Interview with Ebun Olaloye
Co-Founder, Creative Director and Center Forward for Live Breathe Futbol
By Glenn Gray (Twitter / Instagram: @glenncgray)
What was your inspiration for creating Live Breathe Futbol?
While in school at Temple University, I played pick-up soccer with other guys and girls. We would even go to other Philly college campuses, like Drexel and Penn, to compete against other college students. When I founded Live Breathe Futbol (LBF), the goal was to create a brand that expressed what our life was about. We weren’t professionals but wanted to play as much as possible. At the time, there were no soccer-inspired fashion brands. Soccer fans only had access to jerseys of professional teams so we came up with the idea of LBF.
How has the growth of the MLS helped your business?
MLS is unique because there is accessibility throughout the league. Coaches, executives and players are all willing to interact with passionate fans. Some players are homegrown or went to college in America so there is an extra level of connection to these players. Off the pitch, MLS players love the brand and it helps them embrace their passionate lifestyle for the game. Philadelphia Union midfielder Amobi Okugo scored a goal last season and pulled his jersey up to show his LBF shirt. This was an incredible moment for our brand, to see someone at his level share the same level of exuberance for LBF as casual fans. Ultimately we see the MLS attracting many new fans to the sport of soccer which in turn will provide greater demand for our lifestyle apparel.
What items or collections are you are trying to highlight most prior to this summer’s World Cup?
In late April, we will be launching the first of a three-part mini collection leading up to the World Cup in Brazil. The first is titled “America Futbol” and highlights soccer in the United States. In May, our second collection will release with a few articles inspired by nations that have won the World Cup, such as Germany, Brazil and Italy. Finally, the third collection will launch right before World Cup and focuses on Brazilian legends, such as Ronaldinho and Ronaldo.
What feedback do you get from soccer fans that they like most about your brand?
The response to LBF has been incredible. It fuels our creative and production team with passion to create the finest soccer lifestyle products. Our fans connect with our authenticity. A lot of brands claim to be what they are not. LBF really expresses a unique soccer lifestyle that we live and it resonates with our customers. The second thing we get a lot of positive feedback about is our designs because they engage fans from different backgrounds and supporter groups. This is why we make the clothes that we do. Lastly our customers love the quality material as well as the personal touch included in every order.
Where do you see LBF in five years?
Our mission is to create the world’s premier soccer brand. LBF screams soccer and is the core of our business and nothing else matters. Part of the brand is creating a great experience and we do this through our products, packaging, website and social media presence. In 5 years we will have LBF products available in soccer shops around the globe as well as major department stores.
As for our apparel and accessories, we plan to expand upon our product line in the near future. This will include pants, jackets, ties and other products that soccer fans can wear to express their love for LBF and the beautiful game.
Our products are currently available in several soccer retail shops in the U.S. and Canada. We just completed an exclusive agreement with Unisport to service the Scandinavian market. You can also purchase all our LBF gear at www.livebreathefutbol.com as well on on Amazon.com.
Since winning the MLS Cup with Sporting KC last year, what has been the response to C.J. Sapong’s “Stay True” collection?
Fans see C.J. as a very important part of Sporting KC. He had an up-and-down season last year but came out on top in the end. He’s someone we connect with on a deeper level than just soccer. He believes in our vision wholeheartedly and we’ll be linking up with him again in the future!
The “40 Years of Rebels” collection highlights George Best, Cantona, Ibra and Balotelli. What other players are you targeting or thinking about including?
I can’t really let the cat out of the bag just yet, but as I mentioned before we have a Ronaldinho shirt in the works that I’m really excited about. You’ll just have to wait on the others!
What teams do you support?
I’m a Gooner!
More info: www.livebreathefutbol.com.