FIFA opens first permanent store

Football fans and fashion gurus have at least one thing in common as FIFA aims to attract both with a new retail store selling vintage-style football kits. Football's world governing body has opened its first permanent merchandise shop in Singapore, showcasing a concept that is expected to reach Europe and the US in future.

The 157-m2 store at Singapore's Changi airport will sell FIFA-branded products and clothing, including five new lines of apparel inspired by the beautiful game. "This is the first of many stores like this which aim to give fans of both fashion and football the chance to buy a piece of the football experience all year round," said Mohamed Bin Hammam, FIFA Executive Member and AFC President.

After Singapore, FIFA expects to open similar stores in London, Tokyo and Los Angeles among others, together with its Master Licensing Representative Global Brands Group. In addition, the goods will be available online on FIFA.com from autumn 2008.

The store marks a new departure for FIFA in making merchandise available throughout the year and at the same time support FIFA's activities in the field of football development and corporate social responsibility, as revenue will be reinvested in FIFA projects around the globe.

In an effort to strengthen ties with the global fan community, FIFA wants to welcome fans into its stores and make them feel at home. Future FIFA stores in line to open will offer an interactive gaming area as well as an exhibition corner with competition trophies and other memorabilia such as balls and jerseys from past events. Others will feature a FIFA Café.

The FIFA shop is located in Changi's new Terminal Three, which opened in early January. The new terminal cost S$1.75 billion ($1.2 billion) to build and is expected to increase the airport's annual capacity to around 70 million passenger movements. Singapore is an important regional hub for travellers arriving and leaving the Asia-Pacific area, where the popularity of football continues to increase.

The merchandise on offer at the FIFA Official Store in Singapore will not just appeal to football fans. Designers have created five unique clothing lines - named Code, Trophy, Editions, Events and Sports Graphics - for the store, reflecting the heritage and dynamism of football. The ranges include vintage-style jerseys, street-wear and high-end apparel, each featuring FIFA marks starting with the historic 1954 FIFA World Cup™ with other editions coming soon.

FIFA hopes the merchandise will attract those interested in fashion and good design as well as hardened football fans looking for a reminder of a memorable event or milestone game.

"As FIFA's first permanent retail location, the FIFA Official Store represents an important milestone toward further connecting fans around the world to FIFA's rich heritage," said Gary Schoenfeld, president and co-CEO of Global Brands. With the permanent FIFA Official Stores, football's world governing body wants to bring the sport and the FIFA World Cup into people's everyday lives.