French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has signed a three-year deal with Goat Group Inc. as the online sneaker market shifts to team sponsorship and seeks to expand outside of the United States.
The deal is valued at more than $50 million, according to a person familiar with the terms. PSG will be the first sports team to have its own store on Goat’s e-commerce platform, which will feature limited-edition products, collaborations and vintage items. The Goat brand will appear on the sleeve of PSG shirts this season and will be advertised on TV, online and at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
“They have a like-minded audience that really cares about fashion and style,” Eddy Lu, co-founder and CEO of Goat Group, said in an interview. “Paris, of course, is the cradle of haute couture.”
PSG, which is owned by Qatar Sports Investments, a subsidiary of the state’s sovereign wealth fund, has worked with numerous fashion brands on collections in recent years, including Balmain, Stussy and A Bathing Ape. Last year, he tapped Dior on a two-year contract to provide off-court casual and formal wear.
The club’s biggest deal is with Nike Inc., which in 2019 extended its kit sponsorship pact until 2032 in a deal that was worth more than $90 million a year. The addition of Goat to PSG jerseys creates the rare case where a sneaker retailer will be featured on the same uniform as Nike. All major sponsors have access to the team’s best players, such as world stars Lionel Messi and Neymar, for marketing and events.
“There is a real chance to go beyond the traditional partnership,” said Marc Armstrong, PSG’s director of partnerships.
Goat has branched out into new product categories such as clothing and last year led a $60 million investment in streetwear resale specialist Grailed. The United States accounts for the majority of its business, but management has expanded into international markets, including Europe and the Middle East. The company has facilities in the UK and the Netherlands.
Lu said the retailer is going deeper into selling new products, as it will with its PSG store, in addition to its market of 700,000 stockists. The company now works directly with brands on the releases, including Versace, owned by Capri Holdings Ltd., and Balenciaga by Kering SA.
Goat is backed by Kering’s largest shareholder, Artemis Group, as well as Foot Locker Inc. and venture capitalists like Accel, Upfront Ventures and Index Ventures. The company was last valued at $3.7 billion in a funding round in June, fueling buzz around a potential initial public offering.
“Our mission is to continue to grow the business and when the time is right, we will go public,” Lu said.
By Kim Bhasin
Why luxury brands want to participate in football
Despite the turbulent history between fashion and football, luxury brands from Moncler to Dior seek to benefit from the cultural power and global audience of the world’s most popular sport.