UPDATE 2-NFL signs apparel licenses with Nike, six others

* Nike, New Era replace Reebok as onfield apparel licensee

* NFL-licensed apparel at retail totaled $1.9 bln in 2009

* New deals could be worth $1 bln to the NFL – analyst

* Nike shares up 0.3 percent
(Adds Nike, Reebok, analyst comments)

By Ben Klayman

DETROIT, Oct 12 (BestGrowthStock) – The National Football League is
splitting the key part of its apparel licensing between two
companies, including Nike Inc (NKE.N: ), it said on Tuesday, in a move
that analysts said would boost revenue.

The five-year, multimillion-dollar deals with those companies and
five others will begin in April 2012, and analysts said they could be
worth $1 billion to the U.S. sports league.

Under the new agreements, the NFL split the onfield apparel
license among Nike and privately held New Era. SportsOneSource
analyst Matt Powell called that license the “plum” of the group
because it makes up more than half of the revenue.

“As you’re watching the game, you’ll see nothing but the Nike
logo,” he said.

Adidas AG’s (ADSG.DE: ) Reebok brand currently holds those
licenses, which expire after the 2011-2012 season. Adidas and Under
Armour Inc (UA.N: ) had bid for the Nike license.

Under Armour remains the sponsor of the league’s scouting combine
and will also begin selling related apparel.

“The league is looking to grab as much money as it can from the
licensees by splitting it,” Powell said. “They got more money than
they would have from one guy.”

The NFL did not disclose the terms of the new agreements,
approved by its 32 owners at a meeting in Chicago, but said they
topped the value of the current deals.

Powell estimated the collective deals could be worth up to $1
billion for the NFL. While no estimate for the current deals is
available, reports had Reebok alone paying $300 million over its
10-year agreement that it signed in 2001.

Revenue for NFL-licensed apparel at retail in the United States
totaled about $1.9 billion in 2009, but had fallen at a mid-teen
percentage rate so far this year, according to SportsOneSource.

“The new framework will provide fans with a wider breadth of
merchandise from global category leaders in the sports licensed
apparel industry,” said Eric Grubman, executive vice president of NFL
ventures and business operations.

Under the new deal, Nike gets the license for uniforms and gear
worn by players and coaches on the sidelines, while New Era is the
onfield hat supplier, the NFL said.

“Certainly, the NFL represents one of the premier sports
franchises here in the USA,” Nike Brand President Charlie Denson said
in a telephone interview. “We believe the United States still
represents a great growth opportunity for the Nike brand.”

Reebok said in a statement that it had enjoyed its long NFL deal,
but would focus on its other sports partners, including the National
Hockey League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball
and Major League Soccer, as well as several colleges.

Returning licensees, also with five-year deals, include GIII for
outerwear and lifestyle apparel, VF Corp (VFC.N: ) for T-shirts and
fleece, and Outerstuff for youth, the NFL said. The ’47 Brand
replaces Reebok for hats for fans.

The league said it might award additional niche licenses in the
future.

Shares of Nike were up 0.3 percent at $82.21 in afternoon
trading.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman. Editing by Robert MacMillan and Lisa Von
Ahn)

UPDATE 2-NFL signs apparel licenses with Nike, six others