ASB MAGAZINE: News out of the US recently that Liberated Brands, the operating partner for Volcom will take on apparel design and retail among other licenses for Spyder Active Sports. Liberated brands have entered into a long-term license agreement with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) for Spyder in the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia, and Japan. The Spyder team will remain based in Boulder, Colorado and will add to Volcom’s already existing technical skills in the snow and outerwear markets. The coming together of both Volcom and Spyder under Liberated Brands will allow synergies in terms of vendor relationships, material expertise, and distribution, among others.
Spyder is currently distributed in Australia by Future Sports Pty Ltd. Managing Director Rodney Ball said the news he was getting out of the US is ‘very positive’ for Spyder.
The roll out of the strategy in Australia is still a work in progress, with Volcom Australia General Manager, Alison Thomas saying that Volcom’s goal is to continue with existing partners and grow the brand in each region through Liberated Brands.
“We are really excited with acquiring Spyder globally and with the strength in our knowledge in Volcom of the snow industry. The alignment without competing directly is a perfect match. Two dominant brands in different disciplines,” said Alison Thomas.
Through the long-term agreement, Liberated Brands will assume outerwear and apparel sourcing, product design, marketing, wholesale, e- commerce and retail store operations. Liberated Brands is a strategic partnership between ABG and the Volcom management team. ABG acquired Volcom’s intellectual property from luxury conglomerate Kering S.A. in 2019, and established the operating company Liberated Brands in 2019 with Volcom and Liberated CEO Todd Hymel and Volcom management. Volcom management hold a majority stake in Liberated.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Spyder to the Liberated Brands operation,” said Todd Hymel, CEO of Liberated Brands. “Together with ABG, our shared vision is to expand the robust Spyder universe to further encompass all omnichannel touchpoints, from digital and e-commerce to traditional bricks and mortar, while continuing to offer customers the ultimate shopping experience.”
Spyder has been the exclusive official apparel partner of the U.S. Ski Team since 1989 and Volcom signed on as the official apparel partner of the U.S. Snowboarding Team in 2019. Todd Hymel continued, “As brands with deep roots in active and outdoor, there are a lot of synergies between Spyder and Volcom in terms of design innovation, distribution, content creation and athlete alliances.”
Spyder’s business operations will transition to Liberated Brands and the Spyder team will continue to be headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. Spyder is currently available in over 150 direct-to-consumer retail outposts globally as well as department stores, sporting goods stores and specialty retailers throughout North America, Europe, Middle East, South Korea and China.
Founded by David Jacobs in 1978, Spyder Active Sports designs and markets skiwear and counts itself as one of the largest specialty ski brands in the world. Jacobs was member of the Canadian National Ski Team and captured the title of Canadian Downhill Ski Champion. In 1994, Spyder was granted a patent on SpeedWyre, a technology that enhanced race suit performance by up to 40%. Boulder-based Spyder Inc. was acquired in 2004 by New York’s Apax Partners for US$100 million. In August 2013, Authentic Brands Group acquired Spyder and licensed it to Li & Fung the Hong Kong-headquartered multinational group, recognized as one the world’s leader in consumer goods design, development, sourcing and distribution.
About Authentic Brands Group
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, which owns a portfolio of global media, entertainment and lifestyle brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG elevates and builds the long-term value of more than 30 consumer brands and properties by partnering with best-in-class manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Its brands have a global retail footprint across the luxury, specialty, department store, mid-tier, mass and e-commerce channels and in more than 6,000 freestanding stores and shop-in-shops around the world.