SBD/March 21, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Respect Your Universe CEO David Campisi Ready To Rebrand, Expand Company

Campisi said that RYU now is on course for growth starting in '14
Respect Your Universe recently has seen a "shift in the apparel brand's marketing, appointments of key company leaders, departures of others, opening of its first retail store and [the] establishment of Portland as the company's headquarters," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. RYU Chair & CEO David Campisi said that RYU now is "on course for growth starting in 2014." He said, "I hit the reset button on the strategy and positioning of the brand." Brettman noted the "marketing overhaul includes a separation from the company's roots." Since its founding in '08, RYU has been "linked closely with mixed martial arts." But Campisi said that the "direct association has ended." He added that endorsement deals with individual fighters and UFC "expired in December and will not be renewed." Campisi said that the company's rebranding will "include a new logo and emphasis on the full company name and phase-out of the sometimes used acronym RYU on clothing and collateral materials." The new branding will "likely emphasize the first word of the company name, Respect." Seattle-based branding agency Tether, "led by creative director and Nike alum Stanley Hainsworth, will assist." Campisi said that he "anticipated significant growth for the company" in '14, the result of reining back "product prices and the introduction of new products." He said, "As we continue in our sales effort, we've seen great interest among sporting good and department stores in both the U.S. and Canada, and hope to leverage the momentum we're generating to develop new retail avenues" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/21).
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