The sports media empire ESPN, which is comprised of a broadcaster, publisher and event organizer, is set to take on a new niche: selling skateboards, bicycles, backpacks and outdoor and sportswear. ESPN's new clothing line is inspired by the X Games extreme sports and goes on sale in stores in the US this week. This is just the beginning, says Steve Cipolla, vice president of ESPN's consumer products division. The company's plans include a collection of sportswear, such as basketball shorts and jerseys, which will be produced in collaboration with Russell and Champion.
ESPN is not the first media company to enter the apparel market. The famous National Geographic magazine produces climbing and travel clothing; optical and sun glasses are produced under the Cosmopolitan license; and Walt Disney has several lines that are sold in their stores and theme parks. “For kids, X Games is synonymous with the coolest in sports, music and technology,” explains his belief in the success of the new Cipolla line. ESPN brought in Christopher McClure, former Nike Team Sports Creative Director, to create the collection.