Iconix Buys Umbro from Nike

Hi everyone,
I published an article in June about Nike divorcing Umbro, after having taken over Umbro’s major football assets Manchester City and the English FA. This week, Nike has announced that it has reached an agreement to sell Umbro to Iconix Brand Group in a US$225 million deal.

Nike announced its willingness to focus on driving growth through its namesake, having acquired the brand in 2008. It also announced that it would be selling other athletic brands Jordan, Converse and Hurley. 

Earlier this year, Nike chief executive Mark Parker told media that the move would allow the brand to focus its resources on the highest-potential opportunities to continue to drive sustainable, profitable growth for shareholders. 

Parker commented: ‘It is a difficult decision to divest any business but this action will enable us to focus on our highest-potential growth opportunities.’

Neil Cole, CEO of Iconix Brand Group, said of the acquisition: ‘Umbro is a true, authentic football brand with a global loyal consumer fan base and we are thrilled to be adding it to our portfolio of iconic brands.’ [Source: Sport Industry]

I was not expecting a company such as Iconix to buy Umbro from Nike. But who is Iconix? Iconix Brand Group owns a diversified portfolio of fashion and home brands that touch every segment of retail distribution from the luxury market to the mass market. Iconix licenses its brands to leading retailers and manufacturers worldwide . With innovative and creative advertising and promotions.

To my knowledge, Umbro will be the first sporting goods brand within Iconix portfolio. It will be interesting to see marketing and promotions taking place. I will keep the pulse on what is going on on this end and keep you posted! What are your thoughts?

Karl Lusbec