The $159.3 billion global gaming industry is piquing the interest of century-old sweatshirt stalwart Champion Athleticwear.
Following in the footsteps of brands like Nike and K-Swiss, which have introduced footwear for gamers, Champion unveiled Wednesday its first patent pending sweatshirt design since 1952 geared toward the gaming community.
Hoodies are the focal point in the Gamer Collection, which incorporate design details that address the specific needs of e-sports athletes and casual gamers, including an oversize hood that can be worn over headsets of all sizes to block outside distractions, odor control technology, narrowed sleeves and a unique rib cuff that will stay put when pushed up onto the forearm.
The design also considers gamers’ need for storage. The fleece tops offer a kangaroo pocket with zippers to stow phones and a top loading pocket to hold console controllers. Another zip pocket at the left chest has an internal credit card slot. An interchangeable Velcro patch adorns the right chest and on the left shoulder, allowing gamers to customize their look with team patches to show affiliation in tournaments.
And true to Champion’s core products, the hoodie’s pockets are lined with ultra-cozy microfleece to keep hands “warm and limber” between games, the company described.
Champion has been wooing gamers and e-sport fans. Last fall, the brand partnered with HyperX, the gaming accessories division of Kingston Technology Co., which makes flash drives and other computer memory products, to produce a capsule collection of crewneck sweatshirts, hoodies and T-shirts for gamers.
Just as Champion’s Reverse Weave patents were developed to better serve the needs of athletes, David Robertson, director of Champion global brand marketing, said the company’s goal with the Gamer Collection is to enhance the gamer lifestyle. “As a brand that embraces all sports, we wanted to create an unofficial uniform for gamers that modernizes the classic hoodie and recognizes that they are athletes with distinctive needs for their sport,” he said.
The Gamer Collection includes a pullover hoodie, full zip hoodie and pants in black and heather gray. The collection, available in Champion stores and the brand’s online shop, retail for $50-$90. The Velcro patch designs are sold separately with select graphics available for a limited time only.