WASHINGTON — Bayer CropScience has signed a licensing agreement with Olah Inc., a New York-based apparel marketing and development firm, to make its cotton seed brands a household name.
This story first appeared in the February 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“There are some retailers and apparel manufacturers who are already aware of our brands,” said Monty Christian, director of global fiber marketing and U.S. cotton operations for Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of Germany-based Bayer AG. “They are networked in various levels with retailers and apparel companies, so there is some exposure, but this will take us to the next step of seeing increased exposure.”
Under the 10-year licensing arrangement, Olah has an exclusive license to market and develop Bayer CropScience’s two cotton brand names, FiberMax and Stoneville. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
FiberMax, which has been in the market for 12 years, is a long-staple upland cotton mainly grown in the U.S., suited primarily for finished goods, such as T-shirts, chinos and towels that require finer yarns.
Stoneville cotton is used in heavier-weight fabrics and apparel, including “rugged” outdoor workwear, sportswear and casualwear, such as jeans.
“[The two brands of] cotton make up over half of the U.S. crop,” said Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah. “The U.S. is the second-largest exporter of cotton in the world and this [licensing deal] represents a significant amount of cotton and a significant licensing agreement for Bayer and us.”
Antoshak said Olah, which has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, plans to bring the two cotton seed brands to market on several levels, including a new Web site and on hangtags for apparel.
“We’re taking two products produced by one company and then produced by farmers throughout Texas, the South and Southeast, and we will represent that in the finished product all the way through to the consumer,” he said. “The consumer will know where the product comes from, what it stands for and more importantly, they will see a ‘Grown in the USA’ message and that it is truly sustainable production.”