AMERICAN EAGLE DEAL WITH ‘ROAD RULES 10’

Byline: Vicki M. Young

NEW YORK — American Eagle Outfitters has entered into an entertainment alliance with Bunim/Murray Productions to be the official wardrobe provider for MTV’s “Road Rules 10,” WWD has learned.
The announcement could come as early as Monday. An American Eagle spokeswoman confirmed that the retailer has been in talks with the entertainment firm. Bunim/Murray executives could not be reached for comment.
The alliance is the specialty retailer’s third deal of this type. As first reported in these columns, the company has an agreement with Dimension Films, the genre film division of Miramax, to be the official wardrobe provider for at least four films. The first, “Boys and Girls,” was released in June 2000 featuring Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani, Jason Biggs and Amanda Detmer. Dimensions productions target the retailer’s demographic targets, those between ages 16 and 34.
American Eagle still has its wardrobe partnership with Columbia TriStar Television as the official wardrober for the hot teen drama “Dawson’s Creek,” an arrangement entered into in 1999.
As in the Columbia TriStar and Dimension Film deals, the Bunim/Murray deal is likely to include either product placement or cross-promotion and advertising campaigns at the retailer’s Web site at http://www.ae.com.
Road Rules will celebrate its 10th anniversary on the air when the new season starts in June. The show has been one of the more popular series on MTV for nine straight years, and is broadcast to over 70 million households in the U.S.
American Eagle hasn’t been the only fashion company looking for innovative ways to cross-merchandise with Hollywood. Tommy Hilfiger Corp. in 1999 partnered with Dimension’s teenage horror flick, “The Faculty,” for which Hilfiger outfitted the cast. Levi Strauss & Co. had a partnership, also in 1999, with MGM’s “The Mod Squad,” where it wardrobed the cast and developed a 1/Mod line for distribution to Levi’s stores and online. Levi’s also had a deal last year with Sony Pictures’ “Whatever It Takes,” where it outfitted the cast with L2 brand products.