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SBD Global/January 16, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

H&M Clothing Makes Segue Into Tennis By Signing World No. 6 Tomas Berdych

Swedish retail clothing company H&M signed a long-term partnership with world No. 6 tennis player Tomas Berdych. The Czech will work with the H&M design team on a tennis collection to be released at a later date. The partnership will see H&M clothing worn on court by a top-ranking tennis player for the first time (H&M). In N.Y., Anna Molin noted on the WALL STREET JOURNAL's The Source blog H&M said it was turning "a new chapter in the relationship between sport and fashion." While such claims "sound a bit bombastic, H&M does have a point." Traditional sportswear giants are "facing increasing competition from fast-fashion retailers looking to tap into a growing emphasis among men and women on staying fit." U.K.-based Planet Retail analyst Isabel Cavill said that companies such as Puma and Nike "should take notice of these new contenders." Cavill: "If fast-fashion brands start getting used to being on show at big sporting events, and given the fact that they offer these clothes much cheaper, it will be an issue. It’s an interesting development because basically they are trying to eat into the shares of the big athletic brands" (WSJ, 1/15).
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