Fashion | Getting Sporty With It

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Getting Sporty With It
Published: Volume 17, Issue 8, August, 2009

Indian sports brand Black Panther takes off to a roaring start

Fitness mania seems to be at an all-time high, what with the trendiest gyms offering monsoon packages and celebs aspiring to the infamous size zero. As the hot-bod revolution kicks off at a new level, Mumbai-based brand Black Panther is gradually making its presence felt on the sportswear turf.

Black Panther offers sports and leisure apparel and sports accessories, valiantly holding its own against international sports giants. The company realises that the market for sportswear, especially performance wear, is growing by leaps and bounds in India, and intends to collaborate with American and European brands in the near future.

As their taglines, “Seriously Sporty,” “Live the Sport,” and Sport the Look,” highlight, the brand is confident enough to make a mark in the sports and functional wear segments. Wondering where the name Black Panther came from? It was so named because the owner of the brand, Juneja Group, already had a women’s intimates line called “Black Cat!”

Black Panther’s young business development manager, Sakshi Juneja, an erstwhile national-level badminton player and swimmer says, “Black Panther products are ideal for the woman who’s stylish, intelligent and fitness-conscious because we strike the right balance between look, feel and fit at an affordable price.” Her own personal style is driven by comfort: “I stick to shorts while playing badminton and loose-fitted track pants while walking my dogs on the beach. I believe being comfortable is the key to playing and performing well.”

Black Panther is currently basking in the glory of its considerable national presence – it has over 400 sports dealers across the nation. The company retails through many popular multi-brand outlets such as Shoppers Stop, Globus, Pantaloons, Centrals, Pyramid, and Hypercity. It has an extensive product range in both its apparel as well as its accessories section. Apparel includes tees, shorts, gymwear, track bottoms, track suits, cricketwear and swimwear while accessories include sports socks, football stockings, athletic supporters, head and wrist bands, bags and water bottles.

Black Panther has also recently ventured into the swimwear segment this season and offers basic style trunks and briefs for men and one-piece flared skirts for women along with other regular styles. Juneja says they have expanded into swimwear because, “One, swimwear as a category has seen exponential growth what with the increase in the number of clubs, water parks as also the concept of private pools in housing complexes. Secondly, the huge vacuums in terms of high quality, high-recall brands of swimwear in a market that is rapidly moving towards awareness on both fronts.”

The brand has managed to maintain quality and price in a volatile market for a target audience ranging from 16 years and above. With fitness levels increasing, the domestic market is witnessing a surge in the demand for active and sports wear. Black Panther is sure to shine.

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