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May 24, 2007

The Greatness Within the Everlast and George Foreman Brands

everlast_logo_change_1.gifEverlast is revamping its brand identity including a new tagline, “Greatness is Within,” that demonstrates its fight to survive in the competitive athletic apparel and sporting goods market.

The new logo won't be officially launched until later this year and includes a refreshed logotype, a new icon and corporate colors.

Women’s Wear Daily pointed out that the company was looking for a “consistent message” as it moves to “premier brand caliber.” Everlast wants to emphasize its brand assets of “strength, dedication, individuality and authenticity.”

The new icon shows a vanishing perspective apparently symbolizing “infinity.” Clearly, Everlast is moving away from it’s old “rope-a-dope” brand image into one that might conceivably compete with Nike and Adidas, shooting for “premier athletic brand status” via their 72 licensees.

everlast_glove.pngI think Everlast's current image is pure boxing and not general sports and fitness. Everlast even declares on its website that its name is synonymous with boxing. When I think of the Everlast brand name, I think of Mohammed Ali and Rocky Balboa. For me, the Everlast name conjures up visions of victory, yes, but also visions of pain and blood.

The lovable George Foreman has had something to do with making boxing and boxing-related branding more approachable. There certainly seems to be "greatness within" the George Foreman brand.

foreman-panther.jpgIn fact, Monday’s announcement that Foreman is now co-team owner of IndyCar Panther Racing makes me think that there's nothing the Foreman brand can't take on. Well, almost nothing.

George Jr., Foreman’s eldest son, commented that, "our involvement with Panther Racing offers a tremendous opportunity to bring together two championship brands and cross-promote two sports powerhouses across a diverse fan base."

This co-branding deal, or "Panther Punch", as some are calling it, has the Panther team hoping to leverage Foreman's status as a champion brand.

Is the Everlast brand destined to be a champion, too?

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Posted by William Lozito at May 24, 2007 9:14 AM
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1 Comment

Completely underwhelmed by the revised logo; I'd love to see the strategy behind the change roll out. That's the real test.

I agree that Everlast = boxing, but only superficially. There's a lot more for the company to mine from the brand's cultural equity -- qualities top-line athletic brands are struggle to reclaim (read: Nike running).

You mention wants to emphasize its brand assets of “strength, dedication, individuality and authenticity.” Fine, but can it get any more generic?

The question of authenticity is the most promising for me, but I'd use the term "street cred." Everlast can lay claim to that in a way Nike just can't. There's a lot of mystique to boxing that has nothing to do with blood or pain and everything to do with fear, courage and private glory.

Maybe those ideas have been played out by the Nikes and Adidas, but a brand "synonymous with boxing" ought to have a line on something way more primal than a company that does basketball, golf and cycling.

That's why Foreman works for Everlast: a legendary fighter, a humbled champion (the "dope" in "rope-a-dope,") a valiant striver (went the distance w/Evander Holyfield @ age 42), an awkward, anti-social brute reborn as a preacher, entrepreneur and a can-do poster boy of optimism. Those raw, epic traits should belong to Everlast.

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