Starter Returning to Football Sidelines after 20 Year Hiatus


Starter has signed a multi-year deal with G-III by Carl Banks to become the official on-field apparel and game day uniform supplier of the Alliance of American Football. The iconic brand most often associated with licensed team jackets, will outfit all 8 teams. The inaugural contest, scheduled for February ’19, will mark Starter’s return to football sidelines for the first time since 1998; the company outfitted 12 NFL teams during the 1990s.

Howie Long-Short: Starter 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 Umbro. ICON posted top and bottom line YoY declines in Q1 ‘18, but the company launched Umbro at Target and continued to increase sales of Starter brand on Amazon; growth initiatives that allowed CEO John Haugh to reiterate revenue and free cash flow guidance for FY18. ICON shares are down -53% on the year, closing on Tuesday at $.60. The company is expected to post its Q2 financials on August 8th.

G-III Apparel Group (GIII) is a clothing company that owns several fashion brands (think: DKNY) and holds licenses to manufacture under several others (think: Guess, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger). Back in early June, the company reported Q1 ’19 net sales rose +16% to $612 million; an $83 million YoY increase. The unexpected profit sent shares soaring (+19.5%) to a 52-week high of $51.20 earlier this month. GIII closed on Tuesday at $46.33.

Fan Marino: The AAF is the league co-founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. It’s not to be confused with the XFL, which is the league being funded by Vince McMahon and run by Oliver Luck; that league is set to launch in 2020. The AAF is hoping its “college model” will create natural rivalries and fan interest, with team/university affiliations ensuring players are assigned to the franchise located in the market closest to their collegiate team (or previous NFL/CFL team in B10/B12 country). Polian was quoted saying, “if the Birmingham team has Trent Richardson, we think that will be something that would be a significant gate attraction”; Browns, Colts and Raiders fans would likely disagree.

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