Preppy sweeps the globe

Polo Ralph Lauren aims to enhance not only the image of its brand abroad, but also that of America as the “Official Outfitter” of...

Polo Ralph Lauren aims to enhance not only the image of its brand abroad, but also that of America as the “Official Outfitter” of the 2008 US Olympic and Paralympic Teams, replacing Roots, outfitter of the past three games.

David Lauren, senior VP of advertising, marketing, and corporate communications at Polo – also son of Ralph - told the Wall Street Journal he is hoping the athletes' new look will help boost America's image internationally, regardless of recent controversy concerning Beijing’s position on Darfur and Sudan. He also said he doesn’t believe Polo's deal with the US team will have a negative impact on the brand's image.

The Journal adds that last year, Roots had unveiled a "yoga-inspired, technical, green product" for the US athletes to wear in Beijing, which disappointed Norman Bellingham, COO of the USOC, who wanted the athletes attired in a “classic and more formal manner.”

Polo will provide apparel for around 1,500 American athletes to wear to the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies, as well as wardrobes for their time off in Olympic Village venues. According to the press release, products will be available for sale in June in retail stores, select department stores, and on RalphLauren.com.

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