Fila chief takes up US role

Sportswear brand Fila UK’s marketing chief Sheelpa Patel has left the country to take up a marketing role at Fila in the US.

It is understood that further announcements affecting marketing at Fila UK are expected, although the company declined to comment any further.

Patel was appointed to the UK role in 2004 when the brand was seeking to reposition itself as a fashion-led label (MW July 22, 2004).

At the time of her appointment the brand also brought in David Blundell as creative director for Fila’s UK apparel range. He joined the company from rival sports brand Fred Perry, where he was responsible for revitalising the label’s image by focusing on its heritage.

Fila is owned by Sports Brands International, a subsidiary of investment fund management company Cerberus. SBI bought the Fila brand in 2003.

In the recent past, Fila’s advertising in the UK has been limited. Instead the brand has focused on sponsorship deals and its associations with tennis and golf. It has also sought to leverage its Italian roots.

The brand sponsors tennis stars Mark Philippoussis and Wimbledon women’s semi-finalist Kim Clijsters.

It also has a number of deals with events that include UK tennis tournament the Boodle & Dunthorne Challenge, where it is the official kit supplier to the ballgirls, officials, linesmen and umpires.

Last year Fila sponsored the Seve Trophy golf tournament held in the UK and earlier this year rolled out a new golf collection.

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