Monday, April 08, 2024


When I was working at Federal-Mogul (later re-named DR1V after they were aquired by Tenneco -- the reason I left the company), I worked quite a bit on all of the brand websites for things like Wagner Brakes, Fel-Pro gaskets, Champion Sparkplugs, etc. My boss, Jessica, really liked the idea of each of these brands having a "Merch(andise) Store". I didn't necessarily see the point of that for most of the brands but helped get them built out anyway. I always felt that of all of the brands under the Federal-Mogul banner, Champion was the most recognizable. This was proven out when I saw an on-set photo from Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood where Brad Pitt was wearing a Champion t-shirt. I saved out the photo and sent it over to my boss as well as our social media manager.

"I don't know if they needed to get permission for this but I think it's a great opportunity for us to sell some Champion t-shirts!" I wrote to them along with details of the film and its release date. I figured they would take this information and run with it -- coming up with potential tie-ins, a social media calendar, and more. Instead, they did nothing.

I left the company shortly after that (and a few months before the July 26, 2019 release date). I kept tabs on my co-workers for a few weeks after I left (as one is wont to do). I went out to dinner with one of the guys who took over my position and I asked him for an update about the Champion Merch Store. Did they ever do anything to capitalize on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood? No. Nothing. They didn't even order extras. The style of the shirt worn by Pitt "mysteriously" sold out by August, 2019 and was never re-stocked.

I don't know when the Merch Store went away but it's not on the Champion website -- which is riddled with broken links and hasn't had its copyright updated since 2022. Looks like all of my hard work wasn't appreciated despite almost literally gift-wrapping a great idea for them. More reasons that I left.

No comments:

Post a Comment