SPARC to take on operations for Reebok in U.S.

Marianne Wilson
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SPARC will oversee sourcing, manufacturing, branded retail stores, e-commerce operations and wholesale distribution for Reebok in the U.S.

SPARC Group is adding to the portfolio of retail brands it manages in the United States.

Authentic Brands Group, which entered into a deal in August to acquire Reebok for $2.5 billion, has signed a long-term partnership with its SPARC division to become the core licensee and operating partner for the athletic footwear and apparel company in the United States. SPARC, a joint venture between Authentic Brands and Simon Property Group, will oversee sourcing, manufacturing, branded retail stores, e-commerce operations and wholesale distribution.

The agreement with SPARC will go into effect upon the completion of Authentic Brands’ acquisition of Reebok, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2022.

“We are pleased to welcome the Reebok team and bring one of the world’s most iconic athletic brands into the portfolio,” said Marc Miller, CEO, SPARC. “This strategic agreement adds footwear as a transformative new vertical to SPARC’s expanding brand platform, with pillars including lifestyle and fashion.”

The lifestyle/fashion brands on the SPARC platform are Nautica, Aéropostale, Lucky Brand, Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers. Its new sports and outdoor vertical will be anchored by Reebok and complemented by Eddie Bauer

The addition of Reebok will increase SPARC’s store count to 1,600 doors, grow its e-commerce platform to more than $1 billion and bring 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 around the world and will ensure the brand’s history, vision and ethos continue to be preserved. All of these functions will continue to run out of Reebok’s global headquarters in Boston, led by president Matt O’Toole and senior VP and general manager, product, Todd Krinsky.

“We are thrilled to continue Reebok’s journey under the ownership of ABG,” said O’Toole. “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. 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 leading 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.

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 Authentic Brands Group. “We look forward to working together to position the brand for long-term growth.”

[Read More: Authentic Brands Group sells equity stake; company valued at $12.7 billion]