As FORM Athletics continues to gain prominence in the world of Mixed Martial Arts fashion, along comes news that classic athletic footwear and apparel company K-Swiss has acquired the burgeoning MMA lifestyle brand. Launched by WEC superstar Urijah Faber and action sports industry veteran Mark Miller in early 2010, FORM Athletics is quickly carving out a new niche in the MMA fashion world with design inspiration deeply rooted in surf and skate culture, while aligning itself with a growing roster of top fighters including Faber, Jon Jones, Mark Munoz and Joseph Benavidez.
Check out the official press release below for complete details on the recent acquisition. For the inside scoop on FORM Athletics, including an interview done with both Urijah Faber and Mark Miller, check out our Tough Talk Q&A with FORM Athletics.
K•Swiss Acquires FORM Athletics,
Appoints Mark Miller President of New Orange County Division
(Westlake Village, CA) July 29, 2010 – California Sports Company K•Swiss (NASDAQ: KSWS) announced today the acquisition of Laguna Beach-based FORM Athletics. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FORM Athletics will operate as a division of K•Swiss led by Mark Miller, FORM’s incumbent founder and CEO. Under the agreement, Miller will become President of Form Athletics, and has also been appointed President of K•Swiss Orange County (KSOC), where he will establish and lead a new division of the brand focused on the youth consumer. A force in the action sports industry, Mark Miller has built businesses for iconic brands for nearly three decades, launching M3 Snowboards in 1996, and more recently, playing a key role in the growth of DC Shoes, as SVP and General Manager in the Americas Region.
“Mark has incredible experience leading some of the most prominent action sports companies in history, and we are confident that he will create a progressive and successful program for K•Swiss,” said Executive Vice President of K•Swiss, David Nichols. “FORM plays well as a growth opportunity for our portfolio as Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing, and most relevant new markets in sports today. Viewership and participation in Mixed Martial Arts events is explosive, as is the market for Mixed Martial Arts consumer brands.”
Miller launched FORM Athletics in early 2010 in conjunction with MMA/WEC athlete and former Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber. The brand has quickly established itself as a successful and progressive Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and lifestyle brand with a distinct surf-and-skate inspired aesthetic. Since its January debut, FORM has formed a global fan following, adding powerhouse athletes including Mark Muñoz, Joseph Benavidez, and Jon “Bones” Jones to its roster.
Miller says, “In my discussions with K•Swiss, it became obvious that the companies share brand values. There are many synergies and benefits to FORM being part of the K•Swiss portfolio and part of a growth oriented and well financed public company, such as global distribution, the opportunity for product line expansion, SAP as the ERP, a great warehouse, and a very professional backend team to manage our finances and operations. These are essential tools to run and grow a successful company and build a brand.”
In addition to overseeing the growth and future product line extensions of FORM Athletics, Miller will be charged with forming the strategic architecture of the KSOC youth division, guiding overall design direction, sales structure and brand direction. He will also steer youth marketing communications programs and interface with the brand’s athlete, entertainment and music initiatives.
“My vision for this division is to create something completely authentic and extremely relevant to reach the younger consumer. We will merge the history of K•Swiss with the wants and needs of our target customer, in a unique way,” said Miller. “K•Swiss has an incredible 44-year history and it’s the job of this new division to tell that story in a way that is meaningful to both consumers and retailers from a branding and product perspective.”
Founded more than forty years ago in Van Nuys, California, K•Swiss (NASDAQ: KSWS) introduced the first all-leather tennis shoe, the K•Swiss “Classic” in 1966. Since its inception, K•Swiss has rooted itself in California Sport with an aim to be the most inspiring and innovative sports brand in the market. Today the company offers performance and lifestyle footwear and apparel for several categories under its California Sports umbrella including Tennis Heritage, California Fit (Running, Triathlon and Fitness) and California Youth. K•Swiss also designs, develops and markets footwear under the Palladium brand, and owns the FORM Athletics brand. For more information about K•Swiss, visit www.kswiss.com.
About FORM Athletics (www.formathletics.com)
Founded in 2010 in Laguna Beach, CA, FORM Athletics is a division of K•Swiss. The clean athletic style of FORM apparel ties directly back to the brand ethos, and promise to promote and celebrate the athletes’ commitment and dedication to their sport. FORM Athletics values athleticism not aggression. FORM Athletics supports and promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. Founded by sportswear veteran Mark Miller and WEC former Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber, FORM Athletics merges the ease and comfort of the California lifestyle, with the discipline and techniques of martial arts. FORM Athletics is committed to premium quality, superior materials, and perfect fit apparel. More on FORM Athletics at: www.formathletics.com