Football (U.S. soccer) is the world’s most popular sport, and fandom has grown 60% in the U.S. over the past decade.

The iconic football shirt connects people to the sport’s unique culture, from fans to fashion enthusiasts and celebrity influencers globally.

With the largest collection of new and hard-to-find authentic football shirts available for sale in the world, and millions of items shipped across more than 100 countries, Classic Football Shirts is the category leader.

MANCHESTER, England and LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Classic Football Shirts, the global hub to buy authentic football shirts, and The Chernin Group (“TCG”), a multi-stage investment firm known for building and growing consumer businesses, today announced an investment from TCG that will fuel aggressive and immediate global expansion plans. Concentrating on North America, one of the brand’s fastest-growing markets that represents just 15 percent of the overall business today, TCG’s investment underscores the significant market opportunity tied to the rising global interest in football culture.

There are 3.5 billion global football fans in the world and fandom is up 60% in the U.S. over the last decade as major European domestic leagues are aired on U.S. TV networks, shows like Ted Lasso and Welcome to Wrexham have streamed into family rooms, fashion designers have given a nod to football style in collections, and celebrity superstars have been photographed wearing the football shirts. With the expansion of the MLS, success of NWSL and major global football events like the 2024 Copa America, 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2028 Olympics, fandom is only expected to grow even more over the next 10 years. As the game’s domestic fan base continues to rise, so has consumer demand for football commerce and apparel.

“Each football shirt tells a unique story and represents the history, culture, style – and the nostalgia of the game,” said Classic Football Shirts founder and CEO, Doug Bierton. “It’s a passion and obsession for the sport, from our team and our customers, that built the business to where it is today. It’s exciting to think about how we’ll connect with millions more around the world over a shared love of football.”

Founded in 2006 in Manchester, UK by Doug Bierton and Matthew Dale – and later joined by co-founder Gary Bierton, Classic Football Shirts has thrived as a self-funded, fast-growing enterprise that’s been profitable since its inception. The company boasts a staggering collection of rare vintage, match-worn, and current season styles that cater to a diverse community of football aficionados, collectors, and streetwear enthusiasts worldwide. It has a thriving community both on and offline, with stores in London and Manchester, UK, millions of social followers, and customers in over 100 countries. They have classic football shirts listed from thousands of clubs, countries and players, and over 6,700 unique or match-worn shirts housed in ‘The Vault‘, a climate-controlled storage area for special pieces that are not yet available to the public.

“The Classic Football Shirts team has built an incredible business,” said TCG partner, Greg Bettinelli, an early investor in popular consumer marketplaces, including GOAT and thredUP while at his previous firm, Upfront Ventures. “They have an incredible selection of football shirts for fans all over the world, unparalleled industry knowledge and a true passion for the sport. Everyone who comes to Classic Football Shirts knows they will find their favorite club, country or player and trusts that the shirt they buy will be 100% authentic, which is why so many come back again and again. We are looking forward to working with Doug, Matt, Gary and the rest of the team to build on their success through the expansion of its audience, assortment and new geographies.”

TCG invested $38.5M of growth equity capital into Classic Football Shirts and is the only major outside investor. With this investment, Classic Football Shirts will continue on its path to being the global destination for authentic football shirts and cultivate a community of fans and fashion enthusiasts through a shared love of the unique shirts.

In addition, Cormac Barry, a senior executive with over 25 years’ experience in online B2C, online B2B and retail across multiple sectors including sports and travel, has joined Classic Football Shirts as Executive Chairman.

Coinciding with this announcement today is the opening of Classic Football Shirts’ latest retail experience in New York City. The store at 323 Canal Street offers enthusiasts a glimpse into football’s rich heritage through a curated collection of both classic and current shirt styles. The event precedes the forthcoming launch of permanent stores in New York and Los Angeles later this year. For further details, visit www.classicfootballshirts.co.uk.

About Classic Football Shirts

Classic Football Shirts is the global hub to buy authentic football shirts. The company was founded in 2006 in Manchester, UK by Doug Bierton and Matthew Dale – and later joined by Gary Bierton, who share a love of the sport and its culture. Classic Football Shirts has the largest collection of authentic football shirts in the world, from timeless classics to elusive vintage finds and some of the game’s most iconic shirts. A dedication to curation and authentication, deep knowledge of the history, and a genuine passion for the sport has been the driving force behind Classic Football Shirts’ success and rapidly growing global customer base. Explore the extensive collection of football shirts and join the community of fans and enthusiasts at www.classicfootballshirts.co.uk.

About TCG

Founded by Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacobs, and Mike Kerns, The Chernin Group (TCG) is a multi-stage investment firm dedicated to building enduring consumer businesses. TCG partners with exceptional management teams to grow market-leading businesses in categories of consumer passion such as sports, commerce, gaming, and health and wellness. The firm leverages decades of operating experience and deep connectivity to the media and technology ecosystem in service of its portfolio companies. Investments have included Action Network, Barstool Sports, Cars & Bids, Collectors, Crunchyroll, Epic Gardening, Meateater, Oura, Premier Lacrosse League, Scopely and Unrivaled Sports. Learn more at https://tcg.co/.

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Press kit with images can be found here.

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SOURCE Classic Football Shirts



Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/classic-football-shirts-targets-immediate-expansion-into-north-america-with-significant-growth-equity-investment-from-the-chernin-group-302147297.html
Some images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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