Marquee Brands is expanding its reach in the outdoor sports field.
The company today will reveal that it has acquired the Dakine brand and all related intellectual property. At the same time, Marquee Brands has entered into a long-term license with JR286 Inc., which has acquired the operating assets of Dakine and become Marquee Brands’ long-term partner in operating the brand.
Terms were not disclosed.
Dakine was founded on Maui’s North Shore in 1979 and is based in Hood River, Ore. Its claim to fame is the innovation leash it created for surfboards that became a hit among Hawaii’s surfing enthusiasts. Today it has expanded into other action sports and sells snow, surf and biking bags, backpacks, gear, apparel and accessories.
The brand is sold in North America and Europe — where sales are almost evenly split — but Cory Baker, chief operating officer of Marquee Brands, said growth opportunities include Asia and Latin America.
The Southern California-based JR286 was founded in 1989 and specializes in the design, development, sourcing, manufacturing and distribution of athletic, fitness and outdoor products. It has a long-term global license with Nike that covers hundreds of sports-related accessories and equipment.
Under the terms of the deal, JR286 will develop Dakine’s core categories and maintain dedicated teams for the brand in Hood City and Los Angeles. In addition, Ken Meidell, Dakine’s current chief executive officer, will join Marquee Brands.
Michael DeVirgilio, president of Marquee Brands, said the company’s “vision is to intensify Dakine’s focus on producing high-quality products for its snow, surf and bike customers while also pushing the brand to explore exciting and uncharted waters.”
Jonathan Hirshberg, president and ceo of JR286, said he appreciates Dakine’s “longstanding heritage on the mountain and in the water and the success it has achieved by staying true to its core customer. We are excited to begin working with the talented Dakine team members around the globe. Their expertise sits right in our wheelhouse of design, engineering, sourcing and global commercialization.”
Baker said the goal is to expand the brand organically and offer more products in existing and complementary categories, whether that’s additional apparel pieces or camping equipment, for example.
“Dakine is a high-quality brand with a performance integrity and legacy of innovation that has allowed it to develop a fiercely passionate customer following, and which we believe is ripe with untapped growth potential,” said Zachary Sigel, managing director of Neuberger Berman, the private equity firm that funds Marquee Brands.
Marquee Brands’ portfolio consists of Ben Sherman, Bruno Magli, Body Glove, BCBG Max Azria and BCBGeneration, brands that generate sales of more than $1.5 billion at retail.
Baker said Marquee Brands’ portfolio is “differentiated and diverse by design. But what they all have in common is that they’re extremely authentic and have a loyal consumer base. We pass on a lot of brands that sometimes have hundreds of million dollars in sales, but they don’t pass the litmus test. But if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’re an ambassador of Dakine.”