Getting a Kick Out of Fashion

Leading football clubs around the world, like other sports organizations, have been forging deals with design labels for fashion-forward apparel collections. Some of the examples in the second half of this year:

  • Manchester United paired with True Religion for a line of premium denim for women and men, along with a future junior’s range, sold through the club’s shops and both partners’ e-commerce sites. Man U also worked with Paul Smith on a capsule accessories collection that marked the 10-year anniversary of Smith creating the club’s on-field kits and sidelines apparel. Items include cufflinks, wool scarves, ties, wallets, notebooks, and electronic device covers.
  • Paris St. Germain collaborated with A Bathing Ape (BAPE) to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Tokyo design label’s first Paris store. The sweatshirts, t-shirts, outerwear, and accessories—13 pieces in all—feature the camouflage print often integrated into BAPE’s designs, PSG’s colors, and the logos of both. PSG also partnered with Indian designer Manish Arora for a capsule to be sold in China and India in February 2019, as well as with Koché earlier in 2018.
  • AC Milan forged its third collaboration with Diesel, which is the official fashion partner of the club and designs its on-field uniform. The new capsule collection replicates the label’s off-field apparel for the players and staff and makes it available for fans. The 10 pieces include hoodies, nylon jackets, t-shirts, blazers, and polo shirts in black and red.
  • Liverpool Football Club teamed with Levi’s, its new official denim partner, for a capsule collection consisting of t-shirts, western shirts, jackets, and jeans with subtle LFC branding. The items are sold in Liverpool’s online and physical stores and can be shipped across Europe.
  • The L.A. Galaxy debuted a collection with Port of Long Beach Capsule (LBC), available at the game venue and the label’s boutique in an effort timed to the 2018 World Cup Finals in July. Pieces included tracksuits, canvas jackets, and printed t-shirts.

For the European football clubs, these collaborations are part of ongoing efforts to expand their international fan bases. All of these team-centric partnerships also fit into a recent pattern of soccer-related fashion initiatives—including in the U.S. market—illustrated by the raft of World Cup capsule collections earlier this year or the growing number of football-inspired lifestyle brands on the market globally. They also reflect broader licensing trends that pair sport and fashion, including the U.S. leagues signing higher-end, fashion-driven apparel licensees and athletes forging deals for suits and other fashion categories.

Raugust Communications’ December e-newsletter, the last of 2018, comes out tomorrow, December 18. The Licensing Trend of the Month examines how retailers have been acquiring licensed intellectual property, and what that might mean for the licensing business. The Datapoint research spotlight highlights celebrity branding strategies. If you do not yet subscribe to this free publication, you can sign up here.

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