The media have already made much of the fact that Super Bowl XLVIII will be the first in game history to be played outdoors in a cold-weather city (specifically, in the roofless MetLife Stadium). And it's no coincidence that the apparel brands with NFL partnerships are ready with a plethora of performance gear. After all, if Sunday's weather truly sucks, that's a touchdown for the marketing department, right? "The weather generates more buzz," conceded Under Armour's marketing vp Steve Sommers. "That's good because it gives us an opportunity to talk about our latest ColdGear technology." Added marketing svp Rob Goldberg of Tommy Bahama, which is selling ultra-warm NFL pullovers: "If the game looks miserable, I don't know if that'll be a plus—but it's going to be interesting to watch." Put it this way, he added, "This wouldn't be something we'd sell if the game were in Arizona." Below, a peek at the goods aimed at shivering fans everywhere.
From the Pro Combat Hyperwarm Max Shield Hood to a goose down game jacket with a titanium coating, the biggest collection of insulating goods belongs to Nike (which did not respond to a request for comment). “Nike has done a magnificent job of positioning itself this way,” said Hayes Roth, CMO of brand consulting firm Landor Associates. “I’m sure that whenever they figured out the Super Bowl was going to be outdoors, some farsighted person said, ‘We need to get into the winter clothing business.’”
Already the NFL’s official supplier of gloves and footwear, Under Armour is preparing its own big show to coincide with the big game. Its “immersive brand experience” will take over part of New York’s Grand Central Terminal to tout the latest goods. Those include ColdGear (a fabric that uses infrared coating to recycle body heat) and the NFL Combine Authentic Collection, performance gear developed for the annual Scouting Combine, the hell week where NFL coaches size up aspiring college players.
Given the fact that Bahama is half the name and the logo is a marlin, this brand isn’t exactly famous for cold weather gear. Nevertheless, its new NFL team jackets and pullovers are made from an Italian wool and nylon blend that is both lightweight and insulating. So far, all the talk of a cold weather Super Bowl has been good to Tommy Bahama, whose performance line isn’t only a completely new business venture, but it’s also 93 percent sold out.