Iconix Brand Group Inc. agreed to acquire Nike Inc.’s Umbro sports apparel and footwear unit for $225 million in cash.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, New York-based Iconix said in a statement. Nike bought Umbro, which was founded in 1924, in 2008 for about 302 million pounds ($483.7 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The sale is part of Nike Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker’s push to focus on the business units with the most growth potential and profitability. Nike, based in Beaverton, Oregon, previously announced it’s also trying to sell its Cole Haan unit of dress-shoe stores.

Nike rose 0.1 percent to $92.89 at the close in New York. The shares have lost 3.6 percent this year.

The deal will end one of the many acquisitions that hasn’t panned out for the world’s largest maker of sporting goods. Nike has also bought and then sold the Starter apparel brand and Canstar Sports Inc., maker of Bauer hockey gear. The one bright spot has been Converse, which has flourished under Nike’s control.

Back in 2008, Umbro appeared to be a good fit because it gave Nike more customers in Europe as it tried to reach its goal of surpassing Adidas as the world’s largest soccer company.

Umbro also had a long-standing deal with the England national soccer team to supply its uniforms. In a statement announcing the deal, Parker touted the new relationship as a “dynamic alignment” that would make Nike the world leader in soccer.

Nike announced this morning it will sell its Umbro affiliate brand to Iconix Brand Group, Inc., for $225 million. The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Nike announced May 31 it planned to sell Umbro, a soccer equipment brand, and dress shoe brand Cole Haan. The company said the sales were planned “to focus on driving growth in the Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands.”

“It is a difficult decision to divest any business,” Nike chief executive Mark Parker said in a statement, “but this action wil enable us to focus on our highest-potential growth opportunities.

“Umbro has a great heritage, but ultimately, as our category strategy has evolved, we believe Nike Football can serve the needs of footballers both on and off the pitch.”

Nike recently announced it had signed England’s national soccer team to a footwear and apparel deal. The announcement was curious as Umbro had been the team’s supplier for years and that partnership had been perceived as one of the selling points for Umbro.

“Umbro is a true, authentic football brand with a global loyal consumer fan base,” Neal Cole, chief executive of Iconix Brand Group said in a statement, “and we are thrilled to be adding it to our portfolio of iconic brands.

“Umbro is an exciting acquisition with more than 30 licensees in over 100 countries with a devout following. We look forward to working with our international partners to maintain and expand upon the rich heritage of Umbro.”

Nike announced Umbro’s purchase in October 2007 and completed it in 2008 for $582 million cash. The purchase was the first and only acquisition for Parker, named chief executive in January 2006.

Umbro’s revenue declined about 19 percent, from $224 million to $276 million, between 2006 and 2011 because of its lesser role in the competition between Nike and Adidas soccer brands, Credit Suisse analyst Christian Buss wrote when the Umbro and Cole Haan sales plans were announced.

At that time, Nike said the sale of the brands was expected before the end of the company’s fiscal year, which is May 31, 2013.

Nike purchased Cole Haan in 1988 for $80 million plus the repayment of $15 million in debt for the New York-based company.


Was The $225M Sale Of Umbro A Bad Move By Nike?

Umbro is a brand renowned across the world, thanks to its numerous sponsorships of popular soccer teams over the decades, including the Manchester City soccer team back in 1934, who went on to win the FA cup during the same year. Nike acquired the sportswear manufacturer in 2008, which was a move to counter Adidas’s acquisition of Reebok.

After investing millions into their subsidiary brand throughout the past years, Umbro’s future became a little hazy as Nike has announced its intentions to sell Umbro earlier this May. Interested investors pitched several offers to acquire the brand for sale, but all of which fell short of the original $580m purchase price Nike had to pay for five years ago.

Although the UK-based shoe-specialist has been struggling to rake in revenue above standards set by Nike, what really has observers puzzled is the fact that the latter let the former go for a significantly smaller price of $225M.

Nike eventually agreed to deal England’s beloved trademark to Iconix Brand Group – a brand management company that licenses brands to manufacturers and retailers – despite the fact they apparently seemed to be on the losing end of the bargain.

What’s even stranger is the fact that Nike has been “doing things” that’d make its former subsidiary appear less valuable, thereby justifying their reason to sell it for a much lower cost. Such suspicious moves includes Nike allowing Umbro kit deals with Swansea, Sunderland and West Brom slip passed their hands in favor of rival Adidas, whilst the company themselves stated that they’d be “taking the reigns” from Umbro at Manchester City.

To make matters worse, Nike announced that it’d be taking Umbro’s technical supplier position at the Football Association – a move that’d most likely bring Nike’s trademark to the FA Cup, St. George’s Park, Wembley Stadium and the England National Teams.

Despite the slight controversy, analysts believed that Nike played the game quite well. The short-term loss occurred with the sale of Umbro has actually paved the way for long-term deals with soccer teamssuch as that of Manchester City, as well as a series of other individual sponsorships.

In addition to effectively gaining rights to the soccer federation, Umbro’s qualities which made it attractive to potential competitors, such as Adidas, were eliminated. The lower price, along with hindered potential for immediate growth, made it a turn-off in the eyes of rivals, yet appealing to other “less-threatening” companies.

Nike Replaces Umbro As Official Provider Of Soccer Uniforms For The English Team

Sportswear giant Nike behind some of the most impressive soccer uniforms worn by professional teams today, and is about to sign a deal with the English soccer team that’ll increase its brand presence even more in Europe.

According to a news report by the British tabloid Daily Mail, the sports clothing manufacturer has come into an agreement with the English Football Association (The FA) wherein Nike shall replace Umbro as the official kit provider(soccer jerseys, cleats, etc.) of the English soccer team starting next spring.

Once the deal pushes through, Nike will be able to gain a competitive advantage over Adidas, which is currently dominating the soccer market in terms of market share. However, this has raised a few issues which need to be addressed.

First and foremost, it’s a known fact that Nike acquired the Manchester-based sportswear gear producer back in 2007. The main reason why they paid half-a-billion dollars to acquire these soccer uniforms and sports garment manufacturer in the first place was to scale its growing business in the European Market.

During that year, Nike’s move to buy Umbro was heavily influenced by the latter’s strong ties with the English soccer team, as well as the fact that it has been providing numerous high-profile clubs with soccer jerseys plus other soccer getups.

However, since Umbro wasn’t performing as well expected, Nike ultimately decided to put the company up for sale so that it could focus on developing its core brands.

And this is exactly where the conflict begins – potential buyers of Umbro would most certainly be attracted to the brand because of its dealings with the English soccer team. Since Nike will be replacing the company for sale as the official provider of soccer uniforms for the team, its net value would obviously go down, which could turn potential buyers off towards the notion of acquiring the company.

To make things even more difficult in terms of selling the Manchester-based company, Nike also made an announcement last May that it’ll be replacing Umbro as the official sponsor of the Manchester City Football Club starting this 2013/2014 season.

As perplexing as this may seem, other people argue that Nike could make up for the losses with profits raked in from its new deal with The FA (providing them with soccer jerseys and other garments.)Regardless, it’s still going to be tough to pull something like this off.

How to Kick a Soccer Ball

Kicking a ball is easy. Kicking a ball so that it’ll get someplace in a way that evades the possibility of being halted midway is difficult. For kids who aspire to be soccer players, junior soccer training will serve them well, especially when they are in need of finding a teammate or trying to score a goal. They might even become successful big-league players after learning this valuable skill. Junior soccer training equips young ones with the basics of playing soccer, such as tips on how to properly kick a soccer ball.

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Benefits of Nylon Soccer Uniforms

Most teams soccer uniforms nowadays are made of varying materials. Soccer uniforms play an important part in a team’s performance. One of the factors soccer teams should consider before selecting their uniforms is the kind of fabric they want to use.

Nowadays, a growing number of soccer teams opt for nylon soccer uniforms. Using nylon has become very popular because it has a lot of advantages. Here are some of them.

The durability of nylon fibres cannot be questioned. They are used in all sorts of products because they can resist distortion and wear and tear. Soccer teams opt for nylon soccer uniforms because they last longer and are less prone to being damaged. In addition, nylon teams soccer uniforms are flexible and can be stretched without being distorted. This ability does not interfere with the durability of the soccer uniforms, a plus factor for soccer teams.

Nylon fibres are also resistant to damage caused by sunlight and even chemicals. Nylon soccer uniforms are now more preferred than its other counterparts because also won’t shrink or damaged after you wash it. Unlike polyester, nylon soccer uniforms do not undergo structural damage when exposed to the sun’s harmful rays and a variety of common household chemicals. In addition, nylon fibres do not react with water, so soccer teams can enjoy their uniforms even after countless of washings.

Soccer is a demanding sport that involves pushing, pulling, and lots of physical contact. There’s always going to be a lot of jersey grabbing and intense play, so it is very important that soccer teams choose their uniforms well. Nylon soccer uniforms are ideal since it resists all sorts of tugs and pulls. A player gets shoved here and there but they can be rest assured that its nylon fabrics will stay intact. This is very important to ensure that the jerseys last a long time.

The beauty of nylon is that it is not that expensive, yet one can rely on its amazing properties. Nylon fibres are not prone to thermal shocks—so soccer teams need not worry about shrinking uniforms. Because nylon fibres are able to resist all forms of distortion, soccer uniforms are guaranteed to last a long time.

Soccer uniforms can be costly, so it’s great if one can find a uniform that is built to last. Soccer teams will never go wrong with nylon soccer uniforms.