The Canadian Olympic team -- about 320 athletes and 250 support staff -- will “march into the London Olympics wearing a combination of traditional Maple Leaf shirts and showing off a new Olympic patch collection which depicts Canadian landscapes, animals and sports,” according to James Christie of the GLOBE & MAIL. The Hudson's Bay Co. yesterday “unveiled the 29-piece athlete kit,” and the jackets, pants, leisure clothes and accessories are “in the strong colours of red and white found on the flag, accented by green, black and grey.” The patches -- which are “a novel element in uniform design -- are loaded with Canadian iconography, from beavers, to deer, owls, maple leaves and coniferous trees.” This year’s “novelty is the patches, borrowed from the idea of Canada patches sewn onto travellers’ backpacks.” Also included in the collection are “two patches dedicated to the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team -- one in English, one in French.” The original patches will be “incorporated into many of the apparel designs and will also be available for sale separately.” A Maple Leaf Canada graphic “features the word Canada arched within the shape of a maple leaf” (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/3). The collection “includes windbreakers, varsity-style track jackets, T-shirts and sweats,” and is “priced from $15 to $100.” Hudson's Bay said that the new line “represents iconic Canadian looks and is a modernized hybrid of some of the country’s best uniforms” (TORONTO STAR, 11/3).
CLEARLY CANADIAN: The CP reported the designs “are a departure from the approach used for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, when the pieces fused Canadian and Chinese symbols and influences.” Hudson's Bay VP/Fashion Direction Suzanne Timmins said, "What we learned from Beijing -- which was very much a nod to the host city and country -- was that didn't work." However, Timmins “didn't rule out the possibility of incorporating a taste of Britain in future designs sold commercially closer to the Games, such as Union Jack T-shirts or garments that merge influences from Canada and Britain.” But she added that the athletes “will only be wearing the Canadian flag”(CP, 11/2).
MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham will become the "new face" U.K.-based supermarket chain Sainsbury's when TV chef Jamie Oliver "steps down as brand ambassador at the end of this year," according to Sophie Maden of MARKETING magazine.The deal is reportedly worth up to $8M (all figures U.S.) and will "feature Beckham supporting Sainsbury's Active Kids campaign, which encourages children to lead a healthier lifestyle." Beckham will also support the store's sponsorship of the London Paralympic Games alongside current endorser Ellie Simmonds, a Paralympic swimmer. Beckham's sponsorship "will kick off with an in-cinema" advertisement on Nov. 25. The deal was negotiated by Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 11/3). In London, Ben Todd reports Beckham will receive $5.6-8M in the deal, "which could be extended beyond the Games." The "exact figure will depend on various add-ons." Oliver’s deal with Sainsbury’s was estimated to be worth $1.6-3.2M a year "over the course of an 11-year partnership." The announcement that Beckham will replace Oliver "comes four months after Oliver said he would step down as the face of the supermarket after Christmas" (London DAILY MAIL, 11/3).
GAME CHANGER: ESPN L.A.'s Scott French wrote when fans "take stock after five seasons of varying length, and nearly everything" on Beckham's MLS checklist has been accomplished. There is "what's measurable -- jerseys sold, fans in seats, sponsorship and TV dollars, expansion and stadium construction, the Galaxy's success -- and it's certainly impressive." But the "search for Beckham's true legacy leads to this: What he has done, more so than anything else, is positioned Major League Soccer for something really big." French asked, "How will his impact on American soccer, America's league and America's top club be judged?" Galaxy F Landon Donovan said, "There's certain quantifiable measures, like ratings, attendance -- just the number of people we see when we're out, people that know about Major League Soccer now because of him, know the name L.A. Galaxy because of him. And then there's the kind of intangible things that probably remain to be seen for a while." MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, "Without David Beckham, MLS is not the league it is today. People will look back on the history of the league, and I think David coming in 2007 is one of the key moments in the development of MLS 2.0" (ESPNLA.com, 11/2).
Loudmouth Golf, the lifestyle apparel clothing line popularized by golfer John Daly and the Norwegian curling team, announced the launch of a kids apparel line featuring pants for girls and boys ages two to 10. The pants differ from their adult counterparts with features such as an elastic waistband and double stitching in certain areas. Loudmouth CEO Larry Jackson said that the line has been in the works for about a year after “overwhelming consumer demand.” He noted the “guinea pig” for the project was Daly’s eight-year-old son, John Patrick. "If a button was falling off or a snap didn’t work or the elastic was too stretchy, he was the one who got to complain to us first. He has been a fantastic beta site tester.” Jackson said he has not yet set sales goals for the children’s line, but he would “like to get it to 10% within a year.” “If we just take all pants, shorts, skorts and so forth, I would say kids should be at about 10% within a year and probably level out at some steady state around 20% of our bottoms [pants and skirts] sales,” Jackson said. Loudmouth had hoped to debut the line during the summer, but the release will now coincide with the holiday shopping season. The apparel initially will be available exclusively at LoudmouthGolf.com, with plans to expand into retail locations at a later date. Jackson said the company is “formulating right now a marketing plan for next year.”
PGA Tour Transitions Championship Tournament Dir Kevin Krisle said that the event "will look locally and nationally to secure" a title sponsor after Transitions Optical informed the tour it will not extend its deal after next year. Krisle said, "We'll work in synch with the PGA Tour to try to find a title sponsor. The search process has begun." Title sponsorship for the tournament "has been reported to be around $7 million per year." While there has been "no time frame set to find a sponsor, the next season's schedules come out in the fall." If there is "no title sponsor by fall 2012, the local tournament may be in trouble." PGA Tour Exec VP/Communications & Int’l Affairs Ty Votaw "would not speculate on when a sponsor needed to be secured" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/3).
INK STAND: Tattoo Lou’s this season signed on as the official tattoo shop of the Islanders, and in N.Y., Dave Caldwell reports the shop's merchandise is "selling briskly" at the Islanders' team stores. That includes $25 T-shirts "with Islanders logos decorated in flaming orange and yellow with the word Revenge" and body jewelry like earrings and tongue barbells that "carry tiny Islanders logos." Islanders Senior VP/Corporate Partnerships Justin Johnson said, "It’s part of culture, and it’s not something we've shied away from. We're appealing to the 20- or 30-somethings that the Islanders are hip, cool and relevant again." Caldwell notes the tattoo stand is "across a cramped hall from a refreshment stand, but Johnson said the reaction had been 'beyond positive.'" Indications are that the shop "will be open for longer than the 10 home dates" already scheduled (N.Y. TIMES, 11/3).
OWN NEW TEAM: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin reports driver Ed Carpenter has left Sarah Fisher Racing to form Ed Carpenter Racing, which will be "supported by a three-year commitment from Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, a company owned" by golfer Fuzzy Zoeller. ECR will "work with an established motor sports organization based in Indianapolis" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/3).
BRANDING SHEETS: Sheets Energy Strips co-Founder Jesse Itzler, whose dissolvable energy-supplement brand has "made a splash in recent months with its 'I take a Sheet' ad campaign, explained to AD AGE what the 100 Mile Group is." Itzler said, "Our group does three things. We take equity interest in brands and then help out in sizzle marketing, bringing celebrities into emerging brands. So our first project was Zico coconut water. We got involved early as an investor and brought in a lot of celebrity investors like ["Live with Regis & Kelly" co-host] Kelly Ripa and [model] Gisele [Bundchen]. They were probably doing $5 million to $7 million in sales when we came in, and they should do $100 million next year. The second thing we do is start our own brands. We created a brand called Sheets with [Heat F] LeBron James, Maverick Carter (James' business manager) and Warren Struhl. We birthed that here. And the third thing we are is a creative agency, where we do work-for-hire stuff" (ADAGE.com, 10/31).
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