’Tis the season for gifting
Nothing is easy when it comes to purchasing holiday gifts, but ’tis that season once again. As a service to readers, SBJ asked some of the leading retailers and manufacturers of sports and sports-licensed products for their forecast of what will be their top holiday gift items this year.
Dick’s, the biggest brick-and-mortar sports-specialty retailer, is projecting two Nike items to be among its top holiday sellers: First is the Women’s Air Max 270 sneakers ($125), which are available in a variety of vivid colors. Nike says these shoes are “inspired by colors and textures from a variety of art movements of the last century,” with one pair a vibrant palette of mystic red, pink blast, habanero red and bright crimson.
The other Nike item is the Men’s Sportswear Swoosh Pullover Hoodie ($41.25). It would be a relatively simple hookup with any color sneaker, since its all-over repeating Swoosh design comes in five colors.
Vineyard Vines brings its own strong brand and nouveau-prep sensibilities to sports-licensed apparel. Senior Director Greg Sim says collegiate caps ($39.99) and hooded tees ($69.99) with playful designs incorporating VV’s familiar whale icon will be hot for the holidays.
Licensed sports kingpin Fanatics is looking for distinctly seasonal items to show holiday strength. Included are licensed knit caps by its own brand and New Era; FOCO’s Shatterproof Christmas ornaments ($19.99) bearing sports logos; and DKNY’s fashionable takes on licensed down jackets ($149.99).
Corporate gifter BirdieBox (see story, Page 22), says the most popular holiday gifts it’s packing for clients will continue to be tech items. The leaders: Apple’s AirPods Pro, which have added noise cancellation and a “customizable fit.” They retail for $250. BirdieBox is also bullish on the BBTEK QI Powerbank Journal, an intriguing combination of old and new, since it combines writing paper with a USB flash drive and a power bank.
Legends Global Merchandising picked two licensed hard-goods items as its holiday hits. Fashioned from zinc alloy casts, with 24k gold and silver plating, synthetic acrylic stones, “faux” leather, and gold plate snaps, the replica UFC Championship Belt comes with its own case, but for $850, it should. For the man cave, there’s the 12-by-20-inch NFL team specific House Rules sign ($80) from Highland Mint.
Yeti, which likes to say that its high-performance coolers are built to perform in the most extreme conditions, offers its flagship product decorated with a variety of collegiate logos. Features like “rotomolded construction,” along with “commercial-grade foam insulation” and “freezer-quality gaskets” are some of the reasons ice will last in these for days. You’ll pay for that, however. Models like the Michigan one shown run from $250-$500.
Adidas, meanwhile, is touting two sneakers debuting at retail right after Thanksgiving: the Ultraboost 20, and Damian Lillard’s latest signature sneaker, the Dame 6. The $110 Dame 6 features Adidas’s Light strike technology, said to ensure improved and lightweight midsole cushioning. The Ultraboost 20 running shoe comes from a collaboration with the International Space Station National Lab. Adidas is promising that the technology in the shoe will eventually be tested in space.
For Puma, retro appeal is still one of the strongest factors compelling consumers to buy athletic footwear. Having made the switch back from fashion to performance brand, Puma is going back to its roots with a takedown on the sneakers Walt Frazier wore in 1970s. The $120 “Clyde Hardwoods” are positioned as hybrids “to be worn seamlessly on and off the court.”