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Jamie Salter Buying Sports Illustrated?

by The Editors on April 30, 2019

In the continuing saga of strange zombie brand shenanigans, it is being reported that Authentic Brands, the company that just purchased Volcom is very seriously considering purchasing Sports Illustrated, the fading print magazine known most widely for it’s annual bikini issue, for $110 million, according to a story on Pitchbook.com.

If Authentic Brands ultimately wins the auction, it would keep SI’s print product alive for at least another two years, per retail-focused website WWD. But its bigger play would be licensing SI’s brand, which could reportedly include launching kids’ sports camps and injury rehab clinics. That sort of cross promotion is what Authentic Brands has specialized in while building consumer brands for celebrities such as retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neil and ex-pro golfer Greg Norman. Here’s to hoping this strategy could produce a viable business model to preserve SI’s journalistic aspirations. 

ABG has enough women’s wear brands to pack that bikini issue, and when you look at print advertising costs, it may be cheaper to just buy the magazine. We’ve said it as a joke before, but it’s looking more and more like Jamie Salter really will own everything soon.

[Link: Pitchbook]

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Jamie Salter Gets Stoned

by The Editors on April 2, 2019

It’s hard to believe, but it appears that eventually every dead fashion brand ends up in Jamie Salter’s hands. So it should be no surprise that he was able to add Volcom to his arsenal of 50 zombie brands which also includes Airwalk and Vision Street Wear.

“We are thrilled to have completed the purchase of Volcom,” said Jamie Salter, Chairman and CEO of ABG. “For nearly three decades the Volcom family has created one of the most iconic brands in the skate, surf and snow markets. During the last few years, the brand has been consistently gaining traction with broader audiences around the world while staying true to its core. We could not be happier to finally get to work with this team.”

Yes, this is an over-simplification of the deal which includes the creation of a new operating group run by Todd Hymel and the current Volcom management of which ABG is a minority partner, but hey at least Vee-Co is out from under the French and zombie brands live forever.

For the official word and no mention of how much ABG paid for Volcom (last time it sold for $607 million, this time we’re guessing much, much, much less) please follow the jump.

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Jamie Salter Rounds Up $250 Million

by The Editors on June 2, 2010

RenderimageIt’s been quite a while since we’ve mentioned Jamie Salter, but the guy who took snowboarding public on May 6, 1994 (when Ride Snowboards hit the NASDAQ) is still going strong with his company Authentic Brands Group, LLC.

In fact, he just landed a “$250 million equity capital raise with Green Equity Investors V, L.P an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (“LGP”), Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners Inc. (“Knight’s Bridge”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Counsel Corporation,” according to news released today.

The deal reportedly brings him back together with former Gen-X partner Kenneth Finkelstein. Together the two owned, operated, and/or were closely involved with Ride Snowboards, Airwalk, Sims, Duffs, and a host of other second tier action brands like Lamar, LTD Snowboards etc. Finkelstein’s Knight’s Bridge Capital currently owns the Poloroid brand.

“I am very excited to embark on this new venture with my partners at LGP and Knight’s Bridge. LGP is among the world’s most experienced private equity investors in the retail and branded consumer products industries and Knight’s Bridge will provide its own exceptional investment and brand licensing expertise,” Mr. Salter said. “Our collective experiences will enable Authentic Brands Group to acquire and grow a global portfolio of world renowned brands.”

Currently ABG manages the Bob Marley brand and is looking to “actively acquire and manage iconic consumer brands in the apparel, sporting goods, action sports, home, celebrity, entertainment and consumer electronics segments.” That $250 million war chest can’t hurt. Wonder who they’re going to buy first?

Follow the jump for the entire release
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ESPN Dumps the X Games On a Billionaire

by The Editors on October 26, 2022

After decades of spending money on their action sporting franchise, ESPN has finally found an exit to the X Games by selling “a majority interest” in the brand to a private equity firm called MSP Sports Capital (owners of McLaren Racing and more.)

“We are bringing our deep-rooted sports expertise to continue the progression and excitement around athletes, competition, fans, and X Games partners,” said Jahm Najafi, Founder and Chairman, MSP Sports Capital, and Founder and CEO, The Najafi Companies.

MSP founder Jahm Najafi, a billionaire who (aside from owning a large piece of the Phoenix Suns basketball team and entertainment company STX Entertainment,) also has investment dealings through Najafi Companies with Shaun Neff. Remember his first brand Neff Headwear?

We’ve never understood the calculus behind PE/VCs interest in action sports. Rarely have the numbers worked for anyone (Jamie Salter is an obvious exception), yet the “sexiness” of boardsports seems to keep the money managers flocking like vultures. They’ve enlisted Tony Hawk as “a brand steward,” and that’s not a bad first move. But the only real synergy the X Games brand ever had was ESPN’s somewhat aging TV/Internet distribution system, so it will be interesting to see what MSP does with the brand outside of that. Najafi is obviously a business genius, so this should be good.

For the official word from MSP, please follow the jump.

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Big Old News List For Monday

by The Editors on November 2, 2020

It’s been much too long, and so is this list of news headlines that may or may not resonate with you on a pre-election Monday at the start of the month of November.

Who knows what the future holds, in the meantime, look busy while scrolling this big old list of stories that jumped out at us. Click the jump for more.

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The Now Monthly List of News Stories

by The Editors on September 14, 2020

Yesterday (September 13, 2020) marked the six month anniversary of the current now. Hard to believe we have been mired in this situation for half of 2020. On the one hand we’re blown away by all the calamity that we’ve been faced with, on the other, we’re thankful for all those oblivious deniers who keep on keeping on like there’s nothing wrong. Kudos to them for showing us that it is entirely possible to live a normal (albeit angry) life with your head firmly mired in the sand and/or up your own butt.

With that out of the way, here’s the news that caught our clicker in the past month (thought we were doing this weekly, but my how time flies). Follow the jump for the whole list.

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Authentic Brands Guts Sports Illustrated

by The Editors on October 4, 2019

It was only a matter of time before old media sports titan Sports Illustrated felt the bite of digital publishing, and that time was yesterday according to a story in The New York Post.

Zombie brand collector Jamie Salter’s Authentic Brands Group, which purchased the venerable Sports Illustrated brand in May 2019, ended up cutting 40 of the magazine’s 150 staff members on Thursday October 3, 2019 through their contract publisher Maven.

As news of the impending cuts circulated, about three-quarters of the staff signed a petition calling on SI’s new owner, Authentic Brands, to rescind its 10-year licensing deal with digital publisher The Maven, headed by Jim Heckman. . . “The Maven wants to replace top journalists in the industry with a network of Maven freelancers and bloggers, while reducing or eliminating departments that have ensured that the stories we publish and produce meet the highest standards,” read the petition, which was first reported by NPR.

Why is this interesting to us? Well, Mr. Salter was involved with Kemper Snowboards, co-founded Ride Snowboards and, in addition to Sports Illustrated, currently owns Airwalk, Vision Street Wear, and most of Volcom. And if things keep going in this direction he will eventually own everything. Yes, he’s seems to have a knack for reanimating profits from dead brands.

[Link: The New York Post]

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Airwalk Gasps For One More Breath

by The Editors on November 13, 2018

Zombie brand extraordinaire, Airwalk, is hoping to ride the 90s wave of nostalgia right back to the top of the footwear game with the launch their latest “global ad campaign,” according to current owner Authentic Brands Group (Jamie Salter is the CEO, remember him?) The new campaign is titled Teen Spirit. Can you smell it? Here’s how they pitch it.

Returning to the brand’s roots, the 2018 campaign embraces the spirit of the Southern California teen that established Airwalk’s place in 90s culture. It gives consumers a candid look into the individuality, self-expression, and free-spirit that has shaped Airwalk’s identity for more than 30 years. . . .The campaign features The One, the Bloc, the Random, the Jim Lo, the Vic, and the Prototype. This assortment highlights Airwalk’s best sellers and a peek into what’s to come for the brand.

This just makes us miss footwear marketing/design genius Sinisa Egelja all the more. Hard to believe it has been nine years since his death on October 26, 2009. For the official word from Authentic Brand Group (which also owns Vision Street Wear), please follow the jump.

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Hey, Anyone Wanna Buy Quiksilver?

by The Editors on September 3, 2015

QuikQuiksilver is reportedly in a last ditch effort to find someone to buy them and bail them out the hole they’ve found themselves in for the past three years, according to a story on BloombergBusiness.

Quiksilver has been holding discussions with potential strategic bidders, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public. The goal is a management-led buyout, ideally outside of a bankruptcy, that would let the company retain its stores, two of the people said.

News of the discussions sent the stock rocketing up 7.9% to a whopping 45 cents at the close! The most interesting aspect to some of our readers may be that the lead company mentioned as Quik’s savior is Jamie Salter’s (remarkably successful) zombie brand holding company Authentic Brands Group. Yep, Quiksilver would likely fit in quite nicely with Airwalk, Vision Streetwear, and Sansabelt.

[Link: Bloomberg]

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Collective Brands Sells For $2 Billion

by The Editors on May 1, 2012

Wolverine WwCollective Brands, the owner of zombie brands Airwalk, Vision Streetwear, Lamar, and (sadly) Sims, has been purchased for $2 billion by a “consortium comprised of Wolverine Worldwide, Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital” according to a story on Sports One Source.

Upon closing, Wolverine Worldwide will acquire Collective Brands’ Performance + Lifestyle Group (PLG), which will continue to operate out of Lexington, MA. PLG had revenue of more than $1 billion in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2012. . . Payless will be acquired by Blum Capital and Golden Gate and will continue to be headquartered in Topeka, KS and CLI in Englewood, CO. Payless and CLI had combined revenue of approximately $2.4 billion in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2012, operating over 4,300 Payless retail stores globally at year end.

Guess this means Airwalk, Vision Streetwear, and Sims, get to stay in the Payless family only now they’ll be owned by Blum and Golden Gate Capital. As one of our more astute commenters pointed out to us, this sounds like a great opportunity for Jamie Salter to jump back in and grab a couple more brands . . . again.

[Link: Sports One Source]

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