Athletes have entered the world of celebrity in recent decades. They make appearances at talk shows, game conventions, and award events. Some even transition to the entertainment business, becoming a film or television stars.
These opportunities allow athletes to show off their fashion style off the field, which has already made them valuable to sportswear brands that compete for their endorsement. Now, fashion brands are also entering the fray, using sports sponsorship to expand their marketing campaigns.
As a fashion mecca, it is little wonder that Italy emerged as the first country where fashion houses began sponsoring sports teams. They combined Italians’ love of haute couture with its obsession with soccer. Today, fashion houses like Dolce and Gabbana sponsor AC Milan, based in its hometown. In France, Hugo Boss sponsors Parisian soccer team PSG.
Fashion houses have found a greater market for their products after sponsoring sports teams. These large teams have a global reach. Many people bet online on the outcomes of their games and are also influenced by the brands that sponsor them.
North American sports sponsorships from fashion brands tend to center on individual players, not entire teams. Many sneaker and streetwear brands line up to enter talks with current sports stars. This practice is becoming more popular with female sports players, with top apparel brands seeking to join their meteoric rise to fame.
Some fashion brands encourage players to get involved in the design process and become part of their marketing campaign. This enhanced partnership lends more authenticity to the player’s association with a brand.
Sports association sponsorships
When global tournaments, such as the FIFA Soccer World Cup or huge sporting events like the Olympics, fashion brands are eager to jump on the bandwagon and offer sponsorships in exchange for exposure and marketing.
For example, fashion brands will design team outfits and submit them to the appropriate regulatory sports associations for approval. These outfits are patriotic and require prominent use of the nation’s flag and its colours while still being comfortable and functional.
Traditional sports endorsements go elsewhere
While fashion brands have made a foray into the world of sports, sports apparel companies are making inroads in the fashion industry. Several non-sporting celebrities have become brand ambassadors for new sportswear products. Actors and actresses lend their creative flair to designing sneakers, something that these brands might not have contemplated in previous years.