Tag Archives: clothing

Was The Force with You? Columbia’s Star Wars Jackets

The newest movie in the Star Wars franchise is now in theaters and fans can’t get enough of the series of popular movies, or the Star Wars’- related products. The products are flying off the shelves as if they were under control of The Force. We are particularly sad to report that Columbia’s exclusive Star Wars-themed Echo Base outerwear collection sold out within minutes after its release! (Cross that one off your Christmas shopping list.)

Columbia released three jackets based on those worn by Luke, Leia, and Han while on the icy planet of Hoth. Luke’s jacket was designed to be “warmer than a tauntaun.” Han’s jacket reminds us to “Never tell me the odds.” And with Leia’s jacket, “May the force be with you.”

The company made only 1,980 coats (Get it? 1980 was the year of The Empire Strikes Back release) and they sold out online almost immediately, with very few left in stores. According to Columbia, the Luke jacket sold out in 5 minutes 22 seconds; the Han parka in 6 minutes 23 seconds; and the Leia jacket in 7 minutes 05 seconds. Not quite hyper-drive speed, but pretty darn fast nonetheless.

Columbia said the jackets were “built to withstand freezing temperatures on Hoth or other galaxies closer to home.” Unfortunately for fans, there are no plans to create more jackets.

Never underestimate the power of The Force, or a limited release.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the power of entertainment for marketing products.
  2. Poll students. What products related to movies or shows can they recall? Have they bought any of these?
  3. Show Columbia’s Star Wars-themed site: https://www.columbia.com/starwars/
  4. Discuss why the product sold out so quickly? Who was the target market? What role did exclusivity play in the sales?
  5. Should Columbia make more of the jackets?

Source:  Griner, D. (2017, Dec. 8). Columbia created a line of Empire Strikes Back’ jackets and sold out in minutes. Adweek.

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“Stranger Things” Hoodie and the Science Museum of Minnesota

What do you think is the most popular wearable on the market right now? If you guessed some sort of high tech fitness tracking, you would be…. wrong! The most popular wearable lately is the decidedly low-tech sweatshirt worn by Dustin, one of the nerdy middle-school students on the Netflix blockbuster series, “Stranger Things.”

With an average viewership of more than 8.8 million people per episode for season two, Dustin wore a vintage Science Museum of Minnesota hoodie (featuring a drawing of a brontosaurus skeleton). It sent the Internet rocking and social media went crazy. The Science Museum was deluged with requests from fans to buy the hoodie. The only problem was that it no longer existed. The vintage art work used on the shirt was from the 1980s and found online by the show’s costume designer.

The Museum quickly commissioned new apparel to match the show and started selling it online and in the Museum’s store on Nov. 7th. What happened next was amazing. The website traffic was so heavy that it crashed the server! And, when it was operating, fans faced a checkout wait time of 20 minutes. In addition, hundreds of fans waited in line on a cold Minnesota November day. By the end of the day, the shirts had all sold out, totaling $400,000 in sales for the Museum in support of its mission to “inspire learning, inform policy and improve lives.” (Don’t worry – more are being reordered.)

Product placement works (even it’s for an old product)!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss product placement and its role in promotion.
  2. Poll students: Who has watched, or heard of, “Stranger Things”?
  3. Consider showing a trailer for students who are not familiar with the series: https://youtu.be/vgS2L7WPIO4
  4. Show the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Web site: https://www.smm.org/strangerthings
  5. Poll students: What product placements can they recall seeing in the past month in TV shows or movies?
  6. What makes an effective product placement?
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a popular show that they have watched. What products or services would be a good fit? Why?

Source:  Harlow, T. (2017, Nov. 7). Sales of ‘Stranger Things’ hoodie overwhelms Science Museum of Minnesota website. Minneapolis Star Tribune.


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NBA Uniforms Take Sponsors

People love sports. We watch sports on TV, listen on the radio, read about victories and defeats in the news, and emulate those athletes who represent our ideals. We buy tennis racquets used by Serena Williams, golf clubs hit by Tiger Woods, and basketball gear worn by LeBron James. Sports and athletes are a common component in many companies’ marketing campaigns.

Thus, it seems only natural that the NBA, one of the largest sports franchises, is now going to allow companies to sponsor teams and have their logos emblazoned on team jerseys. Starting next season, new logo patches will be added to jerseys, with brands paying premium price for the NBA exposure.

So far, only six teams have signed sponsors:

  • Philadelphia 76ers have a three-year deal worth $5 million per year with StubHub.
  • Sacramento Kings signed with Blue Diamond Growers for a $5 million per year, three-year trial run.
  • Boston Celtics have an $8 million per year, three-year agreement with GE.
  • Brooklyn Nets also have a deal worth $8 million/year for three years with Infor.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers have a multi-year sponsorship with Goodyear that includes a $1 million donation to Cleveland and Akron public schools.
  • Utah Jazz has a $4 million sponsorship deal with Qualtrics, but will not use the company logo. Instead, it will use a logo for “5 For The Fight” campaign promoting cancer research.

Which companies do you want to see on your home team jerseys?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role of branding and sponsorship of sports.
  2. Ask the students their opinions about the NBA jersey branding.
  3. Show the video of Goodyear sponsoring the Cavaliers:


  1. Divide students into team. Have each team select a company and brand to represent. Using company information about values and mission, have each student team select a sports team to sponsor.
  2. Explain how the company and team fit.
  3. Set metrics to measure the effectiveness of the sponsorship.

Source: Forbes, Brandchannel.com  

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