Judging has commenced and the scholarship winners are in. Students brought forth innovation, ingenuity and immense creativity as they presented their products for this spring’s Cotton Incorporated activwear competition. Students won a total of $21,000 in prize money for their efforts; winning sports included:
1st place: Triathlon for $12,000,
2nd place: Cycling for $6,000 and
3rd place: Climbing for $3,000.
My team, The Cycling Team, was ecstatic to be recognized for our idea and feel very grateful to Cotton Inc. for the experience. The Cycling Team’s strategy was based on the mission of our sponsor: to increase the demand for cotton. Hence we chose a sport that represents $5.9 trillion in retail sales and promises huge growth, especially with these high gas prices! BELOW: Our proposed version of a cycling logo
Our market research survey focused on the San Francisco biking community, one of the biggest U.S. bike friendly metropolitan areas with high per-capita bike trails and bike lanes. The results clearly stated that biker's need gear that is comfortable, visible to cars and has storage their everyday needs, like keys, phones. It also reveled that the consumer has an appetite for new product performance features.
These conclusions were the basis for our product concept: The Cotton Cycling Team. An opportunity to launch cotton into the activewear market through ameticulously designed product and expertly planned interactive marketing campaign. During the product development process, no detail was overlooked, providing a thoughtfully designed, aerodynamic & compression fit comfort, ample storage, visible safety and a variety of innovative bells and whistles.
To the left: Cycling teammate, Melissa De Luna demonstrates the solar panel and nanotechnogy aspect of our product that allows charging for any device such as ipod or cell phone as the rider commutes or rides for long periods of time. The final product also featured high intensity reflective tape, LED lights, UVA/UVB protective, anti-microbial silver spun yarns and wicking windows moisture management technology. Our goal was to make a product that worthy of the tour de france where it would have a world stage to create buzz and publicity around the unique features. Most importantly, the chance to put the spotlight on the inherent comfort and high performance features cotton provides for cycling and many other sports. We imagine a sporting event like this as the launching pad for cotton into the activewear industry.