Distributor Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, LLC (PPAI 109381) announced today that it has acquired the UK’s leading provider of specialist sports merchandise, Sports Merchandise Global (SMG). It’s the third acquisition for BDA this year; the company acquired UK-based Dukes of London last month, and in July it acquired Boston, Massachusetts-based distributor SwervePoint (PPAI 336283).
“Combining forces with the leadership of Jonathan Bailey and the great team of people at SMG in the Manchester and Paris offices immediately makes BDA the most prominent global agency and provider of co-branded merchandise for football [soccer],” says Jay Deutsch, cofounder and CEO of BDA. “Together, BDA and SMG bring tremendous buying and distribution power, market-specific expertise, and a model designed to support the unique needs of fans, teams, leagues and sponsors.”
A news release states that SMG brings a deep roster of clients and valuable relationships to the BDA sports division, adding that its expertise lies in activating team and sponsor opportunities for the Premier League and La Liga including Manchester United F.C., Tottenham Hotspur and FC Barcelona as well as governing bodies such as the French Football Federation and British Olympic Association. The football division will be supported in the U.S. by Matt Chavlovich, who recently joined BDA from Major League Soccer (MLS) where he was vice president of licensing and consumer products.
“Over the past three decades, we have learned what it takes to create a meaningful platform for how targeted merchandise-based programs help achieve our sports clients’ goals. From ticket sales to employee engagement, to direct-to-consumer promotions, we are the best one-stop shop for our partners, who already include MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS; over 100 professional teams in Canada and the United States,” adds Deutsch. “However, as we continue to build our presence in the UK and EMEA, we are smart enough to know we have more to learn about each team and market. With the addition of the SMG team and resources, we are well positioned to serve all existing and future clients in the best way possible.”

Jonathan Bailey, cofounder and managing director at SMG, says, “We are the natural choice for those that want to raise the bar for sponsorship activation and fan engagement. Now as part of the BDA team, we can do just that by offering an increased level of service to our clients. It will be exciting to offer BDA’s extensive team and global distribution network. Working together, I am confident we will become the best partner a sports team, league and sponsor can have.”

BDA currently has offices in London, Manila, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and 32 locations in North America. With this announcement it adds Manchester, UK, and Paris, France, to the list of locations.
“BDA UK is experiencing tremendous organic growth, on top of our recent acquisitions, and I know there is much more to come,” says Deutsch. “As we open up new clients and welcome great new people to our team, I anticipate we will be one of the top distributors in the UK by 2018.”