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Icons Becomes World’s Largest Football Memorabilia Company

Fri 26th Jun 2015 | Marketing & PR

Icons Shop Limited, the UK-based signed memorabilia company today announced that it had sold a majority stake to Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA), the first public joint stock company focused on the UAE’s retail sector.

Marka acquired a sixty-five per cent share for £2.65 million. 

Icons have used the investment to create the largest football memorabilia company in the world, through the purchase of the assets of rival A1 Sporting Memorabilia.

Icons, which was established in 1999, retails exclusive and non-exclusive sports merchandise, has a key focus on football.

The company was awarded the world's first ever signed football memorabilia licence by FIFA in 2010 to produce a range of signed iconic World Cup products. In July 2012, Icons was awarded the first ever official licence for the UEFA Champions League and this year announced a licensing deal for UEFA Euro2016 France. The company holds valuable licensing contracts with the world’s most famous players; including Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale and enjoys long term relationship with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Neymar Jr.

Marka will integrate Icons and A1 products into its Modell’s Sporting Goods stores as well as its just opened UEFA Champions League Experience, located in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall in the United Arab Emirates. The concept, developed in partnership with UEFA, is the first of its kind and plans are confirmed for multiple locations across the GCC.

Dan Jamieson, managing director of Icons said, “Icons is the world's leading football memorabilia brand and the most trusted operation in the game. Authenticity is everything to us, as it is everything to our customers. Our new joint venture with Marka enables us to open up our offerings to the Middle East region and beyond, bringing the millions of dedicated fans there the very best choice and quality of sports memorabilia. With the acquisition of A1 we have unprecedented access to, and a wide portfolio of, past and present icons of the game”

Nick Peel, CEO of Marka and chairman of the joint venture between Marka and Icons, said, “The acquisition of a majority stake in Icons is an important strategic addition to our growing sports retail portfolio. With the addition of A1, the company will be the world’s leading football memorabilia brand and makes Marka a market leader in a highly-profitable segment, with strong international growth potential through the successful online websites Icons.com and A1sportingmemorabilia.co.uk.” 

Terry Baker, Founder and CEO of A1 Sporting Memorabilia, commented, “We are delighted to sell the UK’s leading memorabilia website, eBay store, stock and other assets to Icons. They understand the A1 brand and with the existing team, will continue to bring our national and international audience legendary players at legendary prices. We will still be involved as consultants, but will be primarily concentrating on our sporting speaker business.”

Marka confirmed that Mr. Jamieson will remain with Icons as its chief executive officer, Icons’ current chairman, Edward Freedman will remain as a board director. Nick Peel, chief executive officer of Marka and a former retail and licensing director at Arsenal FC, will assume the role of chairman of Icons.

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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