The biggest opportunities are probably in the U.S., where Umbro became a fashionable brand of clothing worn in the discos back in the 1990s, when Nike took it over to establish itself as a leader in the football market. Iconix wants to develop the brand in the youth soccer segment and to expand it in the lifestyle segment.

The U.S., where Umbro is licensed to Dick's Sporting Goods, represents only about 3 percent of the brand's revenues. Iconix also sees opportunities for growth in Asia. It feels that Umbro can continue to grow also in Europe and South America, which are its biggest markets.

With global retail sales of around $900 million, Umbro will generate royalties of between $40 million and $45 million for Iconix as of next year, but its $225 million acquisition from Nike will put pressure on the company's profits in 2012. Iconix has indicated that some of Umbro's 190 employees will lose their jobs.

In the third quarter, Iconix' total revenues – mostly from royalties – dropped by 6.6 percent to $86.6 million. Its net income rose by 4.5 percent to $27.1 million. Combined with the wholesale revenues of two other sports brands owned by Iconix, Starter and Danskin, the acquisition will raise Iconix' indirect turnover in the sports segment to around $2.5 billion a year. It will also help to push the share of sales outside the U.S. up to 40 percent.

The acquisition of Umbro will be partly financed through a new securitized financing program that will initially consist of $500 million worth of senior securitized notes and $100 million in variable funding notes.