ABG in game-changer deal with Farfetch's New Guards for Reebok
There’s big change ahead at Reebok when its acquisition completes next month. And it looks like it means a more upscale brand direction with its still-new owner Authentic Brands Group (ABG) having announced a long-term strategic partnership with New Guards Group for the formerly-Adidas-owned sports brand.
New Guards — the brand platform for luxury design, production and distribution that’s owned by Farfetch — will be the “core operating partner for Reebok across Europe, where it will take on Reebok’s branded retail stores and e-commerce operations and drive wholesale distribution for the brand”.
The agreement takes in Reebok’s footwear, sportswear and activewear for men, women and kids.
It clearly signals an intention on the part of ABG to drive the brand more upmarket as New Guards will now be the exclusive partner to “create, curate and bring-to-market luxury collaborations and to distribute premium Reebok products to leading fashion and specialty accounts in over 50 countries”. That means not just Europe, but also North America.
ABG president and CMO Nick Woodhouse called the deal “a key pillar of our strategy to expand Reebok’s presence worldwide”.
And ABG founder and CEO Jamie Salter called it a “monumental moment for Reebok and ABG”, adding that “as an industry powerhouse, New Guards is a respected authority in fashion and luxury with impressive global technology distribution capabilities. Together, we will elevate Reebok’s legacy of product innovation, introducing game-changing collaborations and distributing premium products to consumers in key markets across the globe”.
The company stressed that New Guards has “a proven track record of identifying and nurturing some of the world’s most culturally relevant and emerging brands, designers and creative directors”.
Under the new agreement, it will “partner closely with” Reebok Design Group (RDG), the Boston-based global design hub for product design, development and creative direction “to drive a unified brand voice and vision”.
ABG added that this will all further solidify its global Reebok strategy of “establishing a network of leading operating partners who are experts in driving growth, amplifying the brand’s heartbeat and preserving Reebok’s unique DNA”.
New Guards chief Davide de Giglio said Reebok is “at the intersection of sport and culture, it has constantly shaped new expression of style, through product innovation, creativity and unique collaborations, on all fields. We have so many fresh ideas to infuse into the brand and look forward to the huge potential for growth ahead”.
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