SOUTHFIELD, MI: The owner of auto-parts brand Champion had no idea that Brad Pitt’s character in the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood would wear a shirt adorned with its logo. And now, shoppers are rushing to buy the same t-shirt.
"Brad Pitt can sell more t-shirts than I can, that’s for sure," said Chris Brathwaite, VP of global comms and chief communications officer for Champion parent Tenneco, who said he noticed Pitt wearing the shirt when the film’s poster was unveiled a few months ago.
On Monday, Esquire posted a story about how to get one of the shirts, but it mistakenly said they were only available in black. Brathwaite said his team quickly reached out to the magazine to let its staff know that the same, exact shirt Pitt wears in the film, in white, is available on Federal-Mogul’s website for $12.99. Tenneco acquired the supplier last year.
More than 100 Champion t-shirts have been sold in the past 24 hours since the Esquire story was published, said Brathwaite. The company is not working with a PR agency on the push.
"We haven’t done anything other than make sure people know the shirt is available in white and make sure anyone who was interested in purchasing the shirt knew exactly where to go," said Brathwaite.
The push is also getting support from the social media accounts of Driv, the $6 billion-plus planned spinoff of last year’s merger of Tenneco and Federal-Mogul, which is preparing for a public stock offering next year. Driv has been communicating about the Champion t-shirts on its Twitter and Facebook accounts, said Brathwaite, who is set to become chief communications officer of Driv after the spinoff.
As the home of the #Champion brand of auto parts, we know where you can get those exact @ChampionParts tee shirts. ps.. we think Brad looks great in that shirt ??https://t.co/PkzO9Va07K https://t.co/7QUBFi26Iy— DRiV (@DRiV_Inc) July 29, 2019
Brathwaite noted that he has also been sharing the news about the Champion shirt appearing in Tarantino’s film with company staffers.
"We are making sure employees know," he said. "It gives everyone a boost to see one of our iconic brands recognized in a movie by one of the most iconic actors of our time."