Farfetch hits the ground running as Reebok partnership launches commercially
Farfetch on Wednesday formally launched its previously flagged partnership with Reebok — the sports giant now owned by Authentic Brands Group — with UK-and Portugal-based Farfetch now handling the label in Europe.
After months of work, the Reebok project has come in on time and on budget and underlines the huge transformation happening at Reebok, which doesn’t only have a new owner, but which is evolving fast.
Authentic acquired Reebok from Adidas last year and first announced its plan to link up with Farfetch shortly after. That link-up has now formally launched, but what does it mean in practice?
Farfetch is re-platforming Reebok’s websites and crucially helping to “drive the evolution of the brand by expanding its luxury collaboration offerings globally”.
The partnership comes under the banner of the Farfetch-owned New Guards Group (NGG), via its new NGG++ division that was formed specifically to handle Reebok “and focus on accelerating opportunities for NGG brands’ sportswear and sneaker categories”.
And Cristiano Fagnani, who had been Chief Marketing Officer of NGG, is now CEO of NGG++. He has over 20 years of industry experience, following a “highly successful career at Nike, where he led Energy Marketing, Brand Experience and Product Collaborations”.
Executive quotes around launches such as this can sometimes be a little bland, but in this case, the team had plenty of good points to make.
Farfetch founder and CEO José Neves highlighted the importance of the deal to both companies. He said that Reebok “has great potential to expand into the luxury space, reigniting its loyal customer base and capturing the imagination of a new luxury global audience. Under the astute and energetic guidance of Cristiano and the NGG++ team, we believe this partnership will unlock huge value for the brand and for Farfetch”.
He also said that launching the partnership "is an important execution milestone” in his company’s plans for 2023 and he’s delighted that “the NGG++ and Farfetch Platform Solutions teams have ensured Reebok’s wholesale and e-commerce operations are up and running on time and on budget”.
That’s an impressive achievement given how even the best laid plans can easily take longer than expected to execute and unexpected costs can mount up.
Meanwhile Fagnani added: “NGG++ is now operating Reebok across Europe, overseeing marketing and e-commerce operations, as well as driving wholesale distribution. In addition, NGG++ has the vision to redefine the space between sport and culture to empower movement. I am excited by the opportunity to leverage the brand through luxury collaborations and new high-end products designed in Milan and made in Italy. All of this will help us accelerate wider opportunities for NGG in the sneaker and sportswear markets.”
And New Guards Group CEO Davide De Giglio explained that “helping streetwear brands evolve into new luxury and lifestyle houses is part of our core skill set. In addition to generating significant revenues, this partnership will help us further support our existing brands and nurture new talent. We believe NGG++ will deliver growth for Reebok and for our other NGG brands -- all celebrating the combination and collaboration of sports and culture.”
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