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K-Swiss launches youth division, buys Form Athletics, hires Mark Miller

By Tiffany Montgomery
July 29, 2010 5:15 AM

Mark Miller, a key executive during the rapid growth of DC Shoes, has sold his Mixed Martial Arts brand Form Athletics to K-Swiss and will also start and lead a new division of K-Swiss in Orange County targeting youth culture.

Mark, formerly the SVP and General Manager of the Americas for DC, will have two titles: President of Form Athletics and President of K-Swiss Orange County.

K-Swiss did not disclose how much it paid for Form.

For our Executive Edition, I interviewed K-Swiss EVP David Nichols about plans for the new youth division, the remaking of K-Swiss and why it bought Form. I also talk to Mark about his new role and his vision for Form. Click here for that story.

Here is the official press release about today's news:

K•Swiss Acquires FORM Athletics, Appoints Mark Miller President of New Orange County Division

(Westlake Village, CA) July 29, 2010 – California Sports Company K•Swiss (NASDAQ: KSWS) announced today the acquisition of Laguna Beach-based FORM Athletics. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

FORM Athletics will operate as a division of K•Swiss led by Mark Miller, FORM’s incumbent founder and CEO. Under the agreement, Miller will become President of Form Athletics, and has also been appointed President of K•Swiss Orange County (KSOC), where he will establish and lead a new division of the brand focused on the youth consumer. A force in the action sports industry, Mark Miller has built businesses for iconic brands for nearly three decades, launching M3 Snowboards in 1996, and more recently, playing a key role in the growth of DC Shoes, as SVP and General Manager in 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,” said Executive Vice President of K•Swiss, David Nichols. “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. Viewership and participation in Mixed Martial Arts events is explosive, as is the market for Mixed Martial Arts consumer brands.”

Miller launched FORM Athletics in early 2010 in conjunction with MMA/WEC athlete and former Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber. The brand has quickly established itself as a successful and progressive Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and lifestyle brand with a distinct surf-and-skate inspired aesthetic. Since its January debut, FORM has formed a global fan following, adding powerhouse athletes including Mark Muñoz, Joseph Benavidez, and Jon “Bones” Jones to its roster.

Please see Page 2 for Mark Miller's statement and more of the release

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