HSNi and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville are teaming up for the biggest merchandising and marketing initiative in recent memory for the multichannel retailer — and it’s not just for people who like piña coladas.
Buffett, whose hits include “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville,” has become as well known for his music as his merchandise. The brand, which will be sold via HSNi properties HSN, Frontgate and Travelsmith, features a wide-ranging assortment of apparel, beauty, home, electronics, tabletop and culinary products. It will launch on July 3.
“With Margaritaville, [Jimmy Buffett] created an entire movement and it’s become a lifestyle brand,” said Bill Brand, president of HSN and chief marketing officer of HSNi, who recently attended a Buffett concert in Tampa. “The crowd was crazy and so excited. The key is that it’s a lifestyle with a passionate fan base. I looked around the concert and I saw 35-year-old-plus people with disposable income who love this whole Margaritaville world.”
Brand said the offerings will include fashion for women and men, “which is a new thing. We’re working with his licensing and product development people. It’s definitely our most ambitious brand launch in recent memory. We just launched Sigrid Olsen, but that’s just fashion. This is going to be a big launch but it’s sustainable. We’re constantly going to be developing product and will refresh constantly.”
HSNi will “capture the entire experience” of being immersed in Buffett’s world. “It’s this idea of closing your eyes and escaping to paradise. You’ll hear his music, which we’ll certainly be able to use. It takes you away.”
For the live launch on HSN, special sets, including one with a swimming pool for outdoor entertaining, will set the scene. “There will be great dresses and cover-ups,” Brand said. “We’ll have a fashion set to bring to life apparel and accessories.”
The Margaritaville brand and Buffett have a certain nostalgia factor. The brand’s tag line is “A state of mind since 1977.” There are Margaritaville TV, hotels, resorts and vacation clubs. Buffett has restaurants in Atlantic City and as far afield as Australia. He manufactures everything from furniture to footwear to skis.
Tamara Baldanza, chief marketing officer at Margaritaville, said Buffett’s popularity hasn’t waned and neither has his empire. “We’ve got 55 million people we talk to through restaurants, casinos and Sirius XM radio. We’ve got so much to offer. This is the first time we put it all in one place no matter what [the consumer’s] latitude.”
In addition to Buffett’s fans, the HSNi deal will introduce the brand to a new customer, Baldanza said. “We pride ourselves on having something for everyone.”
Will Buffett himself make an appearance on HSN? “The godfather?” Baldanza said. “He’s busy being Jimmy. No promises. But you’ll definitely hear his music.”