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24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates centenary year with major brand collaborations

As the global motorsports community gears up for the milestone 24 Hours of Le Mans on 10-11 June, a suite of noteworthy brand collaborations will mark the occasion of the iconic race’s centenary celebrations with new specially designed products.

24 Hours of Le Mans sits at the intersection of motorsports and popular culture, shaping trends in the automotive, technology, racing and fashion industries since 1923.

Ahead of the centenary, Le Mans’ organisers Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and its exclusive licensing agency IMG, have curated a diverse licensing programme featuring global collaborations and consumer products across fashion, collectables, toys and publishing.

In fashion, UK sports apparel company Castore has been named the official 24 Hours of Le Mans outfitter, with officials and ground staff of the iconic race wearing the brand. Historic French accessories brand, S.T. Dupont will release a collection featuring pens, writing sets, cigar accessories, cufflinks and leather goods inspired by the race’s symbols and colours. Italian brand Persol will launch its 714 Steve McQueen Sunglasses in tribute to the race and the Hollywood star of the classic Le Mans movie. In addition, Italian writing instruments brand Montegrappa has created a commemorative collection of fountain pens and rollerballs using materials and designs inspired by the race.

Additional fashion collaborations have been designed to capture the imagination of young people, with Spanish fashion label Bershka launching apparel and accessories, and Italian luxury beachwear brand Bluemint debuting a limited capsule collection of swim shorts and resort wear.

LEGO, meanwhile, has launched LEGO versions of the Porsche 963 Le Mans Daytona Hybrid and a co-branded LEGO Technic PEUGEOT 9X8 24H Le Mans Hybrid Hypercar.

Le Mans has also collaborated with Mattel and Hot Wheels to launch a limited edition white Ford GT model, representing one of the most iconic cars in the history of the race. A remote-controlled version of the hypercar was also unveiled following a collaboration with Hong Kong-based toy manufacturer Silverlit.

Publishing house GRÜND will release the Official Book of the Centenary, joining Le Mans’ comic, novel and art book collections, while Topps has launched exclusive trading cards featuring artwork from original race posters dating back to 1923 (pictured above).

In addition, Smeg has come together with steel jewellery brand The Mechanists to create a 24 Hours of Le Mans refrigerator. Designed by British designer and artist King Nerd (Johnny Dowell), the fridge depicts the historical start of the race as drivers run to their cars in front of a cheering crowd.

Finally, German automotive seating brand Recaro has launched a limited edition version of the new RECARO Podium GF, a state of the art, FIA-approved, glass-fibre shell seat which can be installed in both street and racing cars. The brand – which has supplied seats for many past Le Mans’ entrants – has also released a RECARO SIM Pro Star to enhance the virtual driving experience for simulation racers.

“The history and heritage of the world’s greatest endurance race has always attracted collectors,” commented Stéphane Andriolo, sales and marketing director at the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. “So now on the eve of the Centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we’re delighted to commemorate the occasion with such a vibrant and eclectic collection of brand partners. Featuring everything from luxurious accessories to creative fashion and collectibles, there’s something for fans of all ages to enjoy.”

Mickael Andreo, vp of licensing at IMG, continued: “24 Hours of Le Mans has been the face of France’s iconic motorsports culture for a century. Our aim was to build a robust licensing programme that weaves the race’s rich history into the modern age of motorsports, allowing both new and old fans to connect with it in their own way.

“As we countdown to the landmark race, I believe each of these collaborations has added to Le Mans’ legacy, with special commemorative items that will help fans relive the centenary celebrations for years to come.”

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