New York City Football Club and Staple Design have partnered to launch a new apparel collection on July 30 at NYCFC and Staple’s respective stores and select retailers.
The collection — comprised of short- and long-sleeve T-shirts, hoodies and accessories like a Pintrill pin and scarf ranging in price from $12 to $80 — is born from the partners’ shared mascot: the pigeon. Though the designs nod to the New York City subway map and the commute from Staple’s Lower East Side headquarters to NYCFC’s home base at Yankee Stadium, the two found synergy in the dark-colored dove.
“When I first started at NYCFC, I kept hearing about the fans calling us the pigeon unofficially by our supporter group,” said NYCFC vice president of marketing Sarah Bishop. “My initial thought was how do we partner with Jeff Staple and I admire the work he has done.”
The football club has a super fan named Omari who would wear a pigeon hood mask to the games to energize the fans, and many fans followed suit. Staple said Omari tweeted at the brand in 2014 with photos of himself with the mask and NYCFC merchandise, asking if he’s looking for a model and joking that he works for crumbs.
“We incorporated him in the campaign itself,” Staple said, who stars in the campaign with Omari and NYCFC player Jesús Medina.
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He added about the partnership, “This one was a real no brainer because the birth of it came from the fact that the pigeon is the unofficial symbol or mascot for NYCFC.”
Staple said he was drawn to collaborate because of the backstory and would love to continue the partnership beyond this collection.
Bishop explained that this collection is part of a greater mission to attract younger fans “that follow sports, but don’t yet follow NYCFC.”
“I think we have a very diverse base of fans,” she continued. “We have season ticket holders who bring families to games, Millennial fans, we have something for everyone. We have some Gen Z fans. If they come out, they’re coming out with parents. This collaboration and others moving forward are to attract those younger fans.”
She declined to share what other partnerships are coming and said Staple is the only collaboration they’re focused on this year and putting all of their effort behind it.
This collection is the first drop of a longer relationship between the two and will include a second component for next season, as well as custom-designed cleats for the 11 starting players that will be auctioned to raise funds for community programs in New York City.
“Retail is a real key for us to connect with an expanded audience,” Bishop said. “This specific collaboration has shown us the reach of our brand and a model we want to continue to execute as we move forward.”
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