On March 16, 2022, Lacoste and Minecraft launched an innovative collaboration. This collaboration brought virtual and physical clothes into the world and Minecraft. At Lacoste stores, there were clothes branded with Minecraft and using Minecraft graphics for sale. Within the Minecraft games, there were clothes for the characters for sale. Additionally, there is a whole island within Minecraft sponsored by Lacoste.
The physical products within this collaboration include:
- Waist Bag
- Shoulder Bag
The virtual aspects of this collaboration include:
- A new map within Minecraft called Croco Island
- Skins that look similar to the physical apparel
The Beginning of Lacoste
Lacoste is a French clothing company founded in 1933. It was founded by Renè Lacoste, a professional tennis player who partnered with André Gillier. Renè was the best player in the world from 1926 to 1927, holding 7 grand slam titles. This allowed him to pave a new life for himself. Renè was nicknamed “the crocodile” by the American press, which ultimately led to him sewing a crocodile onto the jackets he wore to his matches, that is where the Lacoste symbol was born. He was innovative with his company’s products. He created flexible, lightweight polo shirts to be worn by tennis players during matches and he patented a shock absorber to be inserted between strings on tennis rackets. These products demonstrated his passion for tennis and invention at the same time.
Lacoste’s products include:
- T-shirts & Tops
- Sweaters & Sweatshirts
- Button Down Shirts
- Jackets & Coats
- Matching Sets
- Sweatpants & Trousers
- Shorts & Swim
- Loungewear & Pajamas
- Socks & Underwear
- Caps & Hats
- Scarves & Gloves
- Bags and Leather Goods
- Small Leather Goods
- Phone Cases
Some of Lacoste’s Milestones
- In the 1950s, Lacoste began to ship their clothing worldwide
- In 1968, Lacoste began to make and sell fragrances
- In 1971, Lacoste became the official sponsor of the very important tennis stadium in Paris, Roland-Garros
- In 1978, Lacoste continued to develop their accessories selection and launched an eyewear collection.
- In 1981, Lacoste entered the leather goods market. They uphold French leather traditions.
- In 1991, the brand launched shoes.
- In 1994, they launched watches.
- In 2012, Lacoste was acquired by Maus Frères SA which is a family-run business in Geneva.
Currently, Lacoste has stores throughout 98 countries.
“Lacoste Foundation helps with the social and professional integration of underprivileged young people and those with disabilities” (source). The foundation was launched in 2006 and it is supported by the Fondation de France. The work the foundation does gives financial support to create athletic and academic programs, moral support by helping their partner charities, and skills mentoring to aid young people in finding fulfillment. Over 100,000 people have been helped through the foundation’s initiatives. To learn more about the Lacoste Foundation’s impacts, visit their website here.
Minecraft is a video game where players can create and build in a virtual world. Although it is technically a game, many people view it as an experience since there are so many different things that can be done within Minecraft. The game was released in November of 2011 by Mojang Studios and was created by Markus Persson. The game requires a one-time purchase to play but there are additional add-ons available to purchase within the game. Minecraft can be played on PCs, Macs, Xbox, iPhone, iPad, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, VR, and Android devices. The price for the game on each device can vary. The look of Minecraft is very unique nowadays because it is created with Pixel art so it gives more of an older feeling.
How To Play Minecraft
Minecraft has four game modes: creative, survival, adventure, and spectator. Create is the low stakes more relaxed version of the game. Players are equipped with suppliers and do not have to find food to keep themselves alive. The main objective of the creative mode is to build anything you want and explore the world freely. Many players rebuild real-life buildings and objects or ones from fictional/fantasy worlds.
On the other hand, survival mode has a little bit more action to it. The players must find their own supplies in order to build things such as buildings. These supplies can be found by breaking down things in the world that are made of different materials. Also, in this mode, the players have a life bar that measures their health. They must eat to survive so they also have to find their own food to stay alive. Additionally, the game switches from day to night, and during the night there are zombies and other creatures. Two dangerous ones within the game are the creepers and zombies, players must build houses or other ways to protect themselves from being attacked by these creatures.
Next, In adventure mode, the player navigates maps made by other players. These maps range in how they can be used, for example, some can be dangerous ones that you attempt to survive in.
Finally, in spectator mode players can visit other players’ maps without engaging or interacting at all. The owner of the map will not know that there are any visitors but all the player can do is watch and/or look at the objects.
In Addition to purchasing the game to be able to play, there are several other virtual items and features you can purchase within the Minecraft map. These items/features include skins, maps, and texture packs. Skins are certain characters you can purchase. You purchase these based on what you want your character to look like, they may have different features and different outfits on. Maps are created worlds within Minecraft, these can often be made by other players. Texture packs change how the blocks in Minecraft look so everything in the game will have a certain visual, including building material, items, mobs, etc if you purchase the pack.
Minecraft and Lacoste Add-ons
The collaboration between Minecraft and Lacoste offered skins and a map, all with a Lacoste spin to them. Thirty skins were offered and they all were wearing Lacoste-branded outfits, that included the iconic crocodile on the shirts and some had tennis racquets in hand. A map called Croco Island was also released and it included a huge crocodile built within the world. The map contained tennis courts, a parkour course, a Lacoste store, a “fill the gaps” minigame, and a scavenger hunt.
By January 2012, Minecraft already had over one million sales. This is a very big number for the time because there was not much advertising and marketing then for video games, so its success mainly came from word of mouth. By 2014, Minecraft had 100 million users. Later in 2014, Markus Persson sold Minecraft to Microsoft for $2.5 billion cash.
The Innovative Collaboration Between Minecraft and Lacoste
The collaboration between Minecraft and Lacoste was extremely innovative, strategic, and intelligent. A very popular fashion company partnered with a very popular video game to increase both of their consumer bases. This collaboration merged the virtual world with the physical one and offered very assuming and popular products in both worlds. Lacoste and Minecraft are extremely different and have different audiences, but that is exactly why this collaboration was a powerful move.
Exploring The Profits Within The Virtual World
Fashion companies are experimenting with the metaverse because of how quickly it has grown and gained popularity. There are many great opportunities within the Metaverse, but because it is such a new concept companies are weary of diving right in themselves. Recently, the Metaverse has become very lucrative and there are many investment opportunities within the virtual worlds, however, since it is new it is very hard to predict how stable and reliable these investments can be. This is especially true because it is a virtual investment, so there is no physical product or item tagged to it. Collaboration with video games such as Minecraft is a great option for companies to start to familiarize themselves with how virtual worlds work.
Capitalization on Demographic Differences
Lacoste is a high-end clothing company that appeals to two of the most sophisticated sports in the world, tennis, and golf. On the other hand, Minecraft is a game that most appeals to children, but is known to a large majority of the world. Whether people play the game themselves, have kids, friends, or family who play the game, or have just heard about it, it is hard to not know about Minecraft.
This variability in demographic is a very smart investment for Lacoste and Minecraft. Both can reach new people who may gain interest in both. Lacoste can reach a younger audience, especially those who – as they grow – will remember the brand and can bring it revenue in the long run. Minecraft can reach a demographic with higher price ranges, who may spend more within the game on the various add-ons.
Finally, having the virtual and physical products available is very smart because many players will be quick to buy the products within the game, but they will also want Minecraft merch. The players who are huge fans of the game often want to show support in the clothes they’re wearing, just like many people show support for their favorite movies, singers, and sports teams!
Final Thoughts: An Intelligent and Experimental Collaboration That Showed Great Success by Lacoste and Minecraft
Overall, this experimental collaboration was very successful and caught the attention of many people worldwide. With the increase of collaborations between the gaming and fashion world, fashion companies may very well begin entering the Metaverse market soon. Video games prove to be a very lucrative market time and time again, which will urge there to be more and more unexpected collaborations between physical store companies and virtual world/video game companies.