How Luxury Brands Are Tapping Into The World Of Sports

From collaborations to sponsorships, fashion houses are trying new ways to reach a wider audience.

There was a time when “fashion” and “sports” were rarely seen in the same sentence together. But now, more than ever, we’re seeing the two worlds collide in interesting ways.

In an attempt to step into a new market, luxury brands have been appointing more athletes to represent them as ambassadors. Already stars in their chosen sport, these athletes go on to feature in ad campaigns and the front row seats of fashion shows.

READ ALSO: Fashion’s New MVPs: How Sports Stars Redefined The Front Row At Fashion Events

But aside from dressing athletes in their brands’ usual style, fashion houses have also begun collaborating with other brands more accustomed to athleisure wear and sponsoring huge sporting events.

Teaming Up

Last year, Burberry partnered up with Able Made to create a soccer-inspired luxury clothing line. The Made2 capsule collection made use of upcycled Burberry fabrics to give a second life to the quality materials.

Burberry x Able Made collaboration
Burberry x Able Made collaboration | Image via Instagram @ablemade

Offering luxury, comfort, and responsible fashion, the clothing line featured jackets, sweatshirts, shorts, joggers, and bags. In addition to being an eco-conscious choice, proceeds from the sales also went to funding city youth soccer and health camps and clinics in Boston, Hartford, and New York City.

Last month, Jimmy Choo entered the world of golf by joining forces with Malbon. Footwear obviously led the collection, with Monogram Mules and Diamond Golf sneakers. The collaboration also includes a limited-edition golf bag, club-head covers, and shoe bags alongside towels, bucket hats, and caps.

Just 30 minutes after the 27-piece collection dropped, ten items were already sold out from Malbon’s website. “I love to surprise people with our collaborations. Unexpected pairings that underscore shared values and expertise,” Jimmy Choo Creative Director Sandra Choi told Golf Digest.

Jimmy Choo x Malbon collaboration
Jimmy Choo x Malbon collaboration | Image via Instagram @malbongolf

“Malbon are the masters of fusing fashion with function in golf wear. Blended with Jimmy Choo’s inherent glamor, you get a collection that’s playfully glamorous.”

Mutually Beneficial

Ahead of last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, Prada chose to sponsor the entire Chinese women’s soccer team. The partnership was announced on the microblogging site Weibo, garnering 300 million views and quickly going viral. The post featured a photo of the team wearing matching dark tailored suits, white dress shirts, and leather shoes.

Not only was Prada reaching towards sports fans (the 2023 Women’s World Cup had a viewership of two billion), the brand also continued to grow its business within the Chinese market.

China's Women's soccer team sponsored by Prada
China’s Women’s soccer team sponsored by Prada | Image via Weibo @pradaofficial

This year, luxury goods conglomerate LVMH is the premium partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. LVMH’s luxury jewelry and watch brand Chaumet designed and crafted the medals for winning athletes. Paying tribute to Paris, the center of each medal has a piece of iron from the Eiffel Tower. The material was preserved during the renovation of the monument.

These medals, along with the Olympic and Paralympic torches, will then be stored inside trunks from Louis Vuitton. Celebrating the event, Moët Hennessy wines and spirits will be provided at the planned hospitality programs.

Medals and trunk designed by LVMH brands
Medals and trunk designed by LVMH brands | Image via Instagram @lvmh

“This unprecedented partnership with the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will contribute to heightening the appeal of France around the world. It was only natural that LVMH and its Maisons be part of this exceptional international event,” said Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH.

“Sports is a tremendous source of inspiration for our Maisons, which will unite creative excellence and athletic performance by contributing their savoir-faire and bold innovation to this extraordinary celebration.”

Banner image via Instagram @ablemade.

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