Nike will sell the Hurley brand to brand management company Bluestar Alliance for an undisclosed sum. Bluestar plans to build on Hurley’s existing global presence and evolve the brand into a complete lifestyle portfolio, with action sports playing a key role.
Nike acquired Hurley in 2002 and has since grown the brand to 29 stores, including both factory and employee-only locations. The divestment will allow Nike to narrow its efforts and increase its investment in digital initiatives.
"We appreciate how [Hurley Founder] Bob [Hurley] and the Hurley team have built Hurley into the world's most innovative surf brand," said Michael Spillane, President of Categories and Product at NIKE in a statement. "As we drive increasingly more targeted investment and focused growth through Nike's Consumer Direct Offense, this change in ownership will allow sharper focus and intentional investment in Hurley's growth potential."
The Consumer Direct Offense was launched in 2017 to improve speed, drive innovation and enhance Nike’s personal connection with customers. Accomplishments have included reducing the total number of styles by 25%, cutting the product development cycle in half and focusing on local efforts in the 12 cities across 10 countries that were expected to drive 80% of Nike’s growth through 2020.
This initiative is still ongoing even as 2020 approaches: Nike recently acquired Celect for an undisclosed sum to continue building the Consumer Direct Offense. The software will help Nike better predict which styles of sneakers and apparel customers want, when they want them and where they want to buy them from.
Additionally, the divestiture of Hurley isn’t the only shakeup happening at Nike: Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker will shed the President and CEO roles, becoming Executive Chairman only, in January 2020. Nike board member John Donahoe will become the company’s new President and CEO.