Nike Inc. announced today that it has sold surf brand Hurley to management and licensing firm Bluestar Alliance. Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, but the deal is expected to be finalized in December.
Founded in 1998 by Bob Hurley, who retired from his post as CEO in 2015, his eponymous label joined the Nike Inc. family in 2002.
“We appreciate how Bob and the Hurley team have built Hurley into the world’s most innovative surf brand,” said Michael Spillane, president of categories and product, Nike, Inc. “As we drive increasingly more targeted investment and focused growth through Nike’s Consumer Direct Offense, this change in ownership will allow sharper focus and intentional investment in Hurley’s growth potential.”
Bluestar Alliance CEO Joey Gabbay said the company plans to leverage Hurley’s influence internationally as a recognized brand to enhance its portfolio, which includes Bebe, Catherine Malandrino and more labels in diverse categories.
“This is a transformative acquisition for Bluestar as Hurley’s international footprint will enhance Bluestar’s reach around the world,” Gabbay explained. “We look forward to building upon the existing Hurley network and expanding to additional countries with the deep relationships that already exist within the Bluestar portfolio of brands. We see Hurley continuing to evolve into a 360-degree lifestyle brand, with action sports playing a key role.”
The news comes as big changes are underway at the Beaverton, Ore.-based sportswear giant. Nike CEO Mark Parker announced his exit last week, effective Jan. 13, 2020. John Donahoe, the current president and CEO of ServiceNow Inc. and chairman of PayPal Holding, will step into the role.
The move aligns with the Swoosh’s investment in the digital space. In a recent earnings call, Parker described the company’s strategy as “the fusion of digital and physical … a huge priority [and] source of investment for us.”
In the 2019 fiscal year, the sportswear giant invested over $1 billion in evolving its app and NikePlus membership platform, launching new digitally integrated store concepts and deepening its data and analytics facilities. That was before it acquired Celect, a company specializing in predictive analytics and demand sensing, in August.
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