International Brand Licensing (IBL), which inherited the rights to this venerable British team sports brand from the late Lance Yates, has signed a licensing deal with Sondico for team sports clothing and equipment to be sold in sporting goods stores in the UK and Ireland, starting next Spring. Sondico, which already has excellent relations with the likes of JJB Sports and Sports World, will distribute the line along with its goalkeeper gloves and shinguards, starting with clothing for football and cricket.
Sondico will handle the line through a new division called Tenzero. The company has guaranteed minimum royalties of £189,000 (€0.3m-$0.4m) over the six years of the agreement. It will be able to source products from some of the same factories that supply Admiral’s licensee for the USA and Canada, which distributes Sondico as well.
The Admiral brand has disappeared in British sporting goods stores since the end of a previous contract with ARC until two-three years ago. IBL already has in place a clothing license for Admiral with the Rajan Group for non-performance retro clothing sold through British mail order catalog houses and fashion stores such as those of the Arcadia group. IBL recently re-signed an exclusive retail license for non-apparel products bearing the Admiral trade name with the ASDA’s supermarkets.
All in all, Admiral is going to generate retail sales of about £12 million (€17.8m-$23.3m) just in the UK this year. Tony Hutchinson, who runs IBL, expects the figure to rise by 40-50 percent in 2007 and to reach soon an annual level of £20-30 million (€30-44m-$39-58m). Admiral is an exclusive supplier of uniforms for the England and Wales Cricket Boards as well as the Leeds United Football Club.
IBL has also signed a new licensing agreement for Admiral with a Czech company, World Brands, that covers the Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian markets. One of the partners in this new company is a former marketing director of Umbro’s Czech licensee.
Separately, IBL has bought Muscle Athletic, a brand of fleecewear housed in Gibraltar that has remained dormant in the last few years, but was very prominent in the ‘seventies. IBL will propose it to its Admiral licensees to develop it into a brand of fitness, beach and lifestyle clothing.