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Football Club Paris Saint-Germain Signs Sponsorship Deal With Sneaker Marketplace Goat

Goat app.
Goat app. (Goat)

French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has signed a three-year agreement with Goat Group Inc. as the online sneaker marketplace moves into team sponsorships and looks to expand outside the US.

The deal is valued at more than $50 million, according to a person familiar with the terms. PSG will be the first sports team to have its own store on Goat’s e-commerce platform, which will release limited-edition merchandise, collaborations and vintage items. The Goat brand will appear on the sleeve of PSG’s kits this season and will be advertised on television, online and in the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.

“They have a like-minded audience that really cares about fashion and style,” Eddy Lu, co-founder and chief executive officer of Goat Group, said in an interview. “Paris, of course, is the home of high fashion.”

PSG, which is owned by  Qatar Sports Investments, a subsidiary of the state’s sovereign wealth fund, has worked with many fashion brands on collections in recent years, including Balmain, Stussy and A Bathing Ape. Last year, it brought on Dior in a two-year deal to provide off-field casual and formal attire.

The club’s biggest arrangement is with Nike Inc., which in 2019 extended its kit-sponsorship pact until 2032 in a deal that was said to be worth more than $90 million per year. The addition of Goat to PSG’s jerseys creates the rare case where a sneaker reseller will be touted on the same uniform as Nike. All major sponsors get access to the team’s top players, such as global stars Lionel Messi and Neymar, for marketing and events.

“There’s a real chance to take this way beyond the traditional partnership,” said Marc Armstrong, PSG’s chief partnerships officer.

Into Europe

Goat has been moving into new product categories such as apparel and last year led a $60 million investment in streetwear-resale specialist Grailed. The US accounts for the majority of its business, but management has been pushing into international markets including Europe and the Middle East. The company has facilities in the UK and the Netherlands.

Lu said the retailer is getting deeper into sales of new products, as it will with its PSG store, in addition to its market of 700,000 resellers. The company is now working directly with brands on releases, including Capri Holdings Ltd.-owned Versace and Kering SA’s Balenciaga.

Goat is backed by Kering’s top shareholder, Groupe Artémis, as well as Foot Locker Inc. and venture capital firms such as Accel, Upfront Ventures and Index Ventures. The company was last valued at $3.7 billion in a funding round in June, fueling buzz about a potential initial public offering.

“Our mission is to continue growing the business and when the time is right, we’ll go public,” said Lu.

By Kim Bhasin

Learn more:

Why Luxury Brands Want in on Football

Despite the rocky history between fashion and football, luxury brands from Moncler to Dior are looking to benefit from the cultural power and global audience of the world’s most popular sport.

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