CHARGING EAST: Like scores of other big-name entities, Juventus Football Club SpA has set its sights Eastward to build licensed product sales in Japan, China and Australia.
After lining up IMG last year to broker licensing deals in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the 120-year-old soccer club has added apparel, gadgets, car accessories and luggage. To try to extend its reach in Japan, the Italian organization will be selling two more apparel lines for women and men, including one imprinted with cartoonish Juventus illustrations early next year. The other will feature specially designed jackets, shirts, sweatshirts and polo shirts. Sales potential is strong, considering the club has a social media reach of nearly 44.8 million. Never mind the followings of players like forward Paulo Dybala, who reportedly gained eight million Instagram followers this year alone.
Fans in Japan will also have the chance to buy branded car accessories such as seat covers, cushions and sun shades, as well as game cards, phone cases, key chains, wallets and mugs. Juventus luggage and other apparel is already sold in China. Marcelo Cordeiro, IMG’s licensing director, said, “The unveiling of Juventus’ new identity and logo presents many exciting opportunities for future and continued brand extension.
These initiatives are the club’s latest efforts to reach its global fan base. “Football is a hugely fast-growing sport in these markets. With Juventus being one of the biggest names in world football, the fan base in Asia and Australia is expanding. The club’s signature black-and-white stripes are instantly recognizable to fans across the globe, so there is a great demand for licensed product,” an IMG spokeswoman said.
Retail distribution is still being finalized, but the products will also be offered through e-commerce platforms like JD.com, Tmall and VIP.com.
Through Juventus’ deal with Adidas, the team’s players started sporting a new pre-match jersey last week. Developed in conjunction with the American NGO Parley for the Oceans, the shirts are made with recycled plastic recovered from the Indian Oceans. Juventus star fullback Mattia de Sciglio is helping to spread the word as an Adidas ambassador.
In honor of the team’s milestone anniversary, soccer fans had a chance to buy a limited-edition Adidas shirt, but only 1,897 were available. The number was a nod to the year that a group of students in Turin established the soccer club. But as of Wednesday, resourceful shoppers could try the eBay route, where one was selling for $233.