Top 40 distributor BDA (asi/137616) has purchased UK-based agency Sports Merchandise Global (SMG), the companies have announced. Financial terms of the deal, made public on Tuesday, were not released. The acquisition marks the third purchase BDA has made since July of this year.
“Combining forces with the leadership of Jonathan Bailey and the great team of people at SMG in Manchester and Paris offices, immediately makes BDA the most prominent global agency and provider of co-branded merchandise for football,” said Jay Deutsch, cofounder and CEO of BDA. “Together, BDA and SMG bring tremendous buying and distribution power, market-specific expertise, and a model designed to support the unique needs of fans, teams, leagues and sponsors.”
Per the agreement, SMG will be fully integrated into BDA, and Bailey – SMG’s cofounder and managing director – will join and remain with BDA. Bailey’s company provides BDA and its sports division with several significant opportunities. In a statement BDA said that SMG’s “expertise lies in activating team and sponsor opportunities for the Premier League and La Liga including Manchester United F.C., Tottenham Hotspur and FC Barcelona as well as governing bodies such as the French Football Federation and British Olympic Association.”
Said Bailey: “We are the natural choice for those that want to raise the bar for sponsorship activation and fan engagement. Now as part of the BDA team, we can do just that by offering an increased level of service to our clients. It will be exciting to offer BDA’s extensive team and global distribution network. Working together I am confident we will become the best partner a sports team, league and sponsor can have.”
Going forward, the football division will be supported in the U.S. by Matt Chavlovich, a recent BDA hire who previously served as VP of licensing and consumer products for Major League Soccer (MLS). The deal with SMG gives BDA additional offices in Manchester, UK and Paris, France. The Washington-based firm also has offices in London, Manila, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and nearly three dozen locations in North America.
BDA has been an active dealmaker in 2017, acquiring Boston-based SwervePoint (asi/340679) in July and Dukes of London last month. Counselor ranks BDA as the fourth largest distributor in the industry after the firm reported 2016 North American promo product sales of $284 million.