NEW YORK — Calvin Klein has a new partner to tee off with.
This story first appeared in the March 17, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On Monday, Calvin Klein Inc. unveiled a global licensing deal with Cork, Ireland-based Premium Golf Brands for men’s and women’s golf clothing and accessories.
PGB has replaced Windsong Sport LLC as the licensee for Calvin Klein Golf men’s and women’s golf apparel and accessories. CKI and Windsong inked that deal in 2007, but Windsong made a strategic decision to exit the golf business, according to CKI president and chief executive officer Tom Murry.
PGB is no stranger to the golf line, which is part of Calvin Klein’s better-priced white label assortment. It was the European distributor under the previous arrangement and now is the exclusive global licensee. PGB is Europe’s largest supplier of golf apparel and already operates Calvin Klein Golf showrooms in Cork, London, Manchester in the U.K., Berlin, Villamoura in Portugal and on the Costa del Sol in Spain.
“We were very impressed with [PGB] and continued the dialogue, and came to the conclusion that it might make sense to have them as our global partners,” Murry said. “They presented us with a very well-thought-out business plan.”
While the golf line was put on hold in the U.S. after the first season in spring 2008, PGB continued to distribute it in Europe, where it is available in about 250 points of sale, including golf and country clubs and specialty golf stores in the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Finland, Turkey and Sweden.
The plan now is to launch the brand across the rest of Europe by the end of the next quarter, followed by the Middle East, the Americas, Africa and Asia by spring 2010. The company hopes to also reintroduce the brand, developed under the direction of ck Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein creative director Kevin Carrigan, to the U.S. market in the middle of next year.
“It is the obvious missing link in the golf industry,” PBG’s managing director Grahame Jenkins said. “There are other well-known, household names in the golf industry, and Calvin Klein has been missing. [The line] will be offering all the expertise that comes out of New York…everything that makes Calvin Klein the iconic brand that it is, [for] the golf industry.”
The deal was announced at a breakfast in New York Monday honoring Ireland prime minister Brian Cowen, who is leading a trade mission from Ireland to the U.S. The event was hosted by Enterprise Ireland.