Nike has tapped the Middle East Licensing Company, a partnership between Shooting Stars and the Nordic Licensing Company, to represent its football clubs in the Middle East.
MELC is the first master licensee in the region for Nike football clubs, which include FC Barcelona, Manchester United FC, Juventus Turin, Dutch Federation, French Federation and Brazilian Federation.
MELC will serve as Nike’s “team on the ground” in the Middle East, supporting current licensees and identifying new opportunities.
“At Nike, we have a saying–‘We are on the offense, always. We are putting that maxim into action by appointing MELC as our master licensee in the Middle East, the fastest-growing region in the EMEA. We believe that the combination of the best football clubs with the best licensees and the best master licensee will reinforce our position as the leading sports licensing team in the region.” says Romain Gardair, licensing manager, EMEA Nike. [Source: Licensemag]
It’s key for sports brands to explore licensing opportunities in markets such as India, China or the Middle East. By partnering with MELC, Nike is having a strong local presence to activate and grow its business in the region through its global clubs and Federations.
Global clubs also understand the power of their brands. For example, FC Barcelona already extended their partnership deals with Etisalat, a telecommunication pioneer in the Middle East and PSG have a significant partnership deal with Qatar and have translated their website in arabic.
Bottom line is global clubs are positioning themselves to grow their business in key markets and the Middle East is one of them.