The New York–based firm has signed an exclusive deal for Pro Player’s Proline athletic footwear brand across the men’s, women’s and kids’ shoe categories. The heritage brand has been priming for a comeback following United Legwear & Apparel Co.’s acquisition of the master license from owner Perry Ellis International earlier this year.
Plans for the relaunch include key marketing partnerships with Major League Baseball, a series of pro athlete endorsements, an e-commerce site, and redesigned creative assets including an updated logo. The new footwear offerings are slated to hit stores for spring ’17, with retail distribution focused on sport specialty shops, sporting goods chains and department stores.
“Athleisure products — specifically technical and fashion athletics — are driving the footwear business,” said Evan Cagner, Synclaire’s president and CEO. “The Pro Player brand embodies the active lifestyle that consumers are embracing today. [We believe] we can combine our footwear design and manufacturing capabilities to help drive more sales.”
Targeted to both team and everyday athletes, as well as fitness enthusiasts, Pro Player’s products are built with performance features such as compression, wicking and ventilation. The brand’s sales strategy focuses on opening price points, supporting its philosophy that people can achieve aspirational goals while paying an attainable price. That philosophy is underscored by Pro Player’s core marketing messaging, “To play like a Pro, you’ve got to train like a Pro.”
Isaac E. Ash, CEO and president of United Legwear & Apparel, who said he grew up wearing Pro Player, cited the brand’s significant opportunity in today’s fitness-minded market.
“My investment in Pro Player is driven by strong consumer recognition of the brand, combined with the adaptability of the Pro Player trademark to so many product categories,” Ash said. “There is tremendous growth potential across soft lines, sporting goods and many other fitness areas.”