SBD/March 6, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

I Love The 90s: Zubaz Enjoying Return To Limelight Due To Adidas Uniforms

Zubaz was relaunched in '08 after a 12-year hiatus from the apparel industry
Zubaz, the loose-fitting, zebra-print pants popular in the 90s, are “enjoying something of a rebirth" following the release of adidas' postseason college basketball jerseys for several teams, according to Scott Cacciola of the N.Y. TIMES. There is no official relationship between Zubaz and adidas, but Zubaz co-Founders Dan Stock and Bob Traux said that they were "enjoying the publicity, especially as they try to rebuild their brand." Truax said, “I know this is getting a lot of negative press, all these people saying, ‘Ah, these look stupid!’ But from what I’ve heard -- and this is the key -- the kids like it.” Cacciola reports Stock and Truax relaunched the brand in '08 after a 12-year hiatus and "trademarked their particular stripe pattern." Any design that "replicates theirs by more than 70 percent would be in violation of those rights." adidas avoided that as the jerseys' shorts "feature more of a zigzag pattern" than Zubaz do. Meanwhile, the NFL’s Gronkowski brothers -- Rob, Dan and Chris -- are “such huge Zubaz fans that they hawk Zubaz gear on their Web site,” An ad urges fans to “show your support for a Gronk” by ordering the same style of Zubaz that the brothers wear. Cacciola notes Stock and Truax “appear to have big plans.” Traux said that he “spent much of the last month on the road meeting with retailers” (N.Y. TIMES, 3/6).

COOL IS THE RULE: CBS Sports Network’s Allie La Force said of adidas’ new uniforms, "The only thing I think is cool is the sleeves and how it’s connected to the jersey. But they make it look like there’s a shirt under the jersey.” La Force added, “Hate the shorts and I hate the neon shoes. It makes me think 80s. It doesn’t make me think new and redone and 2012.” Gottlieb noted, “You have sports writers and bloggers and whatever. They're not the target audience. Sixteen, 17- and 18-year-old kids, that’s who they're trying to appeal to. That’s who teams are recruiting” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 3/5).
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