Authentic Brands Group Inc., the owner of licensing and marketing rights to names like David Beckham and Juicy Couture, plans to expand clothing offerings and add NFTs and crypto payments to kickstart Reebok following its purchase of the brand.
With the acquisition of the athleticwear brand complete, Authentic on Tuesday said it signed about a dozen distribution partners operating in more than 80 countries, including Foot Locker Inc., Farfetch Ltd.’s New Guards Group and luxury goods maker Falic Group.
The $2.5 billion purchase of Reebok is Authentic’s largest yet, and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Salter has comparably big plans. He expects Reebok to exceed $5 billion in global retail sales next year, up from $3.7 billion to $4 billion currently.
“You’ve got to pay attention to the brand and we’re going to pay attention to the brand,” Salter said in an interview Monday.
Reebok plans to get there through inking new partnerships, adding more clothing, and growing in markets like China, South Korea and Latin America, executives said in interviews Monday.
Salter sees an equal split between Reebok’s performance-oriented lines like Nano and fashion and retro offerings including Club C. Authentic will also use its sourcing and distribution prowess to expand in clothing.
“You’re going to see some real growth on the apparel side,” Salter said.
Reebok joins more than 30 properties owned by Authentic, including Sports Illustrated, Brooks Brothers and Eddie Bauer. That means opportunities for collaborations with other brands, executives said.
“Will you see Reebok Club Cs, which go great with an athletic tuxedo, in a Brooks Brothers store? Yes, you will,” Authentic President Nick Woodhouse said.
Salter founded Authentic in 2010, buying small brands and celebrity names like Marilyn Monroe. Since then, it’s been a key player in the shakeup of the retail industry after teaming up with mall landlords to purchase bankrupt merchants including Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers as private equity’s appetite for retailers dimmed.
Authentic agreed to buy Reebok last August from Adidas AG. The New York-based brand manager filed to go public last year, then pulled the planned offering after announcing the Reebok deal and selling about a quarter of the company to CVC Capital Partners and HPS Investment Partners.
— With assistance by Kim Bhasin. Read full story on Bloomberg