Porsche Knows Where The Money Is: Merchandising
Porsche is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic 911 sportscar, and the German automaker would like as many as possible to get in on the celebration. Let's face it, not everyone will be able to afford a base 2013 Porsche 911, let alone the £92,257 ($139,331) price of a 911 50 Years Edition. But there are many more fans and admirers of the 911 than there are owners. As such, Porsche offers plenty of products to consumers that are not automobiles. Merchandising! You see them at plenty of car shows, meet-ups and races; the folks wearing the $120 Porsche or Ferrari polo. For these automakers, there is money to be made in leveraging the passions and desires of a fan that may never afford an actual 911 or 458 Italia. To that end, Porsche is doubling down with three new designer collections: 50 Years, Steve McQueen, and Motorsport. Take, for instance, the limited edition Porsche 50 Years watch. Only 1,963 will be produced (get it?!) and comes with a scale model of a 1963 Porsche 911. This combo package? $850.
And if we’re talking about Porsche’s storied history, a huge part of it is the involvement of Steve McQueen. His passion for sportscars stretched well beyond his role as the Porsche factory driver in the 1971 film, Le Mans. To celebrate this icon of cool and his relationship to the brand, the German automaker is selling t-shirts for $80, polo shirts for $115, and a racing jacket for a ridiculous $500.
Want something less pricey and a little more functional? How about a computer mouse from the Motorsport Collection (lead image). It looks like a 911 under a car cover, and will run $120.
This may come as a surprise to some, but this is the norm among European and/or performance-focused brands. They must either want you to think that buying one of their shirts will make you drive faster, or that they only want a (ahem) ‘discerning customer’ donning their wares. We can poke fun all we want, but one look at this coffee cup tribute to Porsche at Le Mans. We’ll take, like, eight of them…
PHOTOS: See more of the Porsche 911