Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Four years ago Erik Ellington agreed to promote the upstart apparel brand KR3W . He and other skateboarders sponsored by the Santa Ana company wore their clothes whilst skating as a promotion. This year KR3W was rated the hottest brand in a national industry survey. KR3W's appeal is linked to the popularity of its skaters and "urban crossover attitude" attracts young suburbanites. Its edgy punk styles struck a chord with young shoppers. KR3W sells shirts, hoodies, hats, jeans and jackets in about 1,500 stores nationwide (US). The company is growing and launched a skate shoe division, Supra Footwear earlier this year. KR3W will face plenty of challenges, including intense competition from bigger and much better known businesses, such as Quiksilver , Billabong and Volcom . Most companies in this industry also sponsor athletes to keep their brands authentic, and some of them are much better known than the skaters corralled by KR3W.