Everlast Moves Beyond Fighting, Signs With Sears


Everlast, a 100-year-old brand best known for its boxing prowess, has signed a long-term licensing deal with Sears Holdings for apparel, footwear and accessories for men, women and kids. The Everlast line will be available in Sears, while Everlast Sport will be sold in the company's Kmart stores. (The brands will also be available online.) The lines are scheduled to go on sale next year, and be supported with national advertising, as well as social media and sports marketing efforts.

The deal comes at a time when Everlast is expanding its reach in the U.S., Neil Morton, CEO, tells Marketing Daily. The brand's growth has been driven in part by the explosion of mixed martial arts fighting, and leagues like UFC. "Everlast's heritage is a fight sports brand, and we produce the best equipment you can train with. We have worked very hard not to be just a boxing brand."



Crossing over into other areas has been fairly easy because of that authenticity, he says. "Now, around the world, the brand is better known as an apparel brand. We've got around $500 million in global sales, and 80% of that is in apparel and footwear. But in the U.S., it's been just the opposite." Partnering with Sears, he says, will allow it to reach out to a broader group of consumers.

"The main audience will continue to be the fitness enthusiast," Adam Geisler, president, tells Marketing Daily. The first of the new products will be in stores in the spring as a soft launch, he says, "and the major push will be the second half of 2011, beginning in the fall."

While Morton declined to elaborate on marketing plans, "it will be more edgy than plain vanilla."

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