The Golden Bear has been added to Perry Ellis International Inc.’s golf brand portfolio.
Perry Ellis has been licensed by Nicklaus International Brand Management to design, produce and distribute men’s and women’s sportswear, tailored clothing and accessories under the Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear brands.
The initial license, described as long term, includes the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The license can be amended in the future for distribution in markets outside North America.
Nicklaus, who won 73 official titles on the PGA Tour and remains among the most sought-after golf course designers in the world, called the license “an important step for my brand as we look to expand into a variety of lifestyle categories in a quality way.”
Distribution of Nicklaus product will be split between department and specialty stores and green grass golf shops, according to Vincent Nesi, who negotiated the licensing arrangement on Nicklaus’s company’s behalf.
Nicklaus joins a golf brand lineup that includes the late Ben Hogan, principally sold through Wal-Mart stores; Callaway, and, with distribution in about 460 Macy’s stores, PGA Tour. His most recent apparel affiliation was with HMX Group, the post-bankruptcy successor company to Hartmarx Corp., which had held a 40-year license that was set to expire in 2010. HMX had also owned the Bobby Jones golfwear business, the assets of which were sold to Waitt Co. in May.
“This partnership is evolving during a very exciting time in Perry Ellis International’s golf history,” said Oscar Feldenkreis, president and chief operating officer of Miami-based Perry Ellis. “As we take Jack’s legacy to the next level, I am confident that the rich heritage associated with his brand will resonate with a broad and loyal fan base across the globe.”
During its second-quarter conference call in August, Feldenkreis estimated that the company commanded between 75 and 80 percent of the market for U.S. golf apparel.