REEF entered the professional sports world March 2 with a new MLB collection of sandals featuring team-specific branding on the brand’s popular Fanning silhouette.
“The spring and summer seasons are a key time of year for both REEF and Major League Baseball, making this collaboration a natural fit,” says Mike Jensen, REEF president. “Spring Training kicks off just as the warmer weather we love finally starts to come around.”
The debut REEF x MLB collection features flip flops for men and women logoed with insignias and colors of seven teams: the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
Jensen says REEF wants to focus the first collaboration on teams with deep fan bases across the country and ones that are brands in their own right. They hope to add more MLB teams into the mix in the future.
“We intend for this to be a long-term partnership with MLB,” he says. “We plan to grow our partnership each year to update and expand our product offerings. Honestly, we were even surprised by the response, so we’ve already started planning the 2022 collection, which will feature an expanded product offering with additional MLB teams.”
REEF has participated in a variety of product collaborations in the past, whether with local artists, high-end fashion designers or clothing brands. This past holiday season, they created the brand’s first slipper collection with the popular ugly sweater brand Tipsy Elves. And they have more collabs planned for 2021. But working with MLB is the first foray into professional sports.
“Each time we collaborate with another brand, we make sure it aligns with our brand, our mission and our consumer,” Jensen says. “We love the synergy that collaborations bring to the table and they’ve proven to be very popular for us.”
The REEF Fanning is one of the brand’s most recognizable sandals on the market, known for the bottle opener equipped on the outsole of the flip flop (yes, there’s an actual metal opener tucked into the rubber). Jensen calls it, with the bottle opener, the “perfect tailgating sandal, especially for the baseball fans.”
Along with the bottle opener, located under the arch, the Fanning features an airbag under the heel for additional support, which Jensen credits as a major reason for the success of the style. The Fanning also features a wider strap for a unique fit.
The MLB-specific designs offer two-tone sandals in team colors—brown and yellow for the Padres, black and orange for the Giants, team-specific blue and white for the Yankees and Dodgers and team-specific blue and red for the Cubs, Rangers and Red Sox—with a team logo on the strap.
With the REEF x MLB collection launching, Jensen says they plan to keep stock available all year, but there’s also a chance the styles sell out. Then, come 2022, REEF hopes to bring additional MLB fans into the fold.
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.