Hurley Details Expansion Plans as it Prepares to Celebrate 25 Years
Last week consisted of spring global go-to-market meetings for the brand’s anniversary collection, opening and closing parties, and marketing presentations. All of this was done to ready the global sales force as the business looks to new product for help expanding beyond the core and positioning Hurley as a lifestyle brand with relevance in the outdoor and athleisure markets.
“The reality is we very much want to appeal to people that are not necessarily into surfing, but they are in fact inspired by it and they want to live that surf lifestyle,” said Christine Peddy, Hurley vice president of marketing. “One of the big initiatives we have going forward is, yes, Hurley wants to win when it comes to surf, but the organic growth strategy is also shifting to more of the everyday consumer to show that our apparel is very much lifestyle product.”
That will mean in the near term that Hurley, currently distributed in more than 2,000 retail doors, will boost its marketing spend, expand its floor real estate at retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods for its outdoor collection Explore, launch more capsules with sponsored athletes, and align with events that place the brand alongside artists and musicians.
While the plan doesn’t include sponsoring bands, there will be a focus on working with what Peddy called “relevant” musicians for Hurley in a nod to both the past and present.
In fact, the brand’s product team went back to its archives of stickers and artwork for design references for the initial anniversary collection launch, due out to retailers in December.
“We really were inspired to look at our history and look at our friends of the brand and we put together a really awesome collection of throwback artwork,” said Christina Evans, vice president of product and merchandising at Hurley licensee United Legwear & Apparel Co.
Evans joined Hurley in 2006 as a merchandise manager and has been with the brand from its time as a Nike-owned business up to today with Hurley now part of the Bluestar portfolio.
The anniversary launch rolls out in December with six SKUs, which will be followed by limited edition collections each season through 2024 for a total of four drops.
For the Core
Even with the plans to broaden out to new markets, the product teams are still as focused as ever on core items such as boardshorts, driving home the point that surf and sports remain important for Hurley.
The company has more than 70 sponsored athletes, including surfers Filipe Toledo, Kai Lenny, Carissa Moore, Gabriela Bryan, and Connor O’Leary, along with snowboarder Sean Fitzsimons.
Evans pointed to a new boardshort the brand has been working on in conjunction with its athletes, adjusting details such as the draw cord and waistband so they make sense in the water.
“If you look at the mix, we have a really great assortment of throwback product like this (anniversary) capsule and then the innovation we have moving forward,” Evans said.
For the core, Hurley remains a sponsor of the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach and TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge.
The brand at one time held the title sponsorship role of the US Open of Surfing before then-parent Nike pulled out of the event, at which time Vans took up the spot starting in 2013.
Vans confirmed earlier this year it would not renew its title sponsorship deal for the US Open, saying it was shifting its focus to branded events and contests, and leaving the door open for a new name to take up the spot. However, it won’t be Hurley this year.
“We’re not going to do it this year. It’s something we’ve discussed closely with the WSL. Hurley will have a presence at (this year’s) event, but we’re not going to be a title sponsor,” Peddy said.
A big part of that decision has to do with timing. Peddy pointed to the amount of time required to produce the quantity of merchandise necessary for an event of that size.
At the same time, the brand sees five of its athletes as strong contenders to make the Olympic teams in surfing and snowboarding for next year.
Added Peddy: “So from this point through next year, we want to really make sure we’re leveraging them.”
Kari Hamanaka can be reached at email@example.com.