Authentic Brands Group Stakes Claim in Champion

Champion apparel is available in more than 90 countries with 40% of its business outside of North America.

License Global

June 5, 2024

2 Min Read
Champion Apparel, Authentic Brands Group
Champion ApparelAuthentic Brands Group

Authentic Brands Group (Authentic), a global brand development, marketing and entertainment platform, has signed an agreement to purchase the Champion Athleticwear brand and business from HanesBrands.  

This strategic move accelerates Authentic’s expansion of its portfolio of sports, lifestyle, entertainment and media brands and will increase its system-wide annual retail sales to more than $32 billion worldwide. 

Since 1919, Champion has played a pivotal role in shaping athletic wear, notably introducing the first hooded sweatshirt and the use of breathable mesh fabrics. Champion’s iconic “C” logo features in collaborations with major global brands and designers, driving international appeal while maintaining its recognition. It currently operates in more than 90 countries, with more than 40% of its business outside North America. Champion continues to be a premier destination for athletic and casual offerings and has a robust collegiate program that serves as a touchpoint for younger generations. 

“We are excited to acquire Champion, a brand that shares our pioneering spirit,” says Jamie Salter, chairman, chief executive officer, Authentic. “Over the last few years, the addition of new brands together with the expansion of live events has grown Authentic into a world-leading sports and entertainment licensing company. Bringing Champion into the fold further expands our position in this space.” 

Related:Licensing Expo Issue – May 2024

“Our successful efforts igniting Reebok’s momentum in sports have created a playbook to achieve a similar feat with Champion,” says Nick Woodhouse, president, chief brand officer, Authentic. “With expansive reach, differentiated channel strategy and a balanced strength across its women’s and men’s businesses, Champion has profoundly influenced sports culture. This is the perfect time for the brand to make a significant impact as women's sports continue to broaden their presence and fandom worldwide.” 

Authentic plans to leverage its diverse and multifaceted platform of consumer verticals, along with its expertise in brand-building, to convert the Champion business into a licensed model. The company is in discussions with several existing and potential operators in key regions to manage the manufacturing, physical retail, e-commerce and wholesale operations of the business and maintain the brand’s global footprint. 

The acquisition of Champion is subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to be finalized in the second half of this year. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and BofA Securities are financial advisors, and Latham & Watkins is legal advisor to Authentic. 

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License Global

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