How fashion brands are getting involved in Super Bowl LVIII

Fashion has conquered football.

The NFL has had a banner season for style, with players embracing high-fashion looks during their tunnel walks and Taylor Swift showing her team spirit through fashion at Kansas City Chiefs games, wearing items like a red cashmere sweater from Guest in Residence and a custom-made Chiefs jacket from Kristin Juszczyk.

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Fashion has become increasingly involved in recent seasons, using footballers as brand ambassadors, launching merchandise collections and activating tentpole events for moments that have resonated deeply with football and fashion fans alike. For example, Juszczyk signed a licensing deal with the NFL after her custom jacket for Swift went viral.

Now that Super Bowl days are over in Las Vegas, fashion brands like Boss, Mitchell & Ness, Stoney Clover Lane, ’47 and others are taking action by launching a slew of collaborations catering to the NFL’s diverse fan base. And the NFL itself has also strategically used fashion collaborations to cater to underserved fans.

“There has been steady progress over the last two to three years,” said Ryan Samuelson, vice president of consumer products at the NFL, of fashion brands’ involvement in the league. “To be honest, [fashion] was not an area that we were particularly focused on in the past – when I say the past, it goes back five to seven years ago. It’s been more of a concerted effort over that time to really focus on brands that expose us to different consumers and expand reach. At the NFL, we obviously have such a broad reach right now in terms of the number of fans we reach, but what this has really achieved is that we have been able to delve specifically into fashion.”

To reach more women, the NFL has partnered or signed licensing agreements with brands such as Stoney Clover Lane, Staud and BaubleBar.

According to the 2021 SSRS Sports Poll, women and girls over the age of 8 make up 46 percent of the NFL’s fan base, or approximately 84 million female fans. The survey also found that 45 percent of NFL fans under the age of 35 are women and girls.

“We know from our own experience that there is a huge audience of women – women who think about style and fashion and are big fans of the league,” said Daniella Yacobovsky, co-founder of BaubleBar, which debuted its NFL collaboration in 2021 . “They have their teams that they follow and they attend games. They want to participate and be a visible fan, and they want to do it in a fashionable and cool way.”

BaubleBar has expanded its NFL accessories collections from season to season, most recently working with sportscaster Erin Andrews on a jewelry collection. In last month’s Chiefs AFC Championship win, Swift wore a charm necklace from Andrews’ collection.

Pieces from the Stoney Clover Lane x '47 NFL collectionPieces from the Stoney Clover Lane x '47 NFL collection

Pieces from the Stoney Clover Lane x ’47 NFL collection.

Stoney Clover Lane also debuted its NFL collection, a collaboration with sports-lifestyle brand ’47, which offered vintage-inspired apparel and accessories for the Super Bowl last month.

“The NFL’s fan base is 46 percent female, so there’s clearly a huge amount of female fans who have traditionally been underserved in that market,” said ’47 president Dominic Farrell. “When we talk to them, they are really looking for quality items that fit what they want, not just a ‘shrink it and pink it’ men’s version. That’s really what we focus on.”

Other collaborations are aimed at expanding the NFL’s reach internationally. Since 2005, the NFL has hosted roughly four regular season games outside the US. This season three matches were played in England and two in Germany.

Boss has collaborated with the NFL over the past year, naming Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes as a brand ambassador and releasing his Super Bowl collection last month. Boss will also host several activations in Las Vegas prior to the game, including a meet and greet with the coaching staff of the Las Vegas Raiders.

“We saw a lot of untapped potential,” says Nadia Kokni, senior vice president of global marketing and brand communications at Hugo Boss. “Sport is in the DNA of Boss and as an international brand and a German brand – the NFL is making moves outside the US, certainly playing the games at the Tottenham Hotspurs stadium and Wembley in Britain and then also in Frankfurt – we I know that the sport is growing and has an international reach, so standing shoulder to shoulder with such a dynamic sport that is really growing really just reflects the Boss philosophy of our 24/7 lifestyle.”

Sporting goods label Mitchell & Ness has long worked with the NFL on merchandise collections and this year received many last-minute inquiries from international fashion brands wanting to collaborate for the Super Bowl, according to CEO Eli Kumekpor.

A Mitchell & Ness Usher T-shirt.A Mitchell & Ness Usher T-shirt.

A Mitchell & Ness Usher T-shirt.

For the Super Bowl, Mitchell & Ness released an Usher-themed collection in honor of the musician’s highly anticipated performance at the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show.

“We have a history in the sports world, but as we come in, we’ve actually taken this unique position that is at the intersection of sports, fashion and to some extent culture – as we call it youth culture, sports culture, hip-hop culture. just culture in general,” Kumekpor said. “So when you look at the Super Bowl and what it has become, I think it’s really the pinnacle event that from a fan perspective is a cross-section of all of these events.”

The NFL players themselves are also bringing fashion further into the sport through their pre-game looks during the NFL tunnel. Players like Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Deebo Samuel and many others impressed every week with their tunnel outfits.

“It used to be that the only thing that mattered was the ‘fits’ of the league on the NBA side,” Kumekpor said. “Now you have [NFL] tunnel’ fits. A lot of people don’t necessarily come in because of the game. They really connect with it [the players’] sense of style and individuality, or they recognize themselves in some of these players. That’s a big positive for the league because of the space.”

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