R-GOL and Unisport to join forces for further international expansion - Business Review (2024)

R-GOL and Unisport to join forces for further international expansion - Business Review (1)

R-GOL, a leading multi-brand distributor of football merchandise in CEE, backed by Innova Capital, has reached an agreement to acquire Unisport, a premier social media-enabled online retailer of football merchandise from leading sector-specialised private equity investor Nordic Capital.

This transaction marks a significant milestone for both companies. Together, R-GOL and Unisport will aim to create a leading football merchandise and equipment player for football enthusiasts, professionals and football clubs in Europe and globally, with a strong strategic fit and a robust platform for further expansion. The companies have a complementary geographical presence, with R-GOL being a leader in CEE, and Unisport in Northern and Western Europe, and compatible distribution channels, competences, and know-how. Combined revenues for both companies in 2024 are expected to be over EUR 200 million with a combined CAGR over the last 10 years of 25%, and approximately 475 employees.

R-GOL and Unisport to join forces for further international expansion - Business Review (2)

By using innovative digital strategies, R-GOL and Unisport together gather over 10 million dedicated followers on social media, have over 1.3 billion YouTube views, and 1.6 million members in some of the world’s most extensive football loyalty programs. The aim for the combined company is to continue to grow in Europe, to build a comprehensive ecosystem for the needs of football fans, players and clubs alike, , exploring new growth avenues with the ambition to become the leading football specialist globally.

R-GOL was founded in Poland in 2000 and has over the last years focused on international expansion, currently operating in 14 markets in Central and Eastern Europe as a leader among specialised distributors of football products. Expert knowledge, innovation, long-term cooperation with clubs and a strong community of football enthusiasts built around the brand make the company a key partner for leading manufacturers of footwear, apparel, and sports accessories.Innova Capital has been a majority investor in R-GOL since 2023, working alongside the founder, Marcin Radziwon.

R-GOL and Unisport to join forces for further international expansion - Business Review (4)

Unisport was established in Denmark in 1995 and has risen to be a frontrunner in the European football merchandise market. Since Nordic Capital’s acquisition in 2015, the company has achieved strong and profitable organic growth, with revenues and EBITDA growing more than fivefold over the period. The company has expanded into new geographies such as Germany and France, opening flagship stores in several European capitals and has become a trusted partner for football enthusiasts. Working in close partnership with the Unisport management team, Nordic Capital has supported investments into growth across the company’s digital platform, brand identify, warehouse infrastructure and partnerships with football clubs and leading brands. With these advancements, Unisport is now well-positioned to continue its strong growth journey together with R-GOL.

“I have a dream that one day R-GOL will stand on the podium of the Champions League in our industry. Joining forces with legendary Unisport to play as one team, is a big step in reaching this vision. Together with Michael and his team, we share a passion for football and an ambition to win. I am thrilled that we will play together to achieve the ultimate goal – the top step of the World Cup podium. I want to thank everyone who has been part of the journey leading up to this and we are looking forward to continuing this joint journey.” said Marcin Radziwon, Founder & CEO, R-GOL.

R-GOL and Unisport to join forces for further international expansion - Business Review (5)

“I am incredibly happy for Unisport to partner with R-GOL. We share a common passion for football and joint vision– to be the best duo in football. Together, we can enhance our offerings and continue deliver unparalleled value to our customers. There are exciting times ahead when two dynamic players of European football segment combine their strengths and we’re ready to scale further globally. At the same time, we want to thank Nordic Capital, their strategic guidance and industry expertise have played a pivotal role in our growth and together we’ve achieved great results. We extend our gratitude for their support as we transition to the next phase of our journey,” said Michael Burk, CEO of Unisport.

“We’ve been very impressed by what Unisport has achieved so far and are extremely happy to welcome it to the Innova & R-GOL family. This transaction exemplifies the way how Innova creates value both through international expansion and effective execution of a buy & build strategies. We are excited to back the joint team in their pursuit of becoming a leading football segment specialist globally,” said Łukasz Cyran, Managing Director at Innova Capital.

R-GOL and Unisport to join forces for further international expansion - Business Review (6)

“Unisport has been on a remarkable growth journey during Nordic Capital’s ownership which has seen Unisport grow from being a local Nordic e-commerce champion to becoming a leading pan-European social media-enabled e-commerce player with significantly scaled profitable operations and impressive reach on social media. Nordic Capital is proud to have partnered with Unisport and its strong management team on this journey and are pleased to see Unisport take the next step together with R-GOL,” said Christian Hedegaard, Managing Director and Country Coverage Manager for Denmark, Nordic Capital Advisors.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Completion of the transaction is expected in Q3 2024.

R-GOL and Unisport to join forces for further international expansion - Business Review (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 6075

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.