Authentic Brands Group has a new deal — but it’s not the purchase of another high-profile brand this time. Instead, Authentic, the brand development and marketing company that owns Reebok, Brooks Brothers, Nautica, Forever 21 and others, is partnering with Global Citizen, the world’s largest international advocacy organization, on a program that will allow its brands and their customers to use their purchasing power to drive change.
Global Citizen’s primary mission is to end extreme poverty around the world. Over the past decade, the organization has deployed $41 billion in commitments on its platforms to impact more than 1.15 billion lives. The nonprofit was established in Australia in 2008 and operates from New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne, Toronto, Johannesburg and Lagos, among others.
Natasha Fishman, chief communications officer and executive vice president of marketing for Authentic, said the partnership is long-term and will run through the end of 2026. A key part of this first-of-its-kind deal is that the two companies will work together to create an exclusive mark that will be used on Authentic brand products as well as in marketing activations, donation programs and more beginning later this year.
Fishman said further details on the mark and the Authentic brands that will be involved are still being finalized and will be announced when the mark is revealed. Once created, that mark is expected to make its appearance on hangtags as well as products and at the point-of-sale, she explained.
“This is the first part of a long-term narrative with them,” she said of Global Citizen. She stressed that this is not the first time Authentic has worked with a charity, and this initiative is not intended to replace efforts already in place at the individual brands. Rather it will better allow customers to make choices to donate to issues that are important to them.
She said among the programs expected to be included in the Global Citizen partnership are cash round-ups at the register, donations of a percentage of sales and other efforts.
“It’s about being a good corporate citizen,” she said, “but it’s not just about checking a box. Instead, it’s about putting real consideration on our ESG [environmental social and governance] efforts and how we bring that to market.”
It is also a way for Authentic to “be more thoughtful and meaningful to our customers,” she continued. “It’s an opportunity for our brands and audience to get active around initiatives they care about.”
The list of brands that will be involved is still being finalized, but are expected to include Reebok, Nautica and Eddie Bauer. “But there will be more for sure,” Fishman said. “This takes us through the end of 2026 so many of our brands will be participating.”
All told, Authentic oversees a portfolio that generates $25 billion in annual retail sales globally and operates in more than 150 countries through 9,400 freestanding stores and in-store shops.
Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Authentic, was the catalyst in creating this partnership, Fishman said. “It’s near and dear to his heart.”
“We are honored to build upon our commitment to ESG with an organization as established and trusted as Global Citizen,” said Salter. “Authentic and Global Citizen share a focus on issues including social justice and sustainability. We are committed to galvanizing our brand communities to take action through meaningful programs that drive positive impact.”
“We are always seeking to engage new audiences in Global Citizen’s mission to take action on the major issues our world is facing, from extreme poverty to climate change,” said Sharon O’Sullivan, global head of corporate partnerships for Global Citizen. “We understand the power of fashion to influence the cultural dialogue, and we are thrilled to partner with Authentic and its portfolio of world-class brands to ignite new audiences of global citizens. This is Global Citizen’s first time partnering with an organization like Authentic to create an exclusive brand mark and we look forward to building creative marketing programs and collaborations across each of the participating brands to engage consumers through their passion points and invite them to join our movement.”