Target (TGT) has announced that as of February 25th, all stores and Target.com will carry an exclusive line of Umbro soccer apparel, footwear and equipment for kids. The collection will include more than 90 items, including shorts, cleats and shin guards; ranging in price from $4.99 to $19.99. Target will be the only U.S. mass retailer carrying the English brand.
Howie Long-Short: Umbro is owned by the Iconix Brand Group (ICON), a brand management company that owns more than 25 global consumer labels including Candie’s, Pony and Starter. Those who follow ICON won’t be blindsided by news of the Umbro/Target partnership; CEO John Haugh said in late December (Q3 ’17 earnings) that the company would be actively managing its brands to expand market reach “with existing distribution partners and into new partners.” The comments came as ICON reported Q3 ’17 licensing revenue declined 12% YOY (to $53.2 million). Previously owned by Nike, ICON bought Umbro in 2012 for $225 million.
Fan Marino: In 2016, Target (TGT) saw sales of soccer-related items grow 10%; faster than any other sporting goods category. So, in 2017, TGT initiated the largest teams sports push in company history; becoming an official partner of MLS, an official partner and the jersey sponsor of Minnesota United FC and the official retailer of U.S. youth soccer. The company also pledged $14 million to youth soccer, as the company looks to continue growing participation in the sport (9 million played in ’16); an $8 million local grant program (supports registration fees, equipment, coaching etc.) and a $6 million partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to build 100 new soccer fields by 2020.