New Era: Expanding from Sports to Music



New Era is an international lifestyle brand with an authentic sports heritage that dates back over 90 years. Best known for being the official on-field cap for Major League Baseball and the National Football League, New Era is the brand of choice not only for its headwear collection, but also for its accessories and apparel lines for men, women and children. The brand is worn as a symbol of self-expression by some of the most interesting and creative people in the world. In fact, the company encourages people to “Fly Your Own Flag” and truly express their personal style through its products.

With the brand firmly established in the sports world, New Era is now expanding its reach into the entertainment field, with music in particular. According to company spokesman Chris Passarell, Director of Central Marketing, “We see two key consumer segments that relate well with our brand: sports and entertainment.” With a focus on music, the company is creating custom caps for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, which will be presented as a VIP gift in the Grammy Gift Lounge.

“We’re always looking for new relationships that suit our brand,” Passarell explains. “And, as such, we’re amping up our game in entertainment, with a special eye on music. In fact, we’ve had a lot of artists contact us because we’re known as a lifestyle brand.” Accordingly, New Era has already associated with some big players in the music industry, such as Roc Nation, Kid Cudi, Talib Kweli, Raphael Saadiq and KPWR radio personality Big Boy. For those luminaries, the company created custom headwear and accessories. Caps associated with Star Wars, DC Comics, Marvel superheroes, Coca Cola and Yums are also part of the brand’s involvement with entertainment.

But most of all, the company’s DNA encourages creativity. As such, it offers consumers the opportunity to create their own headwear and customize it to their specifications via “New Era by You,” which notes, “You can’t buy originality. You have to create it.”

Indeed, New Era has a long history of supporting creativity and artistic expression. A couple years ago the brand launched a global initiative to give up-and-coming talent an opportunity to make their own statement using a blank New Era 59FIFTY cap as their canvas. The participants were asked to transform the iconic cap into a distinctive work of art and to capture the creative process behind their design by detailing its birth, creation, experience and influences.

The project launched in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with gallery exhibits in eight participating countries. From the finished works of art, 100 in all, the artist that produced the most unique and creative design earned $10,000 to assist in the launch of their chosen artistic career.

That same year, the company donated a custom chopper to support a “Welcome Back Veterans” initiative. New Era partnered with Bourget’s Bike Works and Diamond Custom Cycles to build a one-of-a-kind Bourget Python Super Stretch dubbed “MLB Stars & Stripes.” The brands collaborated on the bike as part of the New Era “Stars & Stripes” campaign, a tribute to our armed forces.

“We've built our brand by focusing on customization and collaboration. We like to work on projects with fresh, creative minds,” Passarell states. To that end, he notes, “This year, we’re hosting a party at Coachella and participating in South by Southwest.”

The company produces more than 35 million caps per year, and is headquartered in Buffalo, NY with facilities in Canada, Europe, Brazil, Japan and Hong Kong.

To check out their product lines, go to neweracap.com.