Golf champion Greg Norman has sold certain licensing rights to his name to Authentic Brands Group for an undisclosed amount.
The ABG acquisition is just for the growth and development of consumer products and endorsements. That business, known as the Great White Shark Enterprises until last year, includes apparel and accessories, steaks and wine. Excluded from the acquisition are the components of The Greg Norman Co. connected with its investment arm, real estate and golf course design, among others. ABG and Greg Norman are calling their transaction a joint venture.
Norman has won more than 90 tournaments worldwide, including two British Open Championships, and has the distinction of ranking in the number-one position in the world golf rankings for 331 consecutive weeks. The Greg Norman brand joins ABG’s existing roster of sports celebrity names such as Muhammad Ali, Dr. J. and Shaquille O’Neal.
Jamie Salter, ABG’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Greg’s attributes and global appeal extend far beyond golf into travel, luxury, lifestyle and more.”
“Our shared purpose and vision makes ABG the ideal strategic partner,” Norman said, adding, “As we celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Greg Norman Company, it is markedly important to continue to evolve the brand, reach new audiences and expand our portfolio, and ABG is undoubtedly the right partner to help us on that journey.”
ABG’s nonsports-related celebrity brands include Marilyn Monroe; Mini Marilyn; Elvis Presley and Thalía. It also manages the Michael Jackson brand. Other brands in ABG’s portfolio include Juicy Couture; Aéropostale; Jones New York; Judith Leiber Couture; Frederick’s of Hollywood; Adrienne Vittadini; Taryn Rose; Misook; Hickey Freeman; Hart Schaffner Marx; Spyder; Tretorn; Tapout; Prince; Airwalk; Vision Street Wear, and Hind.
Since May 2015, ABG has been the subject of possible IPO rumblings. An IPO would help ABG investor Leonard Green & Partners see a return on its investment in the brand management firm. The company’s portfolio of brands does more than $4.5 billion in worldwide retail sales. In December, IPO research and tracking firm Renaissance Capital said ABG could go public this year. The two other apparel-related firms it projected would do IPOs this year — J. Jill and Canada Goose — went public earlier this month.