- Don-Alvin Adegeest |
The sport of basketball has caught the eye of luxury conglomerate LVMH, as Louis Vuitton signs a multiyear deal with the US National Basketball Association (NBA) for the company to produce the travel case for the championship winning Larry O’Brien Trophy. The deal also sees the French luxury house create a capsule collection of basketball-inspired clothes and accessories.
The partnership with the NBA is Louis Vuitton’s first partnership with a North American sports league. The trunk is hand-crafted in Louis Vuitton’s historic Asnières workshop on the outskirts of Paris and coated in the brand’s emblematic Monogram canvas and fitted with traditional brass fixtures.
“Louis Vuitton and the NBA are both icons and leaders in their respective fields, and the joining of the two promises exciting and surprising moments, forging historic memories together,” said Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO Michael Burke. “Louis Vuitton has long been associated with the world’s most coveted trophies, and with this iconic partnership the legacy continues – victory does indeed travel in Louis Vuitton!”
Basketball is a unique opportunity for luxury brands
According to Quartz, the NBA is unique among US sports leagues in the marketing opportunity it offers companies because of its strong ties to music and fashion. Hip-hop is the league’s unofficial soundtrack, sneakers originally made for the basketball court are now among the most popular styles off it, and players have become known for their personal style.
”I think that’s why some of these luxury brands are looking to players, influencers, because they are the ones setting the trends and setting the culture, if you will, and these fashion brands are very much a part of that culture,” Mark Tatum, the NBA’s deputy commissioner, told WWD: “Our players are often seen in Louis Vuitton merchandise.”
For Louis Vuitton, the collaboration brings credibility amongst a younger sports fan generation, as well as diversity to its brand image. The NBA may be less known in Europe, but it’s popularity isn’t limited to North America, the league also has a huge international audience, particularly in China.
Louis Vuitton and the NBA will also join forces for an accompanying marketing campaign, to tell compelling stories around one of sport’s most symbolic trophies and its unique travel companion.
The news comes as the sport of basketball mourns the loss of legendary player Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Article source: Quartz; image courtesy Louis Vuitton