bright spot for the company. North America same-store sales dropped nearly 7 percent in the three months to September 28, and the company said to expect a similar skid through the end of the fiscal year, which closes in June 2014. Ironically, Coach continues to move its discounted handbags at its outlet stores, which account for 60 percent of North American sales (double the sales from seven years ago), according to Quartz. Of course, that simply reinforces the fact that Coach is really a one-product brand.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Coca-Cola Launches DRx Collection as Licensed Apparel Boosts Brand Equity

Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 01:33 PM

Coca-Cola is having trouble peddling soft drinks, but its licensed-apparel business is booming. And its new high-end "Coca-Cola by DRx" collection of vintage clothing designed by "Dr." Darren Romanelli will add to the momentum of that aspect of the Coke brand.

Coke's worldwide sales of licensed goods rose by 16 percent last year and is projected to grow by another 10 percent this year, a boom that began with a 56-percent hike in 2011, Kate Dwyer, Coca-Cola's group director of worldwide licensing, told brandchannel. Apparel now represents more than half of that business compared with just 20 percent a few years ago.

"It's huge momentum driven by the power of our brand," Dwyer said. "It fuels new opportunities. And we've got the right partnerships in place to continue that growth."Continue reading...

fashion week

Ahead of iPhone 5S Launch, Apple Shoots London Fashion Week for Burberry

Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 18, 2013 02:49 PM

Prior to the official launch of the company's newest iPhone models, the 5S and 5C, this Friday, Apple showed off the 5S' photographic and video capabilities at London Fashion Week.

Burberry used the iPhone 5S to snap photos of models and celebs and take exclusive video during and after its high-profile fashion show, and even streamed video of the show, which, the company claims, was shot with the native app on the new device. It also highlighted the 5S' slow-motion capabilities in an Instagram post and depicted a sketch coming to life via Vine

It wasn't just fashion-lovers who were watching; Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom and Facebook ad sales head Andrew Bosworth were in the audience, according to TechCrunch. In fact, the partnership generated so much social buzz that some suggested it helped bump Apple's stock price.Continue reading...

ad watch

Gap Goes Back to TV for 'Back to Blue' Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 16, 2013 01:45 PM

Following a four-year hiatus, Gap is returning to TV to tout its latest campaign—called Back To Blue—with two videos, underscoring the brand's recent turnaround. Gap sales have steadily risen for six consecutive quarters, placing it in the best performance leaderboard position for an apparel company in the Standard & Poor 500 Retailing Index this year.

The TV campaign is the linchpin of its "back to school"-timed campaign, which is its biggest to date. The three-screen strategy includes digital and social elements across its websites and social media channels (including the hashtag #backtoblue and videos via Twitter's Vine), as well as in-store digital engagement via partner Styld.by. The "Back to Blue" TV ads feature youthful renditions of Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are," performed by the singer's daughter Alexa Ray Joel, as well as George Harrison's "For You Blue," which is performed by his son, Dhani Harrison. 

"The entire Back to Blue campaign embodies what it means to be comfortable in your own skin," said Gap CMO Seth Farbman, in a press release. "As a brand that is known for expressing itself through sight, sound and motion, we wanted to bring this idea to life through the voices of two individuals who are recognized for staying true to who they want to be."Continue reading...

sporting brands

Adidas Loses Big UK Athletic Sponsorship to Rival Nike

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2013 07:14 PM

Adidas has been the sponsor of the United Kingdom’s athletic teams since 2005, but no longer. The long-time sponsor lost its contract to who else but its arch rival, Nike, which inked a sever-year deal reportedly worth upwards of $23 million, rumored to be double what Adidas bid. 

So while the UK's track and field athletes will be wearing Nike gear when the world championships are held in London in 2017, the teams will still don Adidas-branded apparel for the 2016 Rio Olympics, which has its own sponsorship deal with the company. 

Adidas knows all too well how crucial sponsorships are to its business. After it outfitted Olympic runner Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics, where he went on to win four medals, the brand took off. The deal however does make life a bit easier and less confusing for a handful of British athletes such as distance runner Mo Farah, who has donned Nike shoes but an Adidas singlet in his races, according to Runner's World.Continue reading...

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