Elvis scored a hit for American Crew. Now the company is investing in keeping his music and style alive.
Last year American Crew released a special-edition of six of its classic styling products with custom labels featuring various images of the singer. The Revlon-owned brand extends it support through sponsorship of Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship’s weeklong tribute to Presley.
“Elvis is such an iconic figure — not just a rock star. His pompadour is so relevant to men’s grooming and style,” said David Raccuglia, American Crew’s founder.
The event, Music Makes an Artist, Style Makes an Icon, will take place from April 3rd through April 7th, at Berklee’s Boston campus. A series of showcases, discussions, guest speakers and educational experiences will celebrate Presley’s musical and cultural legacy, and introduce new generations to his work. There will even be complimentary makeovers to get the Elvis look. The week culminates with a Singers Showcase, featuring vocals by Berklee’s a capella group Pitch Slapped and 10 of Berklee’s student vocalists performing Elvis classics.
“We wanted to do something special to commemorate 40 years since his passing. We thought collaborating with Berklee, one of the finest music schools, continues his legacy with younger generation of musician. There are some younger musicians who don’t know who he is,” explained Raccuglia.
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The company is making a $100,000 donation to sponsor the event and create an American Crew scholarship in Presley’s honor. “We’re bringing Elvis into their lives with this scholarship,” Raccuglia said.
Based on American Crew’s recent growth, the Presley items appear to have resonated with shoppers. According to IRI data for the 52-week period ended January 22, 2017, American Crew sales in drugstores advanced 26 percent. And that only represent a portion of the brand’s retail distribution.
“The men’s category is very strong and men’s grooming is at an all-time high,” Raccuglia said. “It is one of the fastest-growing segments in the beauty industry.”
American Crew has built its foundation in over the past 20 years. “We are reaping the benefits of our efforts. Men are passionate about their grooming products and they’ll admit it is cool to groom,” Raccuglia said.
Retailers are turning more space over to men’s while the professional industry is borrowing from the past with vintage-style barber shops. In that vein, American Crew just launched a Heavy Hold Pomade, which is “Elvis relevant,” said Raccuglia. “It is a throwback to old school pomades which hold those gravity defying pompadours straight up. It coincided nicely with the Elvis Presley campaign,” added.
The collection bearing Presley’s image, available throughout the year, includes Fiber, Pomade, Forming Cream, Grooming Cream, Molding Clay and Defining Paste. The 3-ounce puck-style packages retail for $17.95 and are available at salons nationwide.