This confirms a report in WWD in late October. Terms of the deal between Bluestar Alliance and the $36.4 billion juggernaut Nike were not disclosed.
Surfers were the first to embrace the Hurley brand which was started in Southern California in 1979 by the then-twentysomething Bob Hurley with partners Bob Rowland and Joe Knoernschild. Hurley had worked on surfboards for such companies as Lightning Bolt; Wind-an-Sea and Wave Tools.
Nike acquired Hurley in 2002, when the then-Costa Mesa-based company generated annual sales of $70 million. Buying the brand started by surfing industry authority Bob Hurley gave Nike automatic credence into the surf, skateboard and snowboard category, which was new terrain for Nike at that time. With the mammoth support of Nike, Hurley broadened its reach beyond its SoCal roots to appeal to more international shoppers. Hurley stepped down as chief executive company from his namesake brand in 2015.
Citing Bluestar’s momentum since its founding in 2007, the company’s chief executive officer Joseph Gabbay described Bluestar as “a premiere brand management and marketing company and Hurley is a pinnacle asset with a long runway of growth ahead. As surf culture resonates throughout pop culture and its influence is felt across fashion, music and more, we see opportunity for global organic brand extensions and partnerships.”
Bluestar’s cofounder Ralph Gindi noted that Hurley’s potential for growth in skateboarding and snowboarding. “We have had initial discussions with real estate owners to expand Hurley’s presence at surf and skate parks, create deeper connections with our consumers and the brand, while keeping the locations convenient for the action sport aficionado.” he said.
Bluestar also plans to build the brand’s women’s business by melding fashion and function. In addition, with the 2020 Summer Games set to start in Tokyo on July 24, Hurley expects several of its sponsored athletes to compete in surfing, which will debut as an Olympic sport.
Gabbay and Gindi have developed a portfolio of consumer brands including Bebe, Tahari, Kensie, Limited Too, Brookstone, Nanette Lepore, Catherine Malandrino, Joan Vass, English Laundry and others that represent a range of categories, price points and distribution.