Each week via our ‘Weekly Rundown’ segment, we highlight stories we thought were interesting, notable across business and technology. This week, we showcase stories on Adidas & Reebok, , Richard Branson goes to space, a digital platform for athletes, Gap & Kanye West, Soho House wants to go public, maximizing your time in the morning, and of course Peloton.
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Story-1:: Adidas auction of Reebok takes a hit as key bidder Authentic Brands drops out
Overview: As reported by The Post, Authentic Brands Group — a fast-growing licensing firm whose properties include Forever 21, Brooks Brothers and Nine West — offered about $1 billion for Reebok in the auction’s first round, teaming up with Wolverine Worldwide, the footwear maker behind Merrell shoes, Hush Puppies and Stride Rite.
Why It Matters: Last week we talked about moves that the Authentic Brand Group and how they brining sports betting to the masses via Sports Illustrated. Now they are in the news for passing on Reebok. Without knowing the financials, the Reebok deal is of interest but also has concerns. From an interest standpoint, they are long standing global brand that has a robust set of footwear and apparel that is timeless. From a concern, they have struggled to determine the right sport focus area. In years past they have tried to go with throw back and with cross-fit but haven’t really landed on their lane. One would think beyond the brand itself, there is likely some supply chain related issues that would need to be addressed in support of this carve out, those likely being the long pool in the tent.
Story-2:: From Records to Rockets
Overview: From records to rockets. How one man was able to take his entrepreneur spirt and transform it into the Virgin Company that just sent the first commercial trip into space vis Virgin Galactic Unity 22 Spaceflight.
Why It Matters: We and by we, I mean Richard and the Virgin team sent commercial people to space. This is amazing! In ~150 years we have gone from the Wright Brothers sending people in the air to sending people in space. While I wish I had enough money to shoot myself up to space. What I am more interested in is the innovation that will come from more companies trying to get into space and expand their capabilities and offerings. If you think back to the original missions to Mars, you got incredible inventions like velcro, memory foam, freeze-dried food, firefighting equipment, emergency "space blankets", DustBusters, cochlear implants, LZR Racer swimsuits, and CMOS image sensors just to name a few. This is really cool and I can’t wait to continue to hear the smack talk between Bezos and Branson.
Story-3:: Soho House Wants to Go Public
Overview: Soho House is known for running private members’ clubs that are trendy but hard to join. Its initial public offering in New York is setting a similarly high bar for investors. A mooted $3 billion price tag depends on pulling off a bold global expansion and eventually making a profit. But there are plenty of potential party poopers.
Why It Matters: If you have ever been to a Soho house, there is really only one way to describe them, and that is cool. They are cool properties, with cool people, you would like to think doing cool things. Now the questions to me and other investors is being ‘cool’ a safe bet when it comes to going public. Sure they will launch new clubs, sure they will expand membership, but do I want to invest in essentially an urban country club. It will be interesting to see the leaderships vision for balancing taking on debt, expansion, getting market ready. It will be also be interesting who they look at their benchmarks, is is Apollo Global Management’s Club Corp, is it someone like WeWork who also is seeking to go public, or is it to better position themselves to make them as attractive to say a hotel chain for a future acquisition.
Story-4:: How to WIN the Morning
Overview: Is How You Start Your Day Holding You Back? This article is Brandon Fluharty shares his process to help him integrate work more seamlessly with life - something that has helped him to improve my overall wellbeing and close millions of dollars in SaaS sales over the past seven months ($30M TCV / $14.1M ARR).
Why It Matters: I got to know Brandon years ago while working for him in NYC however as we both moved on with our careers, lost touch. Thankfully, through the power of social media and in this case, Linkedin, I was able to reconnect. In the article, he talks about tools and tactics he uses to win the morning and ultimately win the day. What I liked about this particular article over others that I have read was that he provided a bit more details in the form of tactics and tools. So if you’re new to how to schedule or maximize your day, this article is going to give you a solid foundation to achieve this. It should also be noted that Brandon is powering this article by way of Linkedin’s Newsletter functionality. Which from a producer and consumer stand point could not be easier. Other brands that focus on email blasts should have a look at the user process, the new tools from Linkedin are fantastic.
Story-5:: Athletes as a Service
Overview: Icon Source unlocks the powerful endorsement world for all athletes/agents, all brands, and all budgets. Until now, affinity marketing through celebrity endorsements was an exclusive arena only accessible to big brands and big names. This doesn’t make sense in a world where social media and online platforms have transformed our ability to access and interact with each other. Founder Chase Garrett, an award-winning leader in Sports Marketing, recognized the incredible opportunity that an online marketplace could provide for sports endorsements across brands, agents, and athletes in untapped segments of the industry. Icon Source has innovated the relationship between athletes and brands by providing expert strategy and production services along with its unique, on-demand marketplace platform. This groundbreaking intersection of sports marketing and technology connects all levels and ranges of brands and celebrity athletes to allow direct matches with ideal opportunities.
Why It Matters: We talked about the rise of the college athlete on last week’s show (Episode 32) and how this is going to be interesting times for athletes, colleges programs, and the NCAA. Well, Icon has a platform that allows brands to connect with Athletes acting as the platform or broker however you want to look at it, for engaging with and facilitating activities. While this won’t be the only platform to tackle this emerging space, it is one of the leaders and it will be interesting to see how Chase and his team look to capitalize on this time in college sports.
Story-6:: Gap-Kanye West Pairing, What is NEXT?
Overview: Never underestimate the power of a blue puffer jacket. That, it seems, is the lesson from the first fashion item dropped into the market care of the Kanye West-Gap collaboration that will see Yeezy bringing its unique eye for design to the once iconic label that’s been struggling for the last decade to reclaim some of the relevance it’s lost.
Why It Matters: 10-years is a long time to be a partner with any brand, but when it comes to building dynasty if there is such a thing, ten years seems to be around the right amount of time. The article is highlighting that the relationship hasn’t move as fast as Gap probably hoped. But when you think of the commitments Kanye has and the supply chain logistics that covid caused, 1-year to get a piece out doesn’t seem too far out of the ordinary. What will be interesting is if Kanye can sprinkle the same magic at Gap that he has brought to Adidas over the years.
Story-7:: Lessons Learn from a CEO
Overview: John Foley is the founder and CEO of Peloton, the at-home exercise company. John started out working in a candy factory, before a meandering career took him to Silicon Valley, the record industry, Barnes & Noble and beyond. At 40, he decided to start selling exercise bikes that let you attend spin classes whenever and wherever you wanted.
- Get your foot in the door
- Further education is worth the money — but it only gets you so far
- A good idea is one that improves your own life
- You will get rejected — sometimes by very smart people. And that’s okay.
- Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Just get stuff done, every day. If it’s not perfect, fix it the next day. But keep putting points on the board every day.”
Why It Matters: If you have read this site, listened to the podcast show, you know I am a big fan of the Peloton brand and what it stands for and where it is headed. I loved listening to the Gentleman’s Journal Podcast with John and especially appreciated his comment, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.