Gibson has an axe to grind at CES 2015—and for once, it’s not one of its iconic electric guitars. Indeed, it’s eager to let consumer know it’s evolving beyond being “just” a guitar brand with a product unveiling on Monday announcing its arrival in the consumer electronics space.
The brand has been rocking the free world since 1902, when Orville Gibson started hand-crafting mandolins and guitars in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since then, a who’s who of rock stars have used the famed guitars, including Neil Young, Billie Joe Armstrong, Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, The Edge, Jerry Garcia, Woody Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix and more. But now, 113 years in, the company is expanding its vision beyond instruments and into health and lifestyle.
Back in December, CEO Henry Juszkiewicz told Marketplace that Gibson was about much more than guitars while announcing that they would be getting into the headphone business. “We are in the music business, not just one segment,” Juszkiewicz said.[more]
That’s why at CES 2015, Gibson is launching a new lifestyle brand with the official introduction of the Trainer by Gibson headphones. The product is aimed specifically at fitness and athletic buffs who love music (and who doesn’t work out to music?), and was developed with six-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt and Onkyo.
— Gibson Guitar (@gibsonguitar) January 8, 2014
“Gibson Brands is an innovation powerhouse in the music industry. We have a full portfolio of brands that span every step of the chain, from the musician’s hands to the listener’s heart,” Juszkiewicz states in a press release.
“Trainer by Gibson brings the power of music to motivate and enhance life experiences for fitness enthusiasts in a way that was not possible before this product. The product brings style, safety, convenience and great sound to help people reach their fitness goals.”
Bolt is more than a brand ambassador—he helped develop the new product line, according to the brand. The fastest man on earth, whose other brand endorsements include Virgin and Nissan, points out in Gibson’s press release that music is essential to his own training and fitness routine.
The headphones include a light for nighttime runs, “climate regulating cushions with cutting-edge NASA space technology fabric,” weather and sweat resistance, 10 hours of battery life, and Bluetooth connectivity. Look for them in stores and online in April for $239 a pop.
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