Hello Kitty, the popular Japanese character and brand, has a new, and somewhat odd, partnership with professional soccer team AC Milan.
The popular soccer team announced this week that they have partnered with Sanrio, the company responsible for Hello Kitty, to create a clothing line.
— NBC Sports Network (@NBCSN) April 2, 2015
In an official statement on Milan’s website, the team announced how they and Hello Kitty “have both teamed up for an exclusive co-branding project.”
The partnership, which was originally mentioned back in January but becoming official this week, is “aimed at the club’s female fans of all ages bringing together the Hello Kitty brand with that of AC Milan.”
Paolo Casarini, the Licensing Director for Sanrio, stated, “The idea to associate a female soul to a top level male sport came a while ago with AC Milan. Today, and with lots of female fans in the sport, the new collection has a natural target. A sports clothing line and accessories to all female fans will be launched from next September.”
Hopefully, this Hello Kitty partnership will prove to be profitable for the international soccer team. According to NBC Sports, AC Milan has been experiencing some “financial crisis” as of late and could use a boost.
Also, Milan has been facing some issues with fans. According to ESPN FC, the team’s fans “have been staging protests and boycotting games for the last few months over the board’s lack of investment in the club.”
So how do Milan’s fans feel about the Hello Kitty collaboration? Some thought it was an April Fools’ joke, commenting that the collaboration was “weird,” while others showed support for the collaboration and its effort to bring in more female fans.
AC Milan teaming up with Hello Kitty? Surely an April Fool’s joke. But apparently it isn’t. http://t.co/ipMMpbQFbe pic.twitter.com/cL1togM2gR
— The New Paper (@thenewpaper) April 3, 2015
— The Poke (@ThePoke) April 1, 2015
AC Milan, winners of 7 European Cups have signed a commercial deal with Hello Kitty. Stop the world. I want to get off.
— Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) March 31, 2015
Wonderful that AC Milan now partners with Sanrio (Hello Kitty) to bring more female fans from across the globe. pic.twitter.com/Nbfql91AD7
— Aysha Ridzuan (@ayshardzn) April 1, 2015
The project is set to be launched in mid-April beginning in Italy. The Hello Kitty and AC Milan partnership will then take over the rest of the world in the second half of 2015 and will be available online at www.store.acmilan.com.
[Photo Courtesy of ESPN FC]