Lonsdale is an English manufacturer of boxing articles as well as sports and leisure clothing.
Origin of the brand
The Lonsdale brand was founded in 1960 by the British Bernard Hart. The brand name refers to the fifth Earl of Lonsdale ( Hugh Cecil Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale in 1857 - 1944), who became famous for in the 1890s to the modern sport of boxing. Among other things, the boxing enthusiastic English nobleman donated to the Lonsdale Belt a price for Boxer, which is still available today. In his shop in Soho, London, Bernard Hart offered under the brand name Lonsdale boxing equipment and clothing. With the success of the dissemination of the brand that is sold worldwide today grew. In 2002, the brand from the British company Sports Direct was acquired.
Dissemination of the brand
Many famous boxer wore Lonsdale, including Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis, Henry Cooper and Mike Tyson. Soon the brand about boxing area also achieved notoriety. In connection with the then incurred and mitgeprägten by colored immigrants subcultural scenes around the styles of music northern soul, ska and early reggae to Lonsdale enjoyed (among other brands) very popular. These scenes were dominated by young people from the working-class who could discover a suitable expression of life in a boxing brand. For these scenes out, finally, a first early and still apolitical skinhead subculture whose adherents them subculture familiar brands (such as including Lonsdale ) further developed used.
Appropriated by right-wing extremists
In the 1980s and especially in the 1990s, parts used from the skinhead scene from their apolitical and actually multicultural origins and developed an increasingly right-wing orientation. This process began in England (initiated by movements such as the National Front and British Movement ) and transferred later to the European continent. So finally skinheads were in the 1990s, the dominant perceived subculture of right - despite the fact that there was at this time also always non-political and anti-racist skinheads.
The new right-wing extremist -oriented skinheads often wore continue the clothing brands of original, traditional skinhead subculture. Lonsdale (as well as other affected brands) put the front large image problems. Could be the case of Lonsdale came near that randomly contained in the brand name and with open jackets visible letters " NSDA " (especially in Germany ) as an allusion to the " NSDAP " reinterpreted. Controversial is whether this might have already contributed initially to the former popularity of the brand in right-wing circles, or this interpretation came near, only later. With the logo and the clothes of the brand Lonsdale a commitment to Nazi ideology was at least as possible, without having to be able with impunity, because the direct use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations is prohibited under § 86a of the Penal Code in Germany.
In the early 2000s, Lonsdale was also popular in the hardcore techno scene ( Gabber ). Especially in the Benelux countries, parts of this scene were right-wing extremist -oriented. Flashy or violence inclined young people of this scene were (Dutch for " Lonsdale youth " ) mentioned in the public debate often " Lonsdalejongeren ". With the decreasing spread of this music, however, this phenomenon disappeared more and more from the public.
The Lonsdale brand can be seen in retrospect as an early case of how to use right-wing extremists more or less hidden codes as a badge of mind.
Distancing the brand
In response to this collection distanced itself the mark of right-wing extremism. The Punch GmbH from Neuss ( licensee of the brand in Germany ) has been working since the late 1990s in this country in a variety of ways against the image as a Nazi brand and against undesirable customers. In campaign was advertised with the slogan Lonsdale Loves All Colours aware with models of different ethnic backgrounds. Right-wing extremist dealers were no longer supplied. According to the company hereby sales fell in Saxony alone by 75 percent. 2005 Lonsdale sponsored the Christopher Street Day in Cologne. The work of anti-racist initiatives will be supported until today.
As a result of these efforts Lonsdale is now widely believed little more than identification of the right-wing extremists. There were even calls for a boycott of right-wing extremists. Brands with actual right-wing extremist background have now largely replaced the originally affected by this collection traditional brands. In addition, skinheads currently not constitute the dominant right-wing extremist subculture. With the rise of the so-called Autonomous Nationalists, the subcultural and action-oriented part of the right-wing leaning heavily on the current manifestations of left- on Autonomous self- representation and organization and forms of action in view.
Nevertheless, do not have to fight with Lonsdale and other club then imitated brands to be placed in the memory with right-wing extremism, racism and related violence. Still find, for example, to some school systems that were written in response to right-wing violence, especially in the 1990s, prohibitions corresponding brands. 2006 was going to take for clues of the Young Socialists Papenburg the brand from the program the mail-order source, but was convinced after a public debate on the credibility of distancing and revised the decision. 2009 was the Berlin Police President his civil officials, among others also clothing brand Lonsdale ban, but this took after protests back also.
Lonsdale went collaborations with the left-wing football clubs SV Babelsberg 03 and Red Star Leipzig and equips them out. In Saxony, thus, turnover should be in Germany slumped by 75 % to 35 %, according to his own statement omitted Lonsdale on these sales like.
In professional boxing Lonsdale (UK) with Carl Froch, Tom Watson, Tony Jeffries, Darren Barker, David Price, Joe Calzaghe and Nathan Cleverly has sponsored a number of British athletes (as of 2012). In amateur boxing Lonsdale in Germany supported since 2011 the boxers of FC St. Pauli. Since 2014 Lonsdale is sponsoring the fourth division football SV Babelsberg 03 and the Saxon club Red Star Leipzig. Both clubs and their environments are known for their anti-racist commitment.
Since 2005 Lonsdale is in Germany partner of the initiative Laut gegen Nazis.