Authentic Brands Group officially acquired the Prince brand name, adding another strong brand to its growing family of properties. ABG, which already owns TapouT, Sportcraft and Silver Star Casting Company, said its objective is to maintain Prince Sports' historical reign in the tennis world while expanding into new categories.
At the core of their global strategy are three operating partnerships
tasked with managing and expanding the Prince brand. Through its wholly
owned affiliate Prince Global Sports, Active Brands Company (ABC) is the
exclusive partner for Prince throughout the world with the exception of
Asia. ABC is majority owned by Waitt Company, an Omaha based
diversified investment company.
"We are excited to deepen and
expand Prince Sports through delivering quality products, accessories
and world-class service," says Norm Waitt, Chairman of Waitt Company.
Prince Global Sports will primarily be managing the Prince, Ektelon,
Viking brands and related businesses out of facilities in New Jersey,
London, France and Taiwan.
Globeride Inc., an Asia-based company
that has been innovating the athletic equipment industry for over 50
years, has been officially named ABG's partner to operate Prince
"Prince Sports already has a passionate
following in Japan and we look forward to enhancing its popularity with
the Japanese consumer," says Masao Sato, Senior Executive Officer of
Globeride. Further strengthening Prince's presence in Asia, Wellpower
Sports has partnered with ABG to operate Prince Pacific, which holds the
Prince brand in China/Hong Kong, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand,
Singapore and Indonesia. "Prince Sports is an amazing addition to the
Wellpower family, and we are confident that Prince will continue to
resonate as the premiere tennis brand in Asia," says Kent Hong, CEO of
"Prince has a rich history of providing exceptional
products to the performance sports market," says Jamie Salter, CEO of
ABG. "We are committed to this fantastic brand and support our operating
partners in continuing the tradition so many have come to expect from
Over the past 43 years, Prince has become synonymous
with tennis by arming the most gifted players in the world with Prince rackets, shoes, bags and apparel. From the invention of the first
automatic tennis ball machine and the first oversized racquet in the
1970s, Prince has continually challenged the status quo, pushing the
game forward by equipping athletes at all levels with unique products
and support programs designed to take their game to the next level.
According to Nick Woodhouse, CMO of ABG, "Prince will continue to reach
the globe with cutting edge technology through key partnerships around
Prince is widely recognized as being the first to
market with many of the most relevant technologies of the past 40 years.
Through a commitment to research and develop from its facility in
Italy, Prince has introduced a number of new products and product
enhancements including, oversize technology, long body technology, the
first multifilament string, the first
"Natural Foot Shape" tennis
shoe and EXO3 technology. A key competitive advantage for Prince and the
only one of its kind in the tennis space, the facility will continue to
operate under ABG's management. "We are incredibly excited to introduce
new patented technology that will revolutionize the tennis industry in
2013," says Roberto Gazzara, GM of Research and Development. "Our
facility is developing equipment that will improve the feel and power
for players at all levels."
This notion of constant innovation
will be front and center in Prince's upcoming #WhosNext campaign, which
will launch on Twitter and Facebook during the U.S. Open.
is a game played along the tightest of margins and the difference
between being 'in' or 'out' is only a matter of one degree," says Nick
Woodhouse. "Like all of our world-class athletes, we will prepare
smarter, train harder and compete tougher on every point - as if it were
Authentic Brands Group, in partnership with Leonard
Green & Partners, is an intellectual property corporation with a
mandate to acquire, manage and build long-term value in prominent
consumer brands. With offices in New York and Toronto, ABG's mission is
to acquire and manage iconic consumer brands in apparel, sporting goods,
action sports, home, celebrity, entertainment and consumer electronics
and enhance brand equity through best- in-class brand licensee and
direct-to-retail partnerships. The brands ABG owns include Marilyn
Monroe ®, Prince®, Ektelon®, Viking®, TapouT®, Sportcraft®, Silver Star
Casting Company®, Iron Star®, Hitman Fight Gear® and Sinister Brand®.
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