In Sports Marketing

Fashion and sports have very much in common: the former has drawn heavily on the latter, placing on the market a multitude of items that were formerly confined to specific activities or the gym.

It all started off many years ago with sneakers. These shoes, initially used for sports, were converted into more sophisticated versions or sold in limited edition to the general public and were then revised and corrected to become part of the collections of many fashion designers and “must have” items in everybody’s wardrobe, from kids to managers, from fashionable ladies to the teenager next door.

This was just the beginning. In the past few years and in the United States, which were pioneers in this, as they usually are, yoga or compression apparel started being worn in other contexts than gyms. So, now it is quite common to see girls wearing snug leggings, which were initially conceived for sports use only.

Large sports brands immediately noticed the trend and started the contamination between sports and fashion to an extent that offering sports items for use in everyday life became natural, as Nike and Adidas did opening up new market opportunities. Adidas is particularly active in this sector: in addition to permanent collaborations with Stella McCartney and Yohji Yamamoto (Y-3), it recently launched several projects or capsule collections with, by way of example, Raf Simons, Rick Owens and Jeremy Scott and eventually stipulated a co-branding deal with the super brand “Palace” for the Wimbledon 2018 tournament.

Other well-known examples include Bikkembergs and soccer players, or Emporio Armani, the sponsor of the Italian national Olympic teams and recent partner of the Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini. As usual, some trendsetters set off to pave the way and, over time, great industries and the business follow suit …. and they cash money, of course.

Clothing, fashion and sports: a failure-proof combination, RTR Sports

What happens in motorsports? Same thing!

Many businesses decided to surf this aesthetic wave bridging over the world of cars and motorbikes. Over time Puma and Belstaff, for instance, created collections that drew inspiration from both the four and the two wheels; Ralph Lauren even had a fashion show in his garage where he keeps his precious car collection.

The list of clothing businesses that were and currently are involved in the MotoGP and the superbike championships is quite long. From BombBoogie to Pull&Bear, from Gas to Fila, from DonDup to Descente, from Oakley (which is known to all as an eyeglass maker, but is also a manufacturer of cycling apparel) to Lumberjack, not to mention A-Style and Nero Giardini.

Extensive use of licences has also been experienced in the sector of clothing and accessories where the best two and four-wheel brands such as Norton, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche have associated their brands to jackets, shoes, pullovers and miscellaneous accessories, including ever-present leather wear.

Clothing, fashion and sports: a failure-proof combination, RTR SportsWhat did it all start from? 

Of course, young and healthy athletes are perfect models. The sports disciplines they compete in are followed by a large number of passionate fans. In addition to their pleasant appearance, these athletes are also appreciated for their talents and they are at the center of the (sports) passions of many supporters. They are successful role models to aspire to. Being the focus of attention has made them well-known beyond the limits of their sports abilities: the gossip press and social media have contributed to their huge popularity. In other words, they are ideal testimonials.

This is why it is quite natural to leverage sports celebrities and disciplines to promote a brand and enrich it with the values they embody with a view to gaining planetary visibility and being associated with highly appealing people.

If you wish to have more information to understand how to build a sponsorship plan for your brand using motorsport and some of the most exciting sports ever, contact us at the following email address:

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Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Managing Director for RTR Sports, Riccardo graduated in law at the University of Bologna. He began his career in London in PR, then started working in two and four-wheelers. A brief move to Monaco followed before returning to Italy. There he founded RTR, first a consulting firm and then a sports marketing company which, eventually, he moved back to London.
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