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Suns among NBA teams finding value in off-court fashion collabs

Since Dean Stoyer became Suns Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, the team's "off-the-court collaborations" have "increased team merchandise sales to the 'upper echelon'" of the NBA, according to Obi Anyanwu of WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY. These projects help "increase the franchise’s relevance in other markets and around the world." Stoyer took over the franchise’s merchandising business and "put together a small in-house design team to manage designs." The Suns have released collaborations with Warren Lotas, Jeff Hamilton and LRG, and have a "launch coming this month with Kill the Hype." Stoyer introduced a "unique opportunity for players through Valley Threads," an in-house brand trough which Suns and WNBA Phoenix Mercury players can "design their own capsule collections." The NBA and fashion have "been synonymous for decades." While the individual athletes "get most of the attention," the teams are "not far behind in the fashion ecosystem." NBA franchises release product collaborations through "officially licensed collections that involve more than one team." Keiser Clark Founder and Designer Marc Keiser's L.A.-based brand produced "vintage letterman and rugby-inspired clothing" for the Hawks, Celtics, Bulls, Warriors, Lakers, Heat, Suns and Spurs. However, teams and fashion labels "have different goals." For instance, Monumental Sports & Entertainment Artistic Dir Brett Johnson has "been tasked with elevating the brand to a luxury profile." Johnson’s collection for the Wizards will "debut with the cherry blossom court that he designed," and the Suns’ next collaborations are "launching in May." In addition, Keiser Clark is "releasing a new collaboration with the NBA in June" (WWD.com, 5/9).

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