NEW YORK — Champion rolled out its new women’s performance athleticwear line, O2Cool, for a crowd of about 8,000 at Disney’s Minnie Marathon Weekend.
The line was unveiled in four fashion shows at the May 5-6 event sponsored by Lady Foot Locker in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Members of the Orlando Magic Dancers and Dawna Stone, a recent winner on “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” show, modeled the high-performance gear.
Susan Tregoning, marketing manager of the women’s division of Champion, said the line of sports bras, T-shirts, shorts, pants and jackets of micro Meryl and Lycra spandex was “designed by the women at Champion for women.”
“We do a lot of consumer marketing and moisture management, staying cool and dry, was the number-one benefit women want,” Tregoning said.
She noted that O2Cool features fast-dry applications that are inherent in the fabrics, and special treatments such as venting mesh at the back of sports bras and Ts, and under the arm of jackets. Sports bras feature antimicrobial liners, Tregoning noted.
She added that compression shorts are rendered with a 7-inch seam to “cover the inner thigh,” an important detail for consumers with fuller figures.
“The target consumer is 18 to 49, definitely the fitness enthusiast who appreciates performance benefits,” Tregoning said. “But the line is very cute and young, and we think it will gain more consumers because of that.”
Merchandise is scheduled to be in stores in early June and will be supported by an e-mail marketing campaign that will coordinate playlist tunes recommended by fitness experts. The idea will be for friends to e-mail each other about the new products and download the tunes to iPods, she said.
In addition to Lady Foot Locker, distribution is aimed at major department stores, including Bloomingdale’s, and sporting goods chains such as the Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Suggested retail for shorts is $30, for jackets, $45, and for T-shirts, $25 and $28. A cut-and-sew sports bra will sell for $36 and a seamless number will be $34. Colors are bright purple, tropical pink, navy and periwinkle.
As for Champion’s connection with Disney, Tregoning said, “Disney has been a great partner. We are sponsors of the ’05-06 Disney Marathons in January, which pull in 30,000 runners. We provide the runners with shirts. So, Disney approached us with this opportunity and it’s been a great match for us.”