Sunice, the Canadian brand of golf outerwear, is teaming up with an established British distributor to launch Sunice Europe, which will sell the brand in the U.K. and Ireland. This unit is a joint venture between The Golf Business, the distributor that established Galvin Green in the U.K., and the Fletcher Leisure Group, the Montreal-based Canadian company that repurchased the Sunice brand.
Sunice was integrated into Ashworth a few years ago when the Canadian brand’s president, Mark Fletcher, joined the American golf apparel company. Ashworth was taken over by TaylorMade-Adidas Golf (TMAG) in 2008. Fletcher left the company last year, taking Sunice back with him.
TMAG continued to sell Sunice in the last months in Europe but in the last few days the merchandise was transferred from TMAG to Sunice Europe. Located in Chertsey, near London, the new company will start delivering to British customers this week. TMAG had already prepared for a split by continuing to invest in its own Adidas-branded golf outerwear, with particularly strong results in pants.
Sunice Europe has rights to sell the brand throughout Europe, but for the time being it is focusing on the U.K. and Ireland, while the brand’s international management is holding talks with distributors in other parts of Europe. Pro Golf Scandinavia was appointed as an agent for Denmark, and advanced negotiations are taking place for the rest of Scandinavia, the German-speaking countries, Spain, Portugal and France.
Although Sunice has yet to build up a sizeable presence in Europe, it ranks among the market leaders for golf outerwear in North America. It has waterproof ranges at three different price levels. The most technical products have Gore-Tex.
The partner picked by Sunice for the U.K. and Ireland is the distributor that turned Sweden's Galvin Green into the leading brand of golf outerwear in the U.K. in terms of value (as detailed in our summary report on the U.K. golf apparel market). But last year, Galvin Green opted to set up its own business in the country, headed by the former managing director of The Golf Business, Michael Johnson Hill.
The Golf Business then took on three new brands: EP Pro, the leading American women’s golf apparel brand ; Druh, a belt label ; and Canterbury, a Canadian brand of golf belts, which is marketed in Europe under the Glenayr brand. The Golf Business was already selling Oxford Golf, a men’s apparel range, and it has a publishing unit called Course Guide, making course planners. The Sunice business is to be supervised by Chris Thundow, the company’s sales director.