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K-Swiss buys actions-sports firm

By   /   Thursday, July 29th, 2010  /   Comments Off on K-Swiss buys actions-sports firm

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Athletic shoe company K-Swiss said July 29 that it had acquired Laguna Beach-based mixed martial arts brand Form Athletics for an undisclosed amount, bringing the company’s founder on board to lead the Westlake Village-based firm’s push into the youth products market. K-Swiss has been working to modernize its brand, which is still largely known for its classic white tennis shoe, for years.

Form Athletics, which only made its debut earlier this year, will operate as a division of K-Swiss, led by the Laguna Beach company’s founder and CEO, Mark Miller. Under the deal, Miller becomes president of Form and joins K-Swiss’ ranks as president of its Orange County division. From there, he’ll establish and lead a new division of the brand focused on youth products, K-Swiss said.

Miller will be charged with overseeing Form Athletics’ product line extensions, outlining the future of K-Swiss’ youth division and guiding overall design, sales structure and brand decisions. “My vision for this division is to create something completely authentic and extremely relevant to reach the younger consumer,” Miller said in a news release.

A veteran of the action sports products industry, Miller founded Form in January 2010 in conjunction with mixed martial arts champion Urijah Faber. The brand has a distinct surf-and-skate inspired aesthetic, K-Swiss said.
Prior to Form, Miller launched M3 Snowboards in 1996, and more recently, was DC Shoes’ senior vice president and general manager of 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,” David Nichols, K-Swiss’ executive vice president, said in a news release. “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.”

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