4se Material - Merch à la mode: Why fashion is embracing sports merchandise

Examining how sport franchises have tailored their apparel to appeal to the masses.

4se Material explores some of the many stories at the intersection of sport, entertainment, lifestyle and culture.

It seems sports fans and non-fans alike are sporting licensed sportswear. From jerseys to caps, a passerby on any city street can spy some of sports’ most famous logos worn on the bodies of many a trendsetter. But how did this happen? How did pieces of memorabilia, originally designed for die-hard fans, develop this mass appeal? Why would sports organisations seek to make their merchandise more wearable, and why would non-fans buy into it? And how much power really is there in recognisable company iconography?

To help us stitch this sportswear story together, we spoke to Matthew Primack, SVP of International Business Affairs and Development at Fanatics, and to Samantha Gibb, Head of PR and Digital Communications EMEA at New Era - two world-class organisations retailing and manufacturing licensed sports merchandise; we also consulted Dr Lauren Burch, Senior Lecturer in Sports Business at Loughborough University London, to help us understand how organisations benefit from investing in merchandise; and last but certainly not least, we spoke to Mirko Borsche & Kolja Buscher from global design studio Bureau Borsche, whose portfolio includes heading the design of the rebranding for Venezia F.C, whom the media have labelled “the world’s most fashionable football club”.

Listen to the podcast below, and subscribe today on Apple, Amazon, Spotify or your chosen podcast platform.