NEW YORK — From athletes pulling power trips to corporate giants eyeing alternative sports brands for marketing ideas, the activewear sector is abuzz.

The Summer Games in Athens are still months away, but Fila-sponsored Kim Clijsters has already said she won’t compete unless she can wear her favorite brand. Adidas is the official sponsor of her Belgian team. The feisty tennis star might give others the same corporate-minded idea, but executives at Nike and Reebok aren’t sweating it. Both companies declined to comment, since the situation hasn’t come up for them, yet.

Count on lesser-known labels that specialize in action sports to fire up some red-hot marketing ideas. Etnies, for one, has partnered with the city of Lake Forest, Calif., to develop a $3 million three-acre skateboard park that opens Dec. 13 and will be free of charge to visitors.

Another company giving off a philanthropic feel is Carve Designs, a new online store that caters to surfers. Visitors are encouraged to check out upcoming surfing events, chat about the sport and learn how they can help clean up the ocean and beaches.

Considering one in four teenagers participates in action sports, Flo, a new free “multizine” — a CD, DVD and magazine that magnifies skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and other adrenaline-inducing activities — could just be right on the mark. Adidas, Vans and Op have already ponied up some ads for the zine, which is distributed to 60,000 people monthly.

In February, Equinox Energywear, a 17-store chain, will team up with Jef Grübb to call in a few big-name models and DJs for a rocking fashion show at Equinox’s new blue chip health club at the prestigious Time Warner development at Columbus Circle here.

With musicians carrying more design clout than pro athletes, look for more activewear companies to tie on to thescene. The founders of Warriors have teamed up with a Seattle-based band called “Band Vibes” to create a clothing line called “Brand Vibes.” Three of the four band members moonlight for Four Star, Paul Frank and Fox, and are stepping out on their own for the first time. A Web site is being set up with scads of new video clips and pictures of the band.

To access this article, click here to subscribe or to log in.

To Read the Full Article

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus