Henri Lloyd Launches New Range for Fans. F1 Fans. 13


Crain’s Manchester Business reports that sailing-wear and fashion brand Henri-Lloyd is struggling to cope with unexpectedly high demand for its Brawn GP Formula 1 team clothing range. It shows that official clothing deals can be lucrative.

As part of a three-year sponsorship deal, the Worsley-based company launched a new range of official team merchandise on Saturday. It replaces a basic interim range which has been on sale since March when the deal with Brawn was signed.

Paul Strzelecki, joint Henri-Lloyd chief executive, said the demand from fans was testing the manufacturing capability of the firm which makes its clothes in Poland. He told Crain’s:

“We are struggling to keep up with demand as it’s so high. It’s a good test for our organisation. We are constantly improving and responding to demand.”

The 17-item range includes technical jackets priced at £100, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello caps for £25, polo tops for £40 and T-shirts for £25. Strzelecki, whose family owns the company, said prices and margins were similar to other Henri-Lloyd clothing.

He declined to give sales figures or projections but said he hoped the line would create new customers among F1 fans. Strzelecki, who attended the Monaco Grand Prix in May, said:

“They will see the Brawn stuff but also realise we sell other gear.”

Under the deal the Henri-Lloyd laurel leaves and crown logo appear on Brawn GP’s 001 car and the company supplies uniforms and travel kit to the drivers and their support team.

It would be interesting to know how sales of iShares Cup merchandise are going.

Read more about Henri Lloyd on YACHT$ponsorshiop.com

  • Gavin_Brown

    Plenty of clothing deals – both for sailing events & teams – have been highly lucrative too! From North Sails/Tomasoni to Louis Vuitton and many others in between.

    Unlike most F1 gear, good sailing “merchandise” programmes cross over well into general retail and don't only sell where the hardcore fanbase is. Why? Because what great sailing properties lack in street-notoriety, they make up for by being iconic of an aspirational activity and aren't over-exposed.

    Not wishing to take anything away from Henri Lloyd's success – for which they deserve rich congratulations – nor disprove your iShares Cup comment, but we (you) should give credit where it's due.

  • This article is pretty neutral, but it does raise some interesting issues around merchandising – not just clothing. I agree that very different mind-sets going on here that go to the core of the sports – mostly to do with the distinctions between fans, enthusiasts and competitors.

    Merchandise for NASCAR and F1 is for fans. They don't sell firesuits, or helmets… they sell caps and jackets and mousemats. Sailing is more like the merchandise market for golf or sports cars. Having been involved with NASCAR I would argue that a very large part of the population affirms their identity by buying gear at racetracks. The slightly elitist argument about aspiration and over-exposure is trying to suggest that sailing fans shouldn't be proud to wear their support for their sport on their sleeve.

    I've got tons of sailing merchandise. Mostly at a regatta level. Every Antigua week or Cork Week or Geelong week attended has some gear, but it is competitor gear – customised for the boat I was on. I see people still wearing Alinghi gear and BMW ORACLE / SLAM gear is still available, but there might be a trick being missed still.

    There needs to be a distinction made between fan stuff and technical stuff. Just as my Rip Curl technical board shorts are pretty useless as a fashion item (no pockets) they are the most comfortable gear for the sport they were designed for. It will be interesting to watch Puma's entry into the sailing gear market. Perhaps the best merchandisers will be non-sailing brands.

  • Gavin_Brown

    “I would argue that a very large part of the population affirms their identity by buying gear at racetracks.”

    Yes of course. The fan market. On race days. Not the general market on any given day.

    “The slightly elitist argument about aspiration and over-exposure is trying to suggest that sailing fans shouldn't be proud to wear their support for their sport on their sleeve.”

    That's not the point I was intending to make at all! Of course sailing fans should be showing their affinity/support, and do. My point was that many consumers – as well as diehard fans – find something in the look, feel and context of sailing gear that which expresses their interests/aspirations without causing them to lose their sense of individualism. The fact that sailing isn't permanently exposed in the media helps this along.

    If there's an elitist element in that, at worst it's the same elitism that drives most of the fashion sportswear and branded consumer goods market!

  • Sounds like you are both arguing the same thing, just that some fans are more – dare I say it – more refined than others.

    The board-short example is an interesting one. There are thousands more people wear Quiksilver's gear than have ever surfed. Many of these people have no idea who Kelly Slater is. Is that a good or a bad thing? Yes people want to think they are surfer types and the gear expresses their interests and aspirations without causing them to lose their sense of individualism – but how does this relate to the sport? This isn't merchandise, just normal retail.

    There are of course some 'lucrative' clothing deals in the context of sailing, but compared to replica football shirts it is nothing. In that sense I agree with David, that merchandising for fans in order to promote the sport and it's athletes could be done better. If Henri Lloyd can make Jenson Button caps, why can't they make fan gear featuring their sponsored sailors?

  • Gavin_Brown

    Sara, your parallel to Quiksilver is a good one.

    But my original post was that many sailing team & event ranges have done well or very well – creating sales, notoriety and sponsor exposure – precisely because it goes beyond “merchandising for fans”. 32nd America's Cup gear was in more than 1000 points of sale. It wasn't just a comment on the sailing lifestyle business.

  • Merchandise is an important part of the sponsorship mix. Those who do it well generate great ongoing value for brands. The debate in the USA at the moment as to whether to allow jersey sponsorship at all shows that in that regard sailing has got that message.

    The America's Cup does create opportunities to take merchandise outside of the hardcore sailing market and touch a wider audience. The boxing kangaroo brand that almost defines Australian sports fans came from the 1983 campaign. That said, Henri Lloyd has obviously never had to make as many hats as they do now with their Brawn F1 sponsorship.

    A quick look at some of the biggest events and teams today shows a relative lack of merchandise. There's Helly Hansen's Ericsson gear, there's Puma's stuff, there's BMW ORACLE SLAM gear around and your can buy Emirates Team NZ replica shirts from Line 7. But merchandise for Skandia GBR Team is the old GUL kit and there is no shop on the iShares Cup site or the Audi Med Cup site.

    Even Fat Face, which used to have a real sense of sailing and sailors has now become a generic fashion brand. Gone are the funky slogans and semi-techical products in favour of a more mainstream beach feel.

    This site was started to bring best practise to the promotion of professional sailing. While there might be some good examples in the past, this is no reason to rest on past glories. Other sports do it better. I'm a fan – how do I show it?

  • Nice debate, though sailing will always 'suffer' from having a split audience. Those who do and those who want to. The non-sailing clothing sponsors have it easier in a way and some very smart teams make a distinction between their technical clothing supplier and 'apres' wear.

    Obviously folks – who is right comes down to what the sponsor's objectives are. Just as Louis Vuitton shudder at the thought of Pizza companies sponsoring the America's Cup, so too might Aston Martin not want their brand worn by any old fan.

    There have been a couple of examples mentioned. I would add Aston Martin's tie up with Hackett as a good one and of course Harley Davidson does the 'it works' and 'its cool' double better than most. F1 incidentally does a pretty bad job at merchandising. Considering the estimated fan-base, they are not very good at producing and selling kit for fans.

    So whare are we arguing. Merchandise works, even in sailing, but if sailing is to use branded clothing as a mechanism to deliver brand objectives then it needs to understand what those objectives are and they can probably learn from other sports who do it better.

  • This article is pretty neutral, but it does raise some interesting issues around merchandising – not just clothing. I agree that very different mind-sets going on here that go to the core of the sports – mostly to do with the distinctions between fans, enthusiasts and competitors.

    Merchandise for NASCAR and F1 is for fans. They don't sell firesuits, or helmets… they sell caps and jackets and mousemats. Sailing is more like the merchandise market for golf or sports cars. Having been involved with NASCAR I would argue that a very large part of the population affirms their identity by buying gear at racetracks. The slightly elitist argument about aspiration and over-exposure is trying to suggest that sailing fans shouldn't be proud to wear their support for their sport on their sleeve.

    I've got tons of sailing merchandise. Mostly at a regatta level. Every Antigua week or Cork Week or Geelong week attended has some gear, but it is competitor gear – customised for the boat I was on. I see people still wearing Alinghi gear and BMW ORACLE / SLAM gear is still available, but there might be a trick being missed still.

    There needs to be a distinction made between fan stuff and technical stuff. Just as my Rip Curl technical board shorts are pretty useless as a fashion item (no pockets) they are the most comfortable gear for the sport they were designed for. It will be interesting to watch Puma's entry into the sailing gear market. Perhaps the best merchandisers will be non-sailing brands.

  • Gavin_Brown

    “I would argue that a very large part of the population affirms their identity by buying gear at racetracks.”

    Yes of course. The fan market. On race days. Not the general market on any given day.

    “The slightly elitist argument about aspiration and over-exposure is trying to suggest that sailing fans shouldn't be proud to wear their support for their sport on their sleeve.”

    That's not the point I was intending to make at all! Of course sailing fans should be showing their affinity/support, and do. My point was that many consumers – as well as diehard fans – find something in the look, feel and context of sailing gear that which expresses their interests/aspirations without causing them to lose their sense of individualism. The fact that sailing isn't permanently exposed in the media helps this along.

    If there's an elitist element in that, at worst it's the same elitism that drives most of the fashion sportswear and branded consumer goods market!

  • Sounds like you are both arguing the same thing, just that some fans are more – dare I say it – more refined than others.

    The board-short example is an interesting one. There are thousands more people wear Quiksilver's gear than have ever surfed. Many of these people have no idea who Kelly Slater is. Is that a good or a bad thing? Yes people want to think they are surfer types and the gear expresses their interests and aspirations without causing them to lose their sense of individualism – but how does this relate to the sport? This isn't merchandise, just normal retail.

    There are of course some 'lucrative' clothing deals in the context of sailing, but compared to replica football shirts it is nothing. In that sense I agree with David, that merchandising for fans in order to promote the sport and it's athletes could be done better. If Henri Lloyd can make Jenson Button caps, why can't they make fan gear featuring their sponsored sailors?

  • Gavin_Brown

    Sara, your parallel to Quiksilver is a good one.

    But my original post was to correct the impression of the article and point out that many sailing team & event ranges have done well or very well – creating sales, notoriety and sponsor exposure – precisely because it goes beyond “merchandising for fans”. e.g. 32nd America's Cup gear was in more than 1500 points of sale. It wasn't just a comment on the sailing lifestyle business.

  • Merchandise is an important part of the sponsorship mix. Those who do it well generate great ongoing value for brands. The debate in the USA at the moment as to whether to allow jersey sponsorship at all shows that in that regard sailing has got that message.

    The America's Cup does create opportunities to take merchandise outside of the hardcore sailing market and touch a wider audience. The boxing kangaroo brand that almost defines Australian sports fans came from the 1983 campaign. That said, Henri Lloyd has obviously never had to make as many hats as they do now with their Brawn F1 sponsorship.

    A quick look at some of the biggest events and teams today shows a relative lack of merchandise. There's Helly Hansen's Ericsson gear, there's Puma's stuff, there's BMW ORACLE SLAM gear around and your can buy Emirates Team NZ replica shirts from Line 7. But merchandise for Skandia GBR Team is the old GUL kit and there is no shop on the iShares Cup site or the Audi Med Cup site.

    Even Fat Face, which used to have a real sense of sailing and sailors has now become a generic fashion brand. Gone are the funky slogans and semi-techical products in favour of a more mainstream beach feel.

    This site was started to bring best practise to the promotion of professional sailing. While there might be some good examples in the past, this is no reason to rest on past glories. Other sports do it better. I'm a fan – how do I show it?

  • Nice debate, though sailing will always 'suffer' from having a split audience. Those who do and those who want to. The non-sailing clothing sponsors have it easier in a way and some very smart teams make a distinction between their technical clothing supplier and 'apres' wear.

    Obviously folks – who is right comes down to what the sponsor's objectives are. Just as Louis Vuitton shudder at the thought of Pizza companies sponsoring the America's Cup, so too might Aston Martin not want their brand worn by any old fan.

    There have been a couple of examples mentioned. I would add Aston Martin's tie up with Hackett as a good one and of course Harley Davidson does the 'it works' and 'its cool' double better than most. F1 incidentally does a pretty bad job at merchandising. Considering the estimated fan-base, they are not very good at producing and selling kit for fans.

    So whare are we arguing. Merchandise works, even in sailing, but if sailing is to use branded clothing as a mechanism to deliver brand objectives then it needs to understand what those objectives are and they can probably learn from other sports who do it better.