SBD/September 14, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Retail Sales Of Football Gloves Climbing; Nike Leads Way With 57% Of Sales In '11

UM in its season-opener wore adidas gloves featuring lyrics to the school's fight song
The popularity of gloves among football players "has never been greater," and it has "become big business," according to a Money section piece by Jeffrey Martin of USA TODAY. A pair of gloves typically cost $20-50, and SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said that retail sales were "at $200 million in 2011, up from $160 million in 2010." Nike "dominates the landscape, finishing with 57% of sales in 2011." Under Armour "was second with 21%, followed by Cutters (15%), the only non-shoe and apparel company in the top four, and Reebok (6%)." adidas is "lagging" in the market, but under Dir of Football Mark Daniels' direction, the company "has unabashedly tried to force its way into the conversation with its bold re-issue of classic uniforms." Michigan wore "a commemorative jersey in its season opener against Alabama, but it was the gloves -- lyrics to the university's fight song, 'The Victors,' scrawled on the underside -- that sparked the most conversation." Nike North America Senior Communications Manager Brian Strong said, "Your favorite player has the option to represent the logo, the spirit and tradition of your team -- right on the palm of their gloves. That's where we are in the evolution." Daniels said, "They're a great billboard for the goals we're trying to achieve." Martin notes despite "not being one of two NFL-approved brands," Cutters has "gained an incredibly loyal and devoted following." To "avoid censure, players tape over the Cutters logo or fold over a flap on the glove to conceal it" (USA TODAY, 9/14).
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