Startup scores with FIFA World Cup contract
Glass-U will design and distribute sunglasses for teams involved in the 2014 World Cup
May 15, 2014, 8:52 pm · Updated May 16, 2014, 2:10 am·
You’ll be reminded of Penn every time the cameras sweep the stands during this summer’s 2014 World Cup.
Earlier this month, startup Glass-U secured a contract with the Federation Internationale de Football Association to distribute sunglasses during the summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Wharton junior Daniel Fine is the founder and CEO of Glass-U, which designs and manufactures custom foldable sunglasses.
Fine started Glass-U in his dorm room in late 2012, and its products are now sold on 185 college campuses in the United States and Canada. The company has received support from the Dorm Room Fund.
Himself an All-American swimmer and triathlete, Fine wanted to to find a partner for Glass-U within the sports industry. The negotiation process with FIFA, however, was not easy. “It’s a challenging opportunity, and it’s something our team has been working on for a long time and will continue to work on for the next few months,” Fine said.
The FIFA contract includes both a production component and a distribution component. Glass-U will design and manufacture a unique pair of sunglasses for each of the 32 participating national teams in the 2014 World Cup. The sunglasses for each team will feature the name of the country, the logo of the team and the team color.
Glass-U will be the sole distributor of the products, which will be available through domestic and international channels. Purchases can be made online, and some teams’ sunglasses have already sold out.
“[This partnership] is a big stepping stone for us," Fine said. "FIFA is the largest sporting group in the world.” He hopes to establish a long-term relationship with FIFA.
In the past, Glass-U has been featured at major events ranging from the Rose Bowl to the South by Southwest conference and Lollapalooza.