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Sportswear giants Adidas, Puma target fashion-focused soccer fans

Tooba Shakir 7 months ago 0 1

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Soccer Football - FIFA Womens World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Final - Spain v England - Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia - August 20, 2023 Spain fans celebrate after winning the World Cup final—
Soccer Football – FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 – Final – Spain v England – Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia – August 20, 2023 Spain fans celebrate after winning the World Cup final— 

Sportswear giants Adidas and Puma are capitalising on the fashion world’s growing interest in soccer, aiming to expand their customer base, driven in part by the success of the Women’s World Cup this summer.

This emerging trend sees fashion-conscious fans of all sexes seeking soccer-related apparel, opening up new merchandising opportunities for clubs and brands. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian attending matches and sporting soccer jerseys have boosted the trend.

Soccer Football - FIFA Womens World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Final - Spain v England - Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia - August 20, 2023 Spains Salma Paralluelo poses for photos with fans after winning the World Cup final.—Reuters
Soccer Football – FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 – Final – Spain v England – Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia – August 20, 2023 Spain’s Salma Paralluelo poses for photos with fans after winning the World Cup final.—Reuters 

To cater to this demand, Adidas recently introduced an “exclusively off-pitch” clothing collection for some of the major teams it sponsors.

The Women’s World Cup highlighted the untapped potential for soccer-related merchandise for women. Nike faced criticism for not offering replica kits for female goalkeepers. The trend, however, extends beyond gender, as many fashion-forward fans, both male and female, seek unique soccer-inspired fashion.

Premier League clubs recognise the need to offer items that appeal to their wealthier supporters who want stylish merchandise. To cater to this audience, some clubs are expanding their apparel ranges, reflecting a broader fan base.

Puma, known for its association with streetwear and pop culture, is capitalising on this trend. Their latest footwear collaboration with Rihanna’s Fenty brand is inspired by the legendary Brazilian soccer player Pele’s cleats. The launch campaign featured Rihanna inside a deconstructed soccer ball. The shoes quickly sold out on Puma’s website upon release.

Puma’s global creative director, Heiko Desens, noted the growing enthusiasm for football culture and soccer-inspired designs across streetwear and fashion.

Adidas and Puma allocate a significant portion of their annual sponsorship budget to soccer. This strategic shift towards fashion-oriented soccer attire could prove profitable for these German sportswear brands.

High-end fashion brands have also ventured into the soccer-inspired fashion realm. Prada partnered with Adidas to create soccer cleats in multiple colourways, retailing for $595 a pair. Liverpool and Newcastle United are also considering hiring creative directors to further explore this trend.

In this evolving landscape, brands and clubs must strike a balance between attracting new fashion-focused fans and retaining their core audience. The delicate balancing act requires nuance and sensitivity as soccer and fashion cultures merge.

This development could change the dynamics between Premiership clubs and their sponsoring brands, opening up new opportunities for both the industry and fans.

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