Premier League club becomes first partner for Fermata’s North American soccer consumer products practice
ATLANTA, GA (December 23, 2014) – Fermata Partners, an Atlanta-based consumer products licensing agency, has signed an exclusive agreement to represent the North American trademark licensing rights of Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur. Fermata’s representation of Tottenham Hotspur is effective immediately, as both partners will actively pursue license agreements with key manufacturers and retail accounts within the U.S. and Canada.
“Tottenham Hotspur is an iconic football brand competing at the highest levels of the sport,” said Kit Walsh, co-founder of Fermata Partners. “We are honored to be aligned with Spurs and look forward to collaborating with the Club to build its brand presence in North America.”
Tottenham Hotspur has a growing presence in the region, with over 30 Official Supporters Clubs – more than any other Premier League team. The deal also comes on the back of a successful pre-season summer tour of the US & Canada, which saw Tottenham Hotspur friendly matches with MLS teams sell out stadiums in Seattle, Toronto and Chicago. Since then, the Club has signed up-and-coming US national team star DeAndre Yedlin.
Totteham’s presence in North America extends well beyond the pitch. Each of the Club’s matches is available for live viewing in the U.S. through the Premier Leagues’ partnership with NBC Sports. To launch the media partnership in 2013, NBC Sports produced a comedy short featuring Jason Sudeikis as Coach Ted Lasso – a fictional coach of Spurs, with a follow-up produced at the beginning of the 2014 season. The two videos have been viewed over 13M times, helping to engrain the Club into American culture. The Club has also exhibited at the annual Licensing Expo in Las Vegas the past two years in an effort to expand its engagement with potential licensees in the territory.
Gary Jacobson, Brand Licensing Manager, Tottenham Hotspur, said: “We are delighted to be working with Fermata Partners. Our North American fan base is hugely important to the Club and this relationship can bring us closer to supporters in this region. Following on from the success of our pre-season tour in North America, not to mention the success of the US national team at the World Cup and growing interest in the sport, now is a great time for us to be making the most of a growing demand for Club product in this market.”
For Fermata, Tottenham Hotspur becomes the first building block in its newly created “football” practice. Contrary to the centralized model deployed by U.S. professional sports, licensing rights in football are often managed at the Club level. This fragmented approach allows the Club’s to retain decision making authority over their brands, yet creates operational inefficiencies for North American licensees and retailers accustomed to a centralized infrastructure. It is not unlike the collegiate licensing industry – a space Fermata knows intimately from both its heritage, and its modern day representation of the University of Kentucky, the University of Miami, the University of Oregon – and the University of Georgia starting in July 2015.
“Global football is growing mindshare with North American sports fans,” said Scott Bouyack, another co-founder of Fermata Partners. “As that mindshare grows, so too will grow the demand for merchandise. We have already made significant progress in securing licensee and retail commitments for Tottenham Hotspur, and look forward to adding several new clubs to the collective in the near future.”