Global Brands Group has confirmed plans to roll out the first official range of FIFA-branded clothing and merchandise beginning in August 2009.

The international brand management and licensing company, which recently became FIFA’s exclusive worldwide master licensee, is expected to unveil several introduction dates over the next few months to debut the first collection of the much anticipated FIFA-branded fashion range.

The rollout comes far in advance of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Key ranges will include apparel for male and female markets.

“The launch of the first FIFA sports lifestyle collection marks an important milestone in our goal to connect with fans around the world,” explains Thierry Weil, Marketing Director at FIFA. “There has been huge demand for the launch of this collection due to FIFA’s incredible brand exposure as well as the countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Global Brands Group has therefore developed five ranges of apparel that fully incorporate the heritage and dynamism of FIFA.”

Those five separate official licensed lifestyles of apparel – Code, Editions, Heritage, Trophy and 1904 – will be available in over 100 FIFA Official Stores and an extensive network of FIFA branded retail spaces in over 12 markets around the world. In addition to two seasonal collections (Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer), Global Brands Group is also developing a dedicated “Event” collection to commemorate the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The range, which will reflect both the world’s single largest sporting event and the rich heritage of the host nation, will be sold exclusively also via FIFA Official Stores and branded retail environments in Q4. Other 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa licensed event merchandise ranges will be made available in FIFA official event stores, general retail outlets and onsite at the event.

Global Brands Group is also said to be in the process of signing exclusive strategic agreements with master distributors in each territory. Total Apparel Group, for example, has signed on to initiate FIFA’s rollout in the US. Additional agreements have been reached in the UK, India, Australia and Turkey, with deals in three further markets pending, an additional six identified and more to follow.

Master distributors could also be responsible for the creation of FIFA Official Stores, the first of which opened at Singapore’s new T3 terminal at Changi Airport in January 2008. The second of these stores, and the company’s first in Europe, will open at Paris’ Orly Airport on Sept. 1, 2009. Further stores in London, Tokyo and Los Angeles, as well as in emerging markets such as Latin America, China and India, are underway.

“Through our master distributor network our goal is to deliver the FIFA brand experience to the broadest group of football (soccer) fans and consumers worldwide,” says Simon Hawkins, SVP Global Product Sales for Global Brands Group. “Our distributors have built up experience in the sports, lifestyle and value sectors, and have an established distribution infrastructure in place to meet the needs of retailers in their region.

—TY

Photo courtesy Global Brand Group/Steve Read