It all started in 1977 when Canadian David Jacobs toured the ski race circuit with his two boys. He noticed that at the time, there was just one brand of ski sweater on the market and he knew he could produce a better product.
Skiers Quickly Get Caught In This Spyder Web
I have to admit it. I got bit by the Spyder brand some years ago. I have been an avid skier for over a decade and one of my favourite clothing brands is Spyder. I love the look, the feel and the durability of the products they produce. What I find even more fascinating is the story behind this incredible and now world famous brand.
It all started in 1977 when Canadian David Jacobs toured the ski race circuit with his two boys. He noticed that at the time, there was just one brand of ski sweater on the market and he knew he could produce a better product. Plus, he reasoned that if he could sell it in the close-knit ski race community, he could possibly go somewhere with his concept. Later that year David L. Jacobs, Inc. was formed and it provided a small mail order service that was promoted as being
“for racing, by racers.”
It was a good start with a simple message. It made sense that racers would know what kind of gear worked best on the circuit so it didn’t take long for David L. Jacobs, Inc. to catch on.
The following year a blue racing pant was produced that had yellow striped protective pads. Because they had a spider-like appearance, skiers took to naming the garment spider pants. Jacobs recognised a good thing when he saw it and soon after the company was renamed Spyder.
The spelling had to be unique to match the visual appeal of the garments. And since Jacobs was a sports car fan, he took the spelling from the Ferrari car of the same name. Pro tour racers started wearing Spyder pants and it solidified the credibility of the product.
When breakaway gates appeared in the 1980s, it changed ski racing techniques. This was when the Spyder World Cup Pant became the clothing of choice of several national teams including Australia, Canada, United States, Sweden, Norway and Yugoslavia.
This Spyder was suddenly starting to make an impact around the world.
The first web design appeared on a Spyder suit as a mock up in 1984. It was drawn by Jacobs’ son Jake. The web-graphic designs actually started appearing on the suits a few years later when skiers started to cross block gates – hitting them only on their lower body and not on their upper body. The visual effect, with the web design, was – in a word – stunning.
The US Ski Team picked Spyder to be their official supplier in 1989 and by 2008 the brand made even more history as part of a display in the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute. The exhibit examines the likeness of the Spyder Competition GS and DH race suits to the aerodynamic design of the costume worn by Spiderman. And to think that Marvel Comics at one time (1985) sent Jacobs a legal warning of copyright infringement!
Spyder became an even bigger deal in 2011 when a strategic plan went in place to forge specific partnerships. It was at this time that the company joined forces with the likes of 3M Thinsulate Insulation, Audi and the National Ski Teams of both Canada and the United States. It was through this branding move that Spyder gained massive visibility on both the ski hills and the premium product marketplace.
You could say the rest is history but that’s not exactly the end of the story, either.
In 2013 Spyder expanded its reach even further when it was acquired by Authentic Brands Group (ABG). This led to a licensing partnership with LF USA that positioned LF USA as the exclusive licensee partner in most of the world for all footwear products that carry the Spyder brand. The following year, Spyder became a key component in the Global Brands Group.
Not to sit complacently in a web designed to catch attention, Spyder launched a new brand look in 2015 with a different web as the target – the worldwide web and had all the digital media necessary to get the word out about its #limitless campaign.
The Spyder Logo
Although the brand is spelt with a Y, the spider depicted in the branding is most definitely a female Black Widow Spider. The distinctive red hourglass shape on the black body of a typical Black Widow is clearly visible in the branding. In fact, when the logo appears in silver, the hourglass is still prominent although not in red.
Why a female Black Widow? Well, according to my research on the spider itself, the female is the only Black Widow to exhibit the red markings on the abdomen. The bite of a female Black Widow is harmful to most large animals including humans simply because of the large volume of venom it contains. The bite is particularly painful, can cause vomiting, sweating and muscle rigidity.
Talk about taking control of the situation. The female Black Widow also has the reputation of devouring any of her suitors. That in itself has got to make you stand up and take notice.
So, in a ski racing sense, a good way to wipe out your competition, or at least slow it down, is to have a logo that scares even the strongest and fastest of humans. I really like that subliminal message.
Speaking of Web Designs
Although I am a huge fan of the web design of the Spyder product, I am a Freelance Web Designer myself. Only the web designing I do is related to websites and digital marketing. If you brand or product is in need of a new look or a website that is as unique as the Spyder branding, why not give me a call? I’m Toni Marino and the web I play on is the worldwide one and my marketing experience can help you to take a bite out of your competition and win the race right out of the gates.
Some logos make their instant debut, take hold, spreads in recognition, and goes on to outlive and immortalize even itself. Take Edward Johnston’s 1919 rendering of the logo for the London Underground which has been adapted or appropriated across the world and has even been dubbed as a symbol of London itself.
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