02 Dec Sparc To Run U.S. Reebok Operations For Authentic Brands Group
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) signed a long-term strategic partnership with Sparc Group to become the core licensee and operating partner for Reebok in the U.S.
Sparc, a joint venture between ABG and Simon Property Group, operates Aéropostale, Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Forever 21, Lucky Brand, and Nautica, among other brands. Sparc is ABG’s largest licensee.
Sparc will oversee sourcing, manufacturing, branded retail stores, e-commerce operations, and wholesale distribution for Reebok in the U.S. Categories include footwear for men, women and kids as well as lifestyle and active apparel for men and women.
Reebok will also increase Sparc’s store count to 1,600 doors, growing its e-commerce platform to more than $1 billion and bringing its total retail sales to approximately $5.5 billion.
Sparc will also serve as the global hub for the newly created Reebok Design Group (RDG). RDG will be responsible for all design, development, innovation, and creative services to partners worldwide and preserve the brand’s history, vision and ethos. All of these functions will continue to run out of Reebok’s global headquarters in Boston, MA, led by president Matt O’Toole and SVP and GM, product, Todd Krinsky.
“Reebok is the most monumental acquisition in ABG’s history,” said Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of ABG. “Because of the reach of Reebok’s business around the globe, an essential part of the strategy was to maintain the brand hub that supports and guides a global partner network to preserve and nurture the brand’s heartbeat and unmistakable DNA. Starting with Sparc for the U.S., we are assembling a network of strategic operating partners around the world who are committed to supporting the brand’s innovation, integrity and values. We are excited about the expertise that RDG will continue to infuse into the future of Reebok.”
“These are exciting times for Sparc. We are pleased to welcome the Reebok team and bring one of the world’s most iconic athletic brands into the portfolio. This strategic agreement adds footwear as a transformative new vertical to Sparc’s expanding brand platform, with pillars including Lifestyle and Fashion, comprised of Nautica, Aéropostale, Lucky Brand and Forever 21; American Luxury, which boasts Brooks Brothers; and Sports and Outdoor, newly anchored by Reebok and complemented by Eddie Bauer,” said Marc Miller, CEO of Sparc.
“We are thrilled to continue Reebok’s journey under the ownership of ABG. And we’re equally excited for the drive and support that Sparc will deliver to the Reebok brand. Both partners bring significant expertise in global brand building, marketing and retail,” said Matt O’Toole, President of Reebok. “Together, we intend to position Reebok for growth and to compete and win in a digitally driven, omnichannel world.”
In addition to securing Reebok’s U.S. operation, ABG has also signed partners for key regions, including The Falic Group for Latin America excluding Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, Accent Group Limited for Australia and New Zealand and MGS for Israel.
The Falic Group, a brand platform with more than a decade of expertise in fashion, luxury and licensing in Latin America, will oversee Reebok’s retail stores, e-commerce operations and wholesale distribution in the region. Accent Group comes on board as Reebok’s new core licensee and operating partner in Australia and New Zealand. The company announced earlier this month that it plans to grow the brand through its existing wholesale accounts, direct online sales and multi-brand retail banners. MGS, which has been Reebok’s core operating partner in Israel for two decades, has signed a new partnership with ABG to continue its commitment to strengthening and growing the brand across all channels in the region.
Sparc, The Falic Group, Accent Group Limited, and MGS will partner with RDG to evolve the product design, development, innovation, and creative direction for each region while maintaining a unified brand voice and vision.
“Reebok is a remarkable brand and onboarding it into ABG’s platform is being made possible through a collaborative effort by Sparc, RDG and our new regional partners,” said Nick Woodhouse, president and CMO of ABG. “We look forward to working together to position the brand for long-term growth.”
These agreements become effective upon the completed transfer of ownership of the Reebok brand from adidas to ABG. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.