Pro Player shifts focus to capture hard-core fans

Friedman, Wayne
October 1999
Advertising Age;10/4/1999, Vol. 70 Issue 41, p32
Trade Publication
This article reports on the plan of sports apparel maker Pro Player to redirect its marketing strategy to focus on diehard sports fans rather than athlete endorsements, an effort to improve sales in the faltering licensed apparel industry. The Fruit of the Loom division will spend $4.5 million on the new campaign, themed "Are you a fan?" The advertisements, created by CGN Marketing & Creative Services of Boston, Massachusetts, feature various sports fans. Pro Player has had a tough time competing with rivals such as Nike. The plan is to rebuild the brand to the point where Pro Player can start selling sports apparel not licensed from professional sports teams. Starting in November 1999, Pro Player will be the official uniform maker for about half the National Hockey League teams, with the added benefit of being featured in TV close-ups of players. Marketing costs for that coup were about $2 million. A generic TV campaign, featuring three different spots with a media buy of $1.5 million, will air on Fox Sports regional networks. Another $500,000 will be spent on print, with advertisements running in Sports Illustrated, The Hockey News, and some sporting-goods trade publications.


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