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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...

personal brands

Is This the End of the Tim Tebow Brand? Not Likely

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 4, 2013 05:58 PM

Could it be the end of Tebowmania?

After being cut from the New England Patriot's roster earlier this week, Tim Tebow, the University of Florida football star, 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and creator of a new verb, "Tebowing," has once again watched his short-lived NFL career fall flat. Now a free agent, it seems as the NFL season will kick-off Thurday without its most recent marketing juggernaut—but is this really the end of Tebow the brand?

While Tebow the NFL star has left much to be desired, the handsome, well-spoken QB has done wonders for the NFL and consumer product brands alike both on and off the field, where he has struggled to succeed since his last starting bid with the Denver Broncos. But the marketing phenomenon that is Tim Tebow has long outlasted his career as a first-string quarterback.Continue reading...

brand extensions

InStyle Ventures into Branded Products with Customized Shirts

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 22, 2013 01:44 PM

InStyle is launching its first ever branded product—a shirt, naturally. But it's not just any shirt. The magazine's editors worked directly with the founders of TrioFit, a patented sizing system that sizes a shirt by a woman's bra size, creating a more custom fit than what the usual small, medium and large allows. 

The Time Inc. brand is debuting the new collection, called InStyle Essentials, in its September issue, which will also be the brand's largest issue ever published at a whopping 716 pages. Consumers can already purchase the classic shirt styles online.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

US Retailers Detail Implementation of Controversial Bangladesh Safety Plan

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 21, 2013 12:54 PM

Walmart, Gap and other US retailers met yesterday in Chicago to implement their controversial, independent Bangladesh factory safety plan that was created after multiple factory accidents, including the Rana Plaza collapse in April that claimed more than 1,100 workers, spurred global outrage. 

20 US retailers including Macy's and Target, as well as new signatories Costco, Intradeco Apparel and Jordache Enterprises make up the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The group, which formed a separate safety plan from the European retailer-dominated Accord on Bangladesh Building and Fire Safety, has pledged to have safety standards in place by Sept. 10, and has reportedly already dispursed $45 million in funds in part to hire safety inspection staff in Bangladesh.

The five-year, voluntary plan agrees to train workers and inspect factories while requiring Bangladesh factory owners to pay for safety renovations, though the Alliance will provide $100 million in low-cost loans.

The plan has come under fire due to its non-binding nature—an attribute that was top-of-mind in the European-based agreement, which was signed by over 70 global retailers including H&M, Inditex and Primark.Continue reading...

retail watch

Gap Plans Tumblr Takeover as Part of Greater Omnichannel Retail Strategy

Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 14, 2013 02:22 PM

Gap is launching the biggest marketing campaign in its history—dubbed "Back to Blue"—this fall with a global media push that includes the brand's return to TV after a hiatus since 2009, as well as print and outdoor advertising, social media, in-store promotions and digital marketing. In fact, Gap will be the first brand to take over all mobile ads on Tumblr for one day, August 29.

"Pop culture doesn't really start on TV anymore," Rachel Tipograph, Gap's global director of digital and social media, told Mashable. "Pop culture starts on the Internet. When you think about what community is creating pop culture on the Internet, it's Tumblr."

The Tumblr campaign includes a content creation contest, where the winning work will earn a spot on Gap's Tumblr and be turned into Tumblr mobile ads. There are also nearly 10 "Back to Blue Moments" videos on its YouTube page. 

The impetus for "Back to Blue" is two-fold, according to Seth Farbman, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Gap.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lululemon Has No Interest in Plus-Size Consumers, Insiders Say

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 1, 2013 03:47 PM

Lululemon Athletica is becoming quite the newsmaker. Since the yoga apparel brand made headlines back in March after pulling its proprietary 'luon' yoga pants off shelves due to "sheerness," the company can't seem to stay out of the limelight.

After ousting its chief product officer, losing its CEO and being berated by disappointed customers, the brand is now under fire again for an offense that has become a common topic among today's clothing giants. In an article by The Huffington Post, former Lululemon employees accused the brand of purposely shunning plus-size customers, relegating larger-sized apparel to a "heap" in the backs of stores.

While most of the merchandise was displayed "out on the floor, hung on the walls, or folded neatly in cabinets," larger sizes, such as 10s and 12s, were not stocked on those same shelves, and were rarely offered in the latest styles and prints. "All the other merchandise in the store was kind of sacred, but these were thrown in a heap," former employee Elizabeth Licorish told HuffPost. "It was definitely discriminatory to those who wear larger sizes."Continue reading...

campaigns

Sneaker Envy: Female Fans Launch Campaign to Turn Nike on to Women's Trainers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2013 06:15 PM

Dear Nike: "Somewhere in Swoosh Central, there's been an oversight."

At least that's what sneaker enthusiasts Emily Hodgson and Emilie Riis, founders of Purple Unicorn Planet, think. The pair started the website to showcase all of the cool, "men's only" style sneakers on the market with the hope of influencing companies like Nike to make them in women's sizes. Many shoe companies neglect to create styles that use custom colors, materials or patterns in women's sizes, forcing some to wear sneakers designed for men and others to just lose out.Continue reading...

sustainability

Making Good: Nike Looks to Make a Better World with New Sustainability App

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 9, 2013 11:39 AM

With a commitment to making a "Better World," Nike is determined to produce more environmentally conscious, and sustainably innovative, products. And it's not just looking at its own branded products, either. The sports apparel giant has released a new mobile app (now available for Apple's iOS devices) called Making with the lofty goal of helping designers and the fashion industry (as well as consumers) decide what source materials are the most environmentally responsible.

Using information from the students at London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion as well as the Nike Materials Sustainability Index, the app “ranks materials used in apparel manufacturing in terms of the use of water, types of chemistry, amount of energy and the levels of waste required during production,” Sustainable Business Oregon reports.

"Innovation is in Nike's DNA, and sustainability is an integral part of Nike's design process," said Lee Holman, Nike apparel design VP, in a press release. "We've created the Making app to empower any designer around the world to make better materials choices in the initial stages of the innovation process to ultimately create products that are better for consumers and better for the planet."Continue reading...

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