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New Guards Group Will Execute Luxury Collabs With Reebok

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) signed a long-term partnership with New Guards Group for Reebok in an innovative deal that will give it some premium pizazz.

The terms of the agreement will see New Guards become the core operating partner for Reebok across Europe, taking on the sneaker label’s branded retail stores, e-commerce operations, and wholesale distribution. Product lines include footwear, sportswear and activewear for men, women and kids. New Guards also will be the exclusive partner to brainstorm and execute luxury collaborations and distribute premium Reebok products to fashion and specialty accounts in over 50 countries, including the U.S., Canada and across Europe.

“We are thrilled to partner with New Guards on Reebok’s European distribution and add their expertise in luxury to Reebok. As an industry powerhouse, New Guards is a respected authority in fashion and luxury with impressive global technology distribution capabilities,” ABG CEO Jamie Salter said. “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.”

ABG chief marketing officer Nick Woodhouse described the partnership as a “key pillar of our strategy to expand Reebok’s presence worldwide.”

“Reebok is an iconic brand, who has inspired, served, and connected athletes and consumers across the world for generations. At the intersection of sport and culture, it has constantly shaped new expression of style, thru product innovation, creativity and unique collaborations, on all fields,” Davide de Giglio, New Guards’ chairman and CEO, said. “We are thrilled to be working with the team at Reebok and to partner with ABG to craft the future journey of the brand through this first-of-its-kind deal. 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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New Guards is a global brand platform known for identifying and nurturing some of the world’s culturally relevant and emerging brands, designers and creative directors. The brand platform was acquired by global luxury fashion powerhouse Farfetch Ltd. in 2019 in a cash and stock deal valued at $675 million. New Guards, which operates as subsidiary of Farfetch, started in 2015 and has helped redefine the contemporary fashion and streetwear landscape. It has been working as an accelerator for fashion brands that include Marcelo Burlon County of Milan, Off-White, Heron Preston, Kirin Peggy Gou and Opening Ceremony, to name a few.

“New Guards is one of the few teams who have the DNA to bring this cross-over of luxury and sports to life. Reebok has an incredible heritage, and ABG has an amazing vision for its future, working with [New Guards] to reignite this iconic brand,” Giorgio Belloli, Farfetch’s chief commercial and sustainability officer, said. “We believe this partnership will also create significant buzz and organic traffic to the Farfetch marketplace, where customers from around the world will be able to discover some of the most exciting collaborations to come.”

Under the terms of the agreement, New Guards will work closely with Reebok Design Group, the Boston-based global design hub for product design, development and creative direction to give the brand a unified voice and vision.

ABG signed a definitive agreement to acquire Reebok from Adidas in August 2021 for up to 2.1 billion euros, or $2.46 billion. Adidas had acquired Reebok in 2006 for $3.8 billion.

While Adidas has long struggled to maximize the brand’s potential, ABG has hit the ground running to inject newness to the brand and establish a global presence.

ABG’s SPARC Group joint venture—in partnership with Simon Property Group—will become the key operating partner for Reebok in the U.S. Meanwhile, ABG has been working hard signing up operating partners for the brand. Those partners include the Falic Group for Latin America (excluding Mexico, Brazil and Argentina), Accent Group for Australia and New Zealand, and MGS, Reebok’s existing licensee in Israel for two decades. Also onboard are AI Boom Marine as Reebok’s operating partner for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; Tristate Holdings Ltd. as Reebok’s main licensee for China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and Mumbai-based Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. is responsible for Reebok operations serving India, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Reebok also has a strategic partnership with  JD Sports Fashion, and a deal with Foot Locker.

All operating agreements will take effect upon the closing of ABG’s acquisition of Reebok, which is expected later this quarter.