It may seem like a bit of high-brow versus mid-brow head-butting, but fashion label Joseph Abboud has signed a multi-year promotional deal with the National Basketball Association.
Actually, the deal supports JA Apparel's more down-market brand, JOE, a business-casual line of shirts, sweaters, ties, outerwear, and tailored clothing that will launch exclusively at JC Penney this fall.
Marty Staff, president and chief executive officer of parent company JA Apparel Corp., said the collaboration will boost national visibility for the clothier. "The fact that we will be able to provide JC Penney customers insider access to the NBA stars they revere is remarkable and a testament to the importance of developing such a strategic, long-term partnership," he said in a release.
Events began Monday night in New York's famed West 4th Street public basketball courts, with a JOE Joseph Abboud/NBA-themed outdoor event unveiling of the collection. Plans included NBA players serving as models at the improvised runway event.
In-store integration at JC Penney locations across the country includes appearances by current and former NBA players and a tour to JC Penney locations of the Larry O'Brien Championship trophy.
JOE will get branding opportunities at next year's NBA All-Star game in Dallas and a presence at upcoming events like the NBA Draft 2009 in June and NBA Summer League 2009 in July. The clothing brand also has logo presence at player suites and VIP lounges at those NBA events. The brand will also develop relationships with new players during the Rookie Transition Program, where NBA draftees learn to adjust to life on and off the court.
JA Apparel has been transitioning from men's suits to lifestyle products for the past five years, and now offers everything from luggage to footwear to eyewear and home furnishings.
In recent months, the NBA has signed deals with companies as diverse as Mars, Inc., The Natural Resources Defense Council and T-Mobile.