Skins (sportswear)

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SKINS
Founded 1996
Founder Brad Duffy
Headquarters Steinhausen, Switzerland
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Brad Duffy (Founder), Jaimie Fuller (Chairman)
Products compression sportswear
Website skins.net/index.aspx

Skins, stylized SKINS, is an Australian-owned company that designs and manufactures compression sportswear for athletes and sports enthusiasts.

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1996 by Brad Duffy, an Australian physiologist and ski enthusiast.[1]

In 1998, SKINS launched their first three product ranges: 'JetSkins' for travel, 'SportsSkins' for multi sports and 'SnowSkins' for Alpine pursuits. Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh was chosen as the public face of the new products.

Initially, the range was limited to long tights only and was sold exclusively online and through telesales. By 2002, the product was still being manufactured in Sydney but was being sold through around 20 retail outlets in Australia. In the same year, Australian entrepreneur Jaimie Fuller was appointed as CEO of SKINS.[2] Fuller has received publicity for his straight-talking attitude and unconventional business style.[3][4]

In 2003, other styles were added to the SKINS range, including half-tights and tops, and the expanded manufacturing operation was moved to Fiji. The year after, SKINS lodged patents on their compression technology.

In 2005, manufacturing was moved to China with a product redesign and a new range for women. SKINS were launched in the UK in 2006 with the US/global launch taking place the following year.

SKINS currently sell over 160 different compression products including specific ranges for golf, cycling, triathlon and snow sports. The company currently has around 80 full-time members of staff and retails through more than 800 speciality retailers in their home territory of Australia.[5]

Advertising and controversy[edit]

SKINS has a history of bold and controversial advertising. A series of adverts that ran in 2005/6 caused the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to allege that SKINS had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. The adverts in question stated that "We don't pay sports stars to wear our product. They pay us." The ACCC contested this claim and produced a list of athletes who were sponsored and paid by SKINS.[6] In 2009 the Federal Court of Australia handed down judgment in favour of the ACCC and SKINS agreed to provide undertakings to the Court, pay costs and publish corrective advertisements.[7] The same court also upheld an accusation of retail price maintenance against SKINS, who induced, by request, a retailer in Adelaide not to lower the retail prices of their products.[8][9]

SKINS ran an advertising campaign in 2006 which featured the famous "Swoosh" logo of Nike, Inc. placed upside down across the mouths of athletes to form a grimace. Nike demanded SKINS to cease this advertising, which they did. However, the advertising campaign received praise for its creativity from the Advertising Federation of Australia.[6]

Retail partnerships[edit]

In 2010, SKINS partnered with Chinese sportswear manufacturer Li-Ning with a range of co-branded products being produced for the Chinese market by the two companies.[10]

In 2012 SKINS has partnered with the Itochu Corporation of Japan to distribute SKINS products in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.[11][12]

Anti-doping campaigns[edit]

SKINS has been vocal opponents of blood doping in sports and were the first company to be certified by BikePure, an independent, not-for-profit organisation which advocates ethical cycling practices and conducts anti-doping research.[13]

In September 2013 SKINS launched an Anti-Doping initiative called Pure Sport, petitioning for change with the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency.[14][15] Former Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson has joined the campaign; Johnson had his gold medal rescinded after the 1988 Summer Olympics after testing positive for the banned substance Stanozolol. In February, 2014 Pure Sport also launched a campaign during the Sochi Winter Olympics. The aim was to showcase the inequality, discrimination and poor practices that took place before, and during the games with the hope of increasing awareness so that future mistakes are not replicated.

Other associations[edit]

The company was involved with the Mars Society Australia in the development of MarsSkin, a prototype spacesuit that was tested in the Flinders Ranges in Australia in August 2004.[16][17]

SKINS products are endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association.[18] Their compression stockings are listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods as a medical device for reducing oedema.[19][20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Douglas, Jeanne-Vida (July 27, 2011). "Performance enhancer". Financial Review. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Grey, Justin (2011-06-29). "We didn't need a business plan: Skins CEO Jaimie Fuller". My Business. Sterling Publishing. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  4. ^ Brett, Lorna (2011-10-07). "The straight-shooter behind Skins". Dynamic Business Australia. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  5. ^ Cole, Michael D. (November 5, 2008). "Compression Apparel Brand Winning at the "Skins" Game". Apparel. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  6. ^ a b Burke, Kelly (2007-09-12). "Athlete payment claim gets under ACCC's skin". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  7. ^ "Skins Compression Garments Pty Ltd". Accc.gov.au. 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  8. ^ "Australian Competition & Consumer Commission v Skins Compression Garments Pty Ltd [2009] FCA 710 (2 July 2009)". Federal Court of Australia. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  9. ^ "$120,000 penalty against sports gear maker". Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  10. ^ "China sportswear giant LI-NING partners with Skins to launch gradient compression products". People's Daily Online. 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  11. ^ "ITOCHU Announces Acquisition of Trademark for Skins Brand and Business Development : News Releases". ITOCHU. 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  12. ^ Tan, Gillian (2012-04-24). "Itochu Corp Buys Asian Trademark For Compression Sportwear Group Skins". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  13. ^ "Skins Supports and Commends HTC Highroad on its 'Code of Conduct'". Bike Pure. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  14. ^ Natale, Anthony (2013-09-04). "Taking Performance Enhancing Drugs Out of Sports". Fox43. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  15. ^ Strauss, Chris (2013-09-04). "Ben Johnson says doping is widespread in track". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  16. ^ Catchpole, Heather (2004-03-30). "Mars spacesuits to be tested in Oz desert". ABC. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  17. ^ Waldie, James. "MarsSkin 3". Mars Society Australia. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  18. ^ "Endorsed Products". Physiotherapy.asn.au. 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  19. ^ "Public Summary: Skins Compression Garment Pty Ltd – Stocking, antioedema, arm/leg". 
  20. ^ "Public Summary: Skins Compression Garment Pty Ltd – Stocking, antioedema, arm/leg".