The National Football League and Reebok International Ltd. have reached an agreement to form an exclusive alliance that will serve as a foundation of the NFL’s restructured consumer products business.
NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE and Reebok International Ltd. chairman and CEO PAUL FIREMAN will announce the partnership today during a teleconference with media. The agreement was approved by NFL owners and Reebok’s board of directors.
The NFL will grant a 10-year exclusive license to Reebok beginning in the 2002 NFL season to manufacture and sell NFL licensed merchandise, including uniforms, sideline apparel, footwear and an NFL-branded apparel line. The agreement also gives Reebok exclusive rights to develop a new line of NFL fitness equipment.
To fulfill the demands of the new license, Reebok will create a new division dedicated to the NFL apparel and fitness business.
Beginning in the 2002 season, the company will become the exclusive rights holder to supply and market all 32 NFL teams’ on-field uniforms and sideline apparel, practice apparel, and headwear.
As part of the agreement, the NFL will receive annual royalty guarantees. The NFL also has the option to acquire an equity position in the new business.
‘The sports licensing business has undergone significant changes in recent years and the NFL, as the industry leader, is taking steps to better control and further enhance the products we deliver to our fans,’ said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. ‘The agreement with Reebok provides a strategic framework which will enable Reebok to improve the product design, quality and marketing of NFL licensed merchandise. We’re pleased to work with Reebok and Paul Fireman who share the same vision as we do for the further building of the NFL brand.’
‘The unprecedented partnership between Reebok and the NFL represents a quantum leap forward in the sports industry,’ stated Paul Fireman, Reebok chairman and CEO. ‘This agreement represents a strategic alliance between two of the most powerful and recognizable sports brands in the world and we will work together to design, develop and bring to market stylish, innovative and cutting-edge apparel that will elevate the excitement and cachet of the NFL brand, both on and off the field.’
For the 2001 season, Reebok will supply and market at retail uniforms and sideline apparel for 20 teams. It will also sell NFL and team apparel at retail.
NFL Properties is the licensing and marketing arm of the NFL and its 32 teams. Formed in 1963 as the first sports league licensing division, NFL Properties promotes and markets the trademarks of the NFL and its clubs via licenses, while providing marketing expertise, clubs service and quality control, as well as trademark protection. Sales of NFL licensed merchandise are the highest among sports leagues and among the top five brands worldwide.
Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Canton, MA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of athletic, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment. Principal operating units include the Reebok Division, The Rockport Company, Ralph Lauren Footwear and Greg Norman Collection. Sales for 1999 totaled approximately $2.9 billion.
For further information, please contact:
Reebok International Ltd.
Tel: +1 781 401 5000