Sportswear
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“New Balance has been making shoes for more than a century. Now, with its running and casual sneaker business humming along—sales hit $3.3 billion in 2014, up 21 percent from 2013—the privately held company is making a big play for women with a revamped apparel line.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - New Balance
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“Runners beware: winter is coming. To combat the viscous cycle of layering and un-layering often associated with winter running and athletics, Nike introduces a new line of weather-smart clothing designed with athlete-needs in mind: the Nike Therma-Sphere collection.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Nike
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“Nike has ruled the sportswear sector for years. But Under Armour has slowly been eating into Nike’s market and is now the second most-popular athletic apparel brand in America. Adidas lags behind at number three.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Under Armour x Sportswear
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“In a market full of apparel that skews ever more neon and high-tech, Tracksmith launched a little over a year ago with the aim of providing runners something a little different: simple clothing in classic colors like red, white and muted blue — some of which are fashioned in technical fabrics, and some of which are not. You can buy a $55 cotton-rayon tee made in a 100-year-old mill in Massachusetts because, as Tracksmith founder and longtime runner Matt Taylor explains, even elite athletes train in cotton t-shirts.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Tracksmith
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“The UK’s SportPursuit, a 1 million member-strong flash sales site for sports and outdoor gear, appears to have made somewhat of a hiring coup. It’s recruited Kath Smith, ex UK managing director for both Adidas and Reebok. She joins the London-based startup as Chief Sales Officer, charged with helping SportPursuit expand the number of brands it works with and, ultimately, shift more product.”

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sportpursuit
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“Retail design consultancy Green Room announced it has created a new multi-channel store concept in London’s Foubert’s Place with sportswear retailer Pro Direct, bringing the brand’s on-line experience to life within the physical retail space.

According to the companies, Pro Direct’s vision was to capture the dynamic feeling of walking into a physical realization of their website. This vision was realized by Green Room in the form of London’s premiere “digital mortar” space, just off Carnaby Street.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Pro Direct

Decoded Fashion - News - Fuelbox

Technology is intrinsic to the sportswear sector – the use of innovative, lab-produced materials has been standard industry practice for many decades now. But things have moved on from workout leggings being more stretchy and sweat-resistant than ever before, sports fanatics are looking for more than this.

Sportswear brands need to use clever marketing to spark everyone’s attention. In the past it’s been through sponsoring events, launching guerrilla campaigns, entering into collaborations with designers or celebrities. Recently, they’ve also started incorporating technology into the design of their marketing strategies. Here are a few examples of how big sportswear brands have managed to use tech to stimulate media attention, add value to their product offering, and drive ‘brand love’ over the last month.

Reebok added a customisation program to its Union Square FitHub location. It’s called Local 1nk and it lets shoppers customise their merchandise purchases free of charge, using an innovative portable silkscreen printing device. Amidst its current crossfit craze, this is a cool way for Reebok to use technology (rather than bacon) to set itself apart from its’ competitors – whilst appealing to the masses.

Nike upped their ante with technology by introducing a vending machine that can only be operated with the Nike FuelBand. The so-called Nike+ FuelBox holds items such as socks and hats, and dispenses these when users plug in their FuelBand USB – if they’ve amassed enough points. It’s effectively allowing FuelBand users to turn their exercise units into a currency – a great incentive to use the FuelBand (or deterrent from buying one of the new fitness trackers out there) and a fun motivation to work out. Read more about the FuelBox here.

Then there’s Lacoste, who started dabbling in Augmented Reality for their spin-off brand LCST. In collaboration with Engine Creative, they created an AR app for in-store use that allows customers preview what a trainer would look like, without trying it on. It also lets users take a picture of the preview and share it on social media. Check it out here.

It was also interesting to see that Adidas lifted the restrictions they had placed on ecommerce distribution (read more about this here). The German sportswear brand has now joined competitors like Nike in being available for purchase over marketplace sites such as Amazon and eBay. They will enter into further direct competition with Nike when they launch their first wearable tech fitness accessory later this month. These steps may not be that innovative, but you gotta to start somewhere. We’re excited to see what the other big sportswear brands come up with in the future.

Reported by Anna Abrell

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“Tracksmith, a new running apparel company, has raised $1.6 million in its first round of institutional funding to bring modern technology and classic styling to running gear. The company’s mission, envisioned by Matt Taylor and Luke Scheybeler, is to re-connect the sport to its storied past while looking forward to what the sport could be in the future.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Tracksmith
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“Yoox.com is set to make its debut into the sportswear arena. In September, the Italian e-tailer will launch a new shopping area dedicated to activewear for women, men and children.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Yoox Sportswear
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“German sportswear maker Adidas has decided to allow the sale of its products via market-place sites like eBay and Amazon, an issue the German cartel office has been investigating.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Adidass