Colombia inked a major licensing deal with Manchester United. The US outdoor brand will create a dual branded outerwear for outdoor pursuits, including hiking, climbing, mountaineering, and water and snow activities. The collection will debut in fall 2016.
Manchester’s Managing Director, Richard Arnold, said the partnership joins two brands with a rich history – Columbia starting in 1938 and Manchester in 1878 – and a shared commitment to performance and innovation. Manchester has won 62 trophies and garnered a dedicated global community of more than 650 million followers.
“We look forward to working together to provide our fans with a new way of expressing their support for the Club via our range of branded outdoor apparel,” said Arnold. “No matter what activity they are partaking in, this partnership will help the Club to accompany our fans wherever they go.”
For Columbia, the agreement is similar to its deal starting in Spring 2015 to make co-branded sportswear, outerwear and accessories with the Dallas Cowboys. Through Outdoor Custom Sportswear (OCS), Columbia has similar licensing deals with MLB, the NBA and hundreds of college teams.
Beyond driving brand awareness in the U.K., given Manchester United’s sizeable, global fan base, Columbia saw a significant sales opportunity in its focus markets across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Said SVP of Columbia Merchandising and Design, Joe Boyle, “Together, we will deliver to Manchester United fans around the world an attractive line of outerwear featuring Columbia’s most advanced proprietary technologies.” [Source: SGB]