Le Coq Sportif, the French sportswear brand, will close its Portland-based North American subsidiary effective immediately, according to a report in The Oregonian. The closure comes less than a year after Le Coq leased offices in Portland and three months after it relaunched its clothing and footwear lines in the U.S.

Tim McCool, chief executive of Le Coq Sportif North America, told The Oregonian that although spring sales in the U.S. were successful, executives in France want to focus on fulfilling higher than expected demand for Le Coq's tennis-centered products in Europe. Worldwide revenues increased by 95 percent in 2007 and, so far, were exceeding growth projections of 70 percent in 2008, he said.

“With such rapid growth, they've decided to focus all of their efforts in Europe,” McCool said. “At some point, Le Coq Sportif will re-enter the U.S. marketplace in a way that will better ensure success.”

Expansion in the U.S. was also believed to have been hurt by the weak dollar and poor U.S. economy.

Le Coq relaunched to U.S. consumers in February with a spring line of clothing and lifestyle footwear. It targeted fashion boutiques, tennis clubs, private athletic clubs and resorts with European-leaning styles aimed at higher-income consumers ages 25 to 40. The firm also signed Chicago Bulls rookie Joakim Noah, the son of former tennis star and a Le Coq endorsee, Yannick Noah.

Le Coq also tried a U.S. re-entry in 2005 but suffered from a lack of marketing, McCool said. Swiss investment fund Airesis — controlled by former Adidas chief executive Robert Louis-Dreyfus — bought a controlling stake in Le Coq in 2006 and acquired its North American distribution rights.

Le Coq became a marquee name in the 1960s, '70s and '80s when Adidas owned the brand. It signed tennis stars Yannick Noah and Arthur Ashe and saw its rooster perched on the feet of rappers LL Cool J and Will Smith. The company took a dive in the 1990s and underwent several ownership changes.