One of the most beloved treasures that Del Mar racing fans cherish is their Del Mar Hawaiian print shirts. It’s a festive look at an iconic race track. The shirts do not age. Instead they gain a certain cachet as they are worn. They are considered classic, prime, rare or vintage. When the Breeders’ Cup marketing department started working with Upper Marketing in developing merchandise and apparel for the Breeder’s Cup, they decided that they wanted to create an homage to the famous Del Mar track.
They created a fan favorite that is a real hit. Bryan Pettigrew is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Breeders’ Cup. He said that over the past few years they have wanted to reflect the increase of quality in horses and fashion that has been happening at the Breeders’ Cup. The Breeders’ Cup Board constantly challenges them to enhance the Breeders’ Cup experience. It is a challenge that Upper Marketing relished. They raised the quality of all the apparel, hats and other merchandise. Together with Pettigrew, they came to San Diego and explored the local culture, fashion and shops. They enjoyed looking for current cool trends.
Lindsey Siebert (Head Merchant) and Jimmy Dawahare (Owner) suggested a Hawaiian shirt. Upper Right has a core principle that they understand the emotional attachment that drives customers to brand loyalty. Siebert explained that this is “an important aspect to Del Mar and to this race track. It adds a local flavor to the Breeders’ Cup assortment of apparel.”
An internal team of graphic artists developed the shirt which features the slogan “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.” It is impeccably made where the horse racing scenes match on the seams and the pockets. It’s been an immediate hit with its attention to details and high quality.
Bill “Rooster” Minton went online and bought four shirts the minute he saw them. He sent them to his relatives across the country. His brother in New York sent him a photo wearing the shirt. “Rooster” also bought five hats and said he is going to purchase some more.
It’s easy to spot the shirt throughout the crowd. Tim from Michigan didn’t let the cool temperatures on Thursday stop him from wearing his shirt. “I love it! I love the pattern!” Shane Lord from Orange County also wore the shirt on Friday. Nearby Gary Herbert from Carlsbad said he received the shirt from his wife for his 65th birthday. “I love it! I get a lot of compliments.” Max White from Utah had the perfect accessory for his shirt when he added a black cowboy hat. This is his first Breeders’ Cup and he said “this is a pretty cool shirt!” Wilson Alers was spotted wearing his shirt proudly as he cheered for his friend Dallas Stewart.
Bryan Pettigrew, Jimmy Dawahare and the entire marketing team should be proud of their shirt. It is one that will be worn at Del Mar and future Breeders’ Cup. People wearing it will remember that they had a great time at the Breeders’ Cup and looked as “as cool as ever!”