Two rising companies tackling the sportswear and footwear markets have eyes set on growth and taking on giants like Nike Inc NKE and Under Armour Inc UA.
Nobull Lands QB: Nobull prides itself on providing training shoes and clothing for athletes including CrossFit athletes and the brand announced a big endorsement deal Monday.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones will endorse the company’s shoes and clothing and also appear in commercials.
Jones was taken 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft and is in a quarterback battle with Cam Newton to be named the Patriots’ starter.
Nobull was valued at $500 million in April and is profitable, according to Bloomberg. Other athletes in the Nobull family include U.S. Olympic swimmer Caleb Dressel and PGA Tour golfer Scott Stallings.
Not surprised by this deal.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 30, 2021
One of biggest risers in the sneaker business over the last 12 months: No Bull & Swiss company On.
If Jones has equity, this could turn out to be the biggest shoe deal of 2021. https://t.co/YGTTGtf6k8
Darren Rovell said if Jones got equity in Nobull as part of the endorsement it could be “the biggest shoe deal of 2021.”
Jones won’t wear Nobull shoes while playing, but could become a valuable endorsee if he becomes starting quarterback for the Patriots.
On IPO: The other big emerging brand mentioned by Rovell is On, a Swiss company that makes shoes for athletes and signed Roger Federer to an investment and brand partnership in 2019.
“We focus on providing a premium product experience to customers wherever they are and our brand resonates with our loyal customers around the world,” the IPO filing for On reads.
On saw sales increase at an average rate of 68% from 2018 through 2020. In the first six months of 2021, 36.6% of the company’s sales came from the direct-to-consumer segment. On is present in 8,100 retail stores globally.
The company plans to increase its global presence and grow its athlete roster after going public. With an IPO around the corner, On could lure athletes into endorsement deals with the promise of public shares.
Why It’s Important: Nike has faced competition for many years that includes the likes of Under Armour. Athletes are becoming more aligned with small brands that offer exclusive brands and/or equity in the company.
Nobull and On could continue to build out their roster offering equity in the companies and signature shoes and clothing lines.
Simone Biles left Nike for Gap Inc GPS and its Athleta brand. Nike continues to have a huge roster of schools and well-known athletes.
Under Armour could lose market share in training and workout gear to the likes of Nobull if the brand continues to grow in the U.S. and land a roster of endorsed athletes that can help spread brand awareness.
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