Everlast Worldwide has been a real contender in the business world, with one foot in the ring and one foot in the closet. Everlast trunks and boxing gloves have outfitted pugilists from Jack Dempsey to Muhammad Ali; its name is a fixture in and out of the ring. Having extended its reach into mixed martial arts, Everlast Worldwide also licenses its name for distribution overseas and to makers of children's wear, footwear, watches, exercise equipment, gym bags, and other items. Everlast Worldwide sells its products through department and sporting goods stores, as well as through catalog retailers and online. The company is owned by the UK's Brands Holdings, a unit of Sports Direct International.
Everlast had two companies fighting to be its new owner: licensee The Hidary Group and sporting goods retailer Brands Holdings. Hidary agreed to terminate its bid in mid-2007, after first trying to block the rival bid in a lawsuit. Brands Holdings bought the company for $168 million in 2007.
The sporting goods company continues to break out into new markets with a variety of licensing agreements with other manufacturers. The company lends its name to mouthguards (with Shock Doctor), batteries and flashlights (through an agreement with Continental 7), and nutritional supplements (with Vitamin Branding Corp.). Everlast also has increased its product offerings for youth, with both licensed apparel and boxing-related toys.
To extend its reach worldwide, Everlast also has turned to licensing deals. It strengthened its licensing relationship with Sports and Leisure Technology Corporation to include the production and marketing of a line of Everlast "Hand-X" products (including jump ropes, hand weights, weight lifting gloves and belts, and handgrips) in the UK and Ireland. The firm boosted its brand exposure in Russia and Europe through a licensing deal with Eurotek Italia, which distributes Everlast-branded cell phone cases, and it's growing its presence in Mexico.
Everlast ceased its clothing manufacturing operations in 2005 by renewing its licensing agreement with fitness apparel maker Jacques Moret. Along with its women's apparel, the company also has the rights to Everlast's men's activewear, outerwear, sportswear, and swimwear in the US. As part of the agreement, Everlast is able to focus its attention on its professional and retail boxing equipment and licensing businesses. – less