June 12 2024

It’s another international acquisition for Bensussen Deutsch & Associates (BDA, asi/137616).

The Top 40 distributor announced June 11 that it has completed the purchase of The Great Branding Company, a sports-merchandise provider headquartered in the United Kingdom whose clients include some of the biggest names in European professional athletics. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Co-founded more than 20 years ago by current CEO Pino Grillo, Luton, England-based The Great Branding Company has provided promotional product and retail merchandise solutions for prominent leagues, sponsors and teams. Those include Manchester City, Inter Milan, the Union of European Football Associations, and Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund – the two teams that contested the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final, the most coveted trophy in international European club soccer competition.

BDA CEO Jay Deutsch, a member of Counselor’s Power 50 list of promo’s most influential people, said the acquisition deepens the Woodinville, WA-headquartered company’s reach in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) by strengthening its sports portfolio and expanding its retail services.

“The Great Branding Company has regional expertise that will be invaluable to our organization as we double down on our operations across EMEA,” Deutsch said.

Shaking hands

BDA’s acquisition of The Great Branding Company comes about a year after the American firm acquired large Germany-based promotional products distributor ipm | gruppe. BDA currently operates European offices in the U.K., France and Germany; it plans to integrate The Great Branding Company’s U.K. and German teams into existing BDA operations. Grillo is remaining. The Great Branding Company will ultimately operate under the BDA name following a transition period.

“BDA has been on our radar for years as a fierce competitor and best-in-class merchandise provider,” said Grillo. “We jumped at the opportunity to unite with BDA and look forward to leveraging their global footprint and vast resources to expand our service offerings for clients.”

To wit: BDA said that The Great Branding Company will benefit from its agency services, including creative and product development, as well as e-commerce capabilities, retail solutions, supply chain expertise, and global distribution network. Executives noted that The Great Branding Company already offers what was described as an end-to-end service for bespoke, quick-solution and quality retail products, backed by a strong supply chain and access to extensive product stock.

“This acquisition further expands our retail infrastructure in Europe as The Great Branding Company has tremendous clients and licenses and will enable us to take both our promotional and retail sports merchandise solutions to the next level,” Deutsch said.

Beyond clients already mentioned, The Great Branding Company has served as an approved manufacturer to Adidas, Reebok, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), and the International Basketball Association (FIBA). Officially appointed by UEFA two decades ago, the firm serves European club soccer competitions with apparel, accessories, and novelty items, covering the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League, and more than 100 of the biggest clubs in the world.

In business for more than 40 years, BDA has over 100 locations in 50 cities worldwide. In the sports world, BDA’s client partners include Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, FIFA, Manchester United, Arsenal, and the French Football Federation. Outside athletics, BDA serves household name clients like Dell, ExxonMobil, The Home Depot, and Johnson & Johnson.

Within the last year, BDA has made a number of notable leadership moves, including naming Rick Orlowski to lead its Philippines operations; hiring former Microsoft pro Anouk Pape as vice president of global marketing and creative services; appointing former The North Face/Timberland executive Matt Ferrari as chief operating officer; and bringing aboard one of promo’s most well-known sales professionals, Jill Albers, as senior director of business development.

Based on reported 2022 North American promotional product revenue of $422.2 million, BDA ranked sixth on Counselor’s most recent list of the largest distributors in the industry. The new list is due out this summer.

Courtesy of ASI. Find the original article here