Sequential Brands Group Inc. has entered into a long-term agreement with Guirenniao Co. Ltd. for the expansion of its And1 basketball brand to China.
The agreement provides for Guirenniao to develop and distribute a line of men’s and boys’ basketball apparel, accessories and footwear. The collection is set to become available next year in traditional and digital retail channels. A comparable women’s line in the same categories is slated to become available in 2018, the year when Guirenniao will also open freestanding And1 stores.
Eddie Esses, president of Sequential’s active division, said, “With over 300 million people in China playing basketball and a rapidly growing interest in the sport, we see an incredible opportunity to engage with consumers in a critical market, as we look to further expand the And1 brand globally.”
Tianfu Lin, chairman of Guirenniao Co. Ltd., “This partnership will serve as an important milestone in the strategic growth and development of [the company] as we plan to invest substantially in making And1 a major sports brand throughout China.”
The deal gave Carlyle Group, which had been the majority owner of Galaxy, a significant stake in Sequential, as well as one seat on Sequential’s board. Esses was chief executive officer of Galaxy.
Guirenniao, established in 1987, is a leading sports brand in China, with more than 4,000 stores across the country. The company is listed on the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and is the country’s only sports brand listed in Mainland China. Guirenniao is actively building a sports universe to offer Chinese consumers a total sports experience that covers sports media, e-commerce, sports talent management, campus sports programs, multibrand retail networks and sports investment.