Kia ora from the future
With the culmination of the Rugby World Cup ending tomorrow, the 2011 year has proven to be a noteworthy one for rugby fashion. The battles waged on the pitch during the tournament began transcending across borders, court rooms and retail outlets before the event even started. While fans of the game watch replays on Rugby Dump to pass time at the office, our time at Bakline was busy watching the trends of the insight and controversy within the fashion world of rugby.
To kickstart the year, it was announced that a people's champion, Jim Carlberg of Rugby America, Ltd. in a David vs. Goliath scenario fought the Ralph Lauren Company in it's defense to keep the word "Rugby" out of Ralph Lauren's greedy portfolio of copyrights. Imagine, Ralph Lauren wanted to put a stop to all the brands out there from using "rugby" on their apparel. The chutzpah. Thankfully, a level-headed Judge in the USA thought RL's claim to be whack and gave the six year legal battle victory to Mr. Carlberg. Thank him if see him about.
|Springboks RWC 2011 Jersey|
A similar story of politics and rugby fashion happened in New Zealand when MP Clare Curran wore a Highlanders jersey in session and was asked to leave for breaching dress code conduct. Her reason was highlighting the protest of the change in kit colors from blue and yellow to lime green. The passion!
|England 7s National Team|
Which leads us to the tournament hosts. Adidas and retailers in New Zealand put the much anticipated All Black jersey up for sale at rather astronomical prices. In the home nation, the jersey asking price hovered around $220 NZ dollars (about $180 US) and online with World Rugby Shop for $89 US. This created huge uproar from fans as this price fluctuation showed the cracks in the marketing from Adidas. Obviously, New Zealand has a captured audience on an island and when you mix the pinnacle of rugby competitions in the land of the best team, you have a goldmine to suck dry. Some retailers bent on their profits to appeal to the fans but nevertheless - the support behind the All Blacks is immense and reports show the jersey is selling better than expected.
Oh, and thought that fancy new All Blacks jersey was indestructible? This one is for you ladies.
About the author: Bakline, Inc. is an American based sportswear and lifestyle company. Bakline Rugby is a Bakline, Inc. company brand with sales both domestic and international.
You can learn more about Bakline from President and Co-Founder Rob Schnabel who we interviewed in Podcast Episode 10.