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Editor, DEBBIE EALES meets the team behind the exciting new Spalding sportswear brand which is being launched specifically for the imprint industry for the first time in January.

A new brand with history S

palding has a long heritage as a sports brand, with a history dating back to 1876. Now, for the first time, Spalding is entering the European printwear market with a capsule range of sportswear developed with the garment decorator in mind.

The brand will be available through exclusive distribution partners in the UK, France and Germany. Brand manager, Emma Wood, told us: “The 33 new styles have been categorised into three stories: Endurance Base Layers and One Team. Itʼs the versatility of these products thatʼs important. We havenʼt developed these ranges with specific sports in mind. Itʼs all about multi-sports usage which weʼve reflected in our photography.” “We have been able to draw on our experience and knowledge of the imprint sector. We hope that Spalding will become a trusted brand for individuals and teams who are looking for performance in sportswear.” Jonny Thomson, marketing director, told us: “For imprint, sportswear is moving up a gear. This is an opportunity for printwear to follow where the retail market is going.”

The Spalding name is recognised the world over and has become synonymous with the American NBA. The brand has developed strong associations with sport in Europe and is a trusted partner and official supplier of several top teams and national federations. Says Emma Wood: “We have a real opportunity to draw on the strong heritage of the brand, but take it in a new direction.” With the official launch set for January, the brandʼs first showing to the printwear industry will be at Printwear & Promotion Live (February 26-28, NEC, Birmingham). However, visitors to the Schoolwear Show, Ralawise roadshows and PenCarrieUKL On Tour will be getting a sneak preview this autumn. The range will be offered by PenCarrieUKL, Prestige Leisure and Ralawise in the UK. “Itʼs a really neat proposition of 33 styles.

Itʼs all about pieces that work well and perform together with colours and styles that coordinate across the ranges. Itʼs about being able to tailor kit to the needs of your specific team,” continues Emma. The Endurance range, aimed at the “serious amateur” is available in Menʼs and Ladies sizes, while Base Layers and One Team styles are in sizes from 7-8 years to adult size 2XL.

Even the brochure photography has | 44 | November 2011

ABOVE: Ladies’ Response Long Sleeve Base Layer; Ladies’ Essential Tee; Core Training Short.

been designed to stand out from the page. “To differentiate Spalding from other brands, we have shown the products in a performance situation, giving our photography an edgier, more focused feel, thereby giving customers a sense of the energy and dynamism that surrounds the brand.

“Model selection was a key part of the photography. We chose professional sports models – we didnʼt go for overly skinny fashion models. With Spalding, itʼs not about the glitz and hype, itʼs about keeping it real.” Alan Thomas Dibble, head of design for Spalding told us: “The company we are partnering with to develop Spalding already works with a lot of very professional sportswear brands – so coupled with the knowledge that was there within the design team and the marketing team made for a strong partnership. “We have all been trialling them! Jonny wore them to a duathlon and I have been wearing them to the gym for the last six months!”

Brochures will be available soon and can be ordered on the new Spalding website: from mid November Adds Emma: “We wanted to make the brochure really easy to use and reader friendly for the distributor, printer and end

customer. Flat garment photography and contextual photography shows the versatility of the products on individuals and teams.” To help decorators, the brochure highlights design details, such as flatlock seams, mesh panels, ventilation holes and reflector strips, and potential decoration areas on the garments, as well as suggested end-uses for each of the products.

Says Jonny Thomson: “All of the features are functional. They are not just there to look nice.

“The product pages have great contextual photography on location, together with flatshots and we have 360 degree photography which we will be using on our own website. All of our photography is available for customers to use in their brochures and websites too.” Decorators will also find helpful information on potential markets for the new range.

Designer Alan Thomas Dibble walks us through the three ranges that make up the new Spalding brand…

“The range is split into three stories. Endurance, Base Layers and One Team,” says Alan. Endurance is solely for men and women, while the other collections are available for men, women and children.

“There are 11 styles in the Endurance range. It has a focused colour palette and the fabric is polyester with elastane for

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