Daden Group Inc., based in Coralville, Iowa, has reached an agreement to purchase certain assets from Delong Sportswear. Daden Group will also lease DeLong’s corporate office and materials distribution center in Grinnell, Iowa. DeLong, a leading provider of athletic uniforms, headwear and award jackets ceased operations in April 2009.

Bill Gansen, chief executive officer of Daden Group stated, “It is our intent to begin operations in Grinnell within 30-60 days. During this time the company will contact and interview potential employees that are interested in working for Daden. We look forward to being a part of Grinnell, and wish to thank the community for their support of our efforts thus far.”

Daden was formed in 2005 by the former president and VP of adidas Team, Inc. which Daden executives co-founded in 1999 as Valley Apparel Company. Valley marketed and sold products under exclusive licenses with adidas America, Major League Baseball, NFL, Major League Soccer, US Olympics, professional athletes and over 100 colleges and universities.  Valley was purchased in 2004 by adidas and renamed adidas Team, Inc.

Daden currently partners with top sporting goods brands through l icense and supplier agreements. The company’s products are sold to major retailers and team dealers throughout the United States and Canada.

“We will continue to pursue other acquisitions, licenses and partnerships. These pursuits will provide additional opportunities for our company, its business partners, shareholders and employees”, said Mr. Gansen.

Daden Group has received funding from the Rural Vitality Fund LP (RVF LP). This fund was initially created by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation as part of “Renew Rural Iowa” an innovative program to encourage economic growth in Iowa’s rural communities. The fund has grown to include additional investments from Wellmark, Inc. and Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO).

“We are excited to be part of Daden Group’s efforts and share their commitment to creating opportunities for rural Iowa companies and their communities,” said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Senior Investment Manager Dave Sengpiel. “We have worked with Daden’s executive team for over ten years and look forward to helping them grow their business.”

For additional details on the DeLong acquisition, including interviuews with the new ownership, look for the next issue of Sports Executive Weekly.