Magazine article Marketing

Brand Builders: Footie Chick

Magazine article Marketing

Brand Builders: Footie Chick

Article excerpt

Women and football may be many men's ideal combination, but for one it is a fashion enterprise.

Rebecca Loos is definitely not a footie chick,' says David Brint decisively. Although associated with a footballer, you see - David Beckham, no less - she isn't really interested in the game.

Brint, 46, is the authority on what constitutes a footie chick, having trademarked the term last August.

We are standing in the kitchen at the top of Footie Chick's office, a converted house above a designer gift shop in Hale, just south of Manchester.

Along the street some elderly ladies are playing an eternal game of bowls.

Boxes of clothing designed for Euro 2004 surround us; this kitchen also acts as one of Footie Chick's 'warehouses'. It is fortunate that the firm is poised to move into new offices (also in Hale), because this one is bursting at the seams.

While working for companies such as Reebok and Berghaus, Brint spotted a gap in the market - no one was catering for the female football fan.

Pre-Footie Chick, sports clothes were either tailored for men or branded 'unisex' - a term Brint dismisses as 'a men's range with an extra-small option tagged on'.

When Footie Chick launched its website, female footballers responded in droves, asking whether the brand had plans for teamwear. As a result, Footie Chick strips will go on sale later this year.

The range comprises mainly tight-fitting T-shirts and chic tracksuit bottoms - in a vast range of colours - made from quality cotton or lycra.

Footie Chick sees celebrity endorsement as central to its marketing strategy and is trying to persuade characters in ITV's Footballer's Wives to wear some of its gear. 'For a 21-year-old woman to perceive Footie Chick as a cool brand it needs to stay on top of the celebrity game,' Brint explains.

Amanda Holden was recently featured in Closer wearing a Footie Chick T-shirt, while Anna Friel has requested more samples. Brint has also cheekily sent George Best's estranged wife Alex Best a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase 'Ex-Footie Chick'. In the office hallway boxes of shirts for a celebrity five-a-side match litter the floor, addressed to various famous names.

Footie Chick seems to have captured the zeitgeist perfectly: football, fashion and celebrity are all central to the brand's success and close to Brint's heart.

At lunchtime, he insists on a detour via a women's shoe boutique in the centre of the village 'just for fun'. Once inside he is completely at home examining pounds 250 pink diamante Gina heels and commending the assistants on their footwear selection. …

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