Compass Group sports and hospitality catering business Levy UK + Ireland has launched ‘Levy Merchandising’ to signal its strategic expansion into sports merchandising.
Known for disrupting the stadia food and beverage market with the latest tech and sustainability innovations, Levy has consistently demonstrated a commitment to improving the matchday journey. The decision to enter the merchandising market aligns with the company’s wider vision to create memorable experiences and engage with fans on a broader scale.
Levy Merchandising will design and manufacture a wide range of sportswear from technical products, fit for the highest level of performance, through to non-technical fanwear. The company will also produce a comprehensive range of souvenirs and accessories. In line with Levy’s strong commitment to supporting local communities and working with charities and outreach programmes, all products will be ethically sourced from factories who have undergone stringent audit processes.
Vinny Clark has been brought in to head up Levy Merchandising, bringing over two decades’ experience in sports licensing and retail, including roles with sports apparel giant, Fanatics, and more recently Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (where he served as General Manager for Commercial Operations). Clark has experienced first-hand, both as a rights holder and a rights acquirer, how sports licensing partnerships work and wants to ensure a “partner first” approach, building long lasting, sustainable relationships. With an innovative commercial model, decision making is a joint responsibility, with partners retaining control on key strategic direction whilst benefiting from the scale and expertise of the Levy Merchandising central teams across buying, licensing, ecommerce, and retail operations.
Clark says: “Levy UK + Ireland has built a reputation for excellence, quality, and innovation, so I’m thrilled to be part of this exciting new chapter. The Levy Merchandising arm will build on the legendary experiences Levy has provided over decades in the food, drink, and hospitality arenas.
“Our aim is simple – to make the lives of our partners easier, to bring the best product to market for fans to enjoy, to offer better and fairer commercial frameworks to rights holders and all whilst protecting the interests of partner fans, our people, and our planet. Taking Levy best practice and utilising tech, innovation, and data insights from within the Group, we are ready to change the game.”
Jon Davies, Levy UK + Ireland managing director, adds: “The expansion into merchandising represents a natural progression for Levy UK + Ireland. We are trusted in the sporting world and will take learnings from our successful F&B portfolio to enhance the service within the merchandise sector.
“Transferring our key values around People, Planet and Product, Levy Merchandising offers a unique proposition that puts our partners and fans first. As with everything we do, we are committed to incorporating sustainable practices, aligning with our broader environmental responsibility goals.”
The expansion into merchandising represents a natural progression for Levy UK + Ireland. We are trusted in the sporting world and will take learnings from our successful F&B portfolio to enhance the service within the merchandise sector.