Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki announced on her website that she will launch her own underwear line in September in collaboration with Danish brand JBS. The collection will include both a cotton/lycra and a microfiber line. The partnership was negotiated by Wozniacki's reps -- Lagardère Unlimited Tennis President John Tobias and Talent Marketing Dir Drew LeMesurier. Wozniacki’s other endorsements include adidas, Yonex, Proactiv, Oriflame, Compeed, Dubai Duty Free, Turkish Airlines, Rolex, Danske Bank, Sony Ericsson and E-Boks (THE DAILY). The SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Daniel Kaplan notes Wozniacki “becomes one of the few female athletes to agree to an underwear ad, joining Anna Kournikova, who 12 years ago pushed a sports bra.” Wozniacki’s personal line is “not designed as sporting wear, a key point for her clothing company, Adidas, which she is set to renew with for another five years.” Tennis HOFer Billie Jean King “applauded Wozniacki.” King said, “The guys have been endorsing underwear for years and if Michael Jordan and Tim Tebow can secure a deal, why can’t Caroline? For women, the challenge is how the product is presented and the athlete should have a voice in that presentation and how they manage their own brand.” The ads “will appear initially in Europe.” Wozniacki will “receive a guarantee from JBS," as well as a 10-15% royalty on the line. At the same time, she is “set to renew with Adidas’ Stella McCartney collection, which she has been wearing for four years now.” The new deal “largely pays her based on her ranking, but should compensate her in the low to mid-seven figures annually if she remains in the top 10” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/4 issue).
Marketing and Sponsorship
U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer Dara Torres has signed an endorsement deal with Koss Headphones that will see her help design the company's first line of products for women. The agreement is for three years and includes an option for an extension. Financial terms were unavailable. Koss today will post a vignette on its website that features Torres, 45, talking about the way she's used music and headphones since she was 13 to prepare for big swim meets. Torres said, "The way I got excited for my race was putting headphones in my Walkman. That's what motivates me to get hyped up for my races." Koss also plans to feature Torres in a digital campaign promoting its Porta Pro and Striva headphone lines. Koss President Michael Koss said the company signed Torres because she fit the company's current campaign, which emphasizes "people who really love music." He added, "We're getting back to the reason my dad started the business, which is to get people inside the business they love. Dara is a true believer. She loves music and she's a great role model for people who has been a top performer, regardless of her age." Koss plans to release a line of products designed specifically for women this autumn. Torres said she won't wear Koss headphones onto the pool deck at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials, which begin June 25, but she will use them to listen to music with her Apple Nano before she walks out to the blocks. The company's only other endorser is singer Tony Bennett (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).
SO MANY CHOICES: SwimOutlet.com today will announce that it has signed U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer Mark Gangloff to an endorsement deal. Under the agreement, Gangloff will be able to choose his competitive swimwear from a variety of brands available at the online swim shop, including Arena, Finis, Nike, Speedo and TYR (THE DAILY).
Vancouver-based athletic apparel company Lululemon was named Canada's fastest-growing brand, according an Interbrand study released yesterday. The company's brand value has increased to US$3.17B. It "moved up to the seventh spot for 2012 from 17th spot in 2010" (CP, 6/7). The GLOBE & MAIL's Susan Krashinsky wrote Lululemon's ranking on the study "provides an interesting snapshot of a Canadian brand giant still on the upswing, with plenty of ground to be made in international markets as well." In the "past two years, Lululemon overtook such Canadian stalwarts as Bombardier Inc. and Canadian Tire Corp." (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/6).
SUBWAY SERIES: Dunkin' Donuts yesterday announced that Mets manager Terry Collins and Yankees manager Joe Girardi will be featured in a two-month campaign throughout the N.Y. metro area to promote the QSR's caramel, mocha and new mocha almond iced coffee flavors. The campaign, titled "Fuels Any Series," focuses on the two MLB teams' rivalry. It will include radio and TV spots, and both managers' likenesses will be displayed at N.Y.-area store locations (Dunkin' Donuts).
NOT SO FAST: The London DAILY MAIL reported England national soccer team manager Roy Hodgson "ordered five of his Euro 2012 squad to cancel sponsor appearances on Monday as he looks to keep his players fresh ahead of their trip to Poland this week." The five players were all scheduled "on behalf of Nike." Hodgson was concerned that "the players' time off after the win over Norway the week before was used to fulfil sponsor pledges rather than to rest, and he was keen to see that the same did not happen again" (London DAILY MAIL, 6/5).
THREE STRIPES: In Michigan, Shandra Martinez noted adidas is suing outdoor and lifestyle brand Wolverine for "trademark infringement," contending that the "stripes on Merrell's new barefoot Glove shoes look too much like Adidas' famous three-stripe mark." adidas claims that Wolverine is "illegally using its 'famous and distinctive' three-stripe mark on several brands." adidas accuses the company "of putting stripes on Wolverine brands CAT Footwear, Hush Puppies and Merrell that are 'confusingly similar imitations' to the design of its sneakers" (MLIVE.com, 6/3).
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