DHL will be a sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

DHL, the global transport company, has signed with IMG Fashion to be a sponsor of IMG's U.S.-based events, including Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week here next month.

NEW YORK — DHL, the global transport company, has signed with IMG Fashion to be a sponsor of IMG’s U.S.-based events, including Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week here next month.

The sponsorship is part of DHL’s strategy to embrace the $250 billion fashion industry, said Karen M. Jones, senior vice president of corporate and marketing communications at DHL Americas.

“[Fashion] is too large an industry to ignore in terms of shipping and logistics,” she explained. “We’re doing this to build brand awareness and imagery. There’s also the overall revenue potential.”

DHL is replacing UPS in the delivery category.

The company, which has been shipping fashion around the world for years, started an apparel practice in 2006 to target the sector. The company offers fulfillment services, supply-chain management, global sourcing and retail logistics. “Designers are having samples made outside the U.S. and need to get them quickly to the showroom floor,” Jones said. “We’re able to quickly expedite products and services for industries like fashion.”

In addition to having its name connected with fashion week, DHL will have a physical presence at the Bryant Park tents with The Pick-Up Spot, a satellite center for international and domestic shipping where espresso will be served.

“From a branding perspective, we love the cachet that goes along with this industry,” Jones said. “It’s a very sexy, high-profile industry. The interesting thing for us is that while we love the brand prominence and cachet, it makes absolute sense.”

DHL especially liked one of IMG’s new initiatives, which involves bringing a version of fashion week live to six to eight cities this year. The events will be open to consumers, who will have the opportunity to buy tickets. “It will extend our reach to other cities,” Jones said.

DHL’s other global units have been involved with fashion events in Singapore, Australia and India.

The company has a one-year agreement with IMG with an option to renew. Jones said DHL will run fashion-related ads in magazines. There also will be billboards and other outdoor signage in Manhattan. She compared the fashion week sponsorship with DHL’s involvement with Major League baseball and the U.S. Olympic team.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We want to find moments that are meaningful to our target audience,” Jones said. “We want to be aligned with things that provide deeper experiences.”

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