July 30, 2013
Contact: Lauren Sinai

Prospect Partners Completes Recapitalization of Sportdecals

Leading Provider of Custom School Team Athletic and Spirit Wear to Expand Product Line and Customer Base

CHICAGO, Ill.—July 30, 2013: Prospect Partners, LLC, a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, today announced the management-led recapitalization of Sportdecals, Inc., of Spring Grove, Ill. The company, the sixth platform of Prospect Partners' third fund, will operate under the name of Sportdecals Sport and Spirit Products, Inc. ("Sportdecals").

Sportdecals is a leading designer and embellisher of customized uniforms, spirt wear, and decals for the K-12 school sports market. Founded in 1972 as a niche designer and manufacturer of decals primarily for football helmets, Sportdecals is now a one-stop shop for customized athletic and spirit wear needs, offering a range of textiles, spirit packs, decals, equipment, awards, and other accessories. The company provides in-house design, screen printing, and embroidery services for sports apparel products such as team uniforms, practice jerseys, performance wear, and spirit wear. Its customers include schools, athletic departments, club sports teams, coaches, booster clubs, municipalities, and corporations nationwide. Chris Gagnon, President, who has been with the company since 2000, brings significant expertise in direct marketing and product development. Under Mr. Gagnon, Sportdecals developed a data-driven direct marketing approach, unique in the embellished team sports apparel market segment, to reach its network of independent team dealers and other audiences.

"We are very excited to back Chris and his experienced management team," said Erik Maurer, a Principal at Prospect Partners. "Sportdecals, a growing business in a niche market, has achieved its premier reputation by offering quality products, fast fulfillment and delivery, and competitive pricing. We believe there is significant opportunity for the company to continue to expand its offering, both to its current customer base as well as to new distribution channels and buyer segments."

"Prospect Partners has immense experience investing in niche, entrepreneurial companies like ours," Mr. Gagnon said. "Throughout the recapitalization process, Prospect Partners delivered what they said they would, remaining focused on what mattered to us. They worked quickly and thoughtfully with us to solve any issue that arose, and leveraged their relationships to close on time. We look forward to getting started on growing Sportdecals together."

Going forward, Sportdecals seeks acquisitions of other athletic team spirit wear outfitters and apparel embellishers as part of its growth strategy.

Serving on the board of the holding company, Absolutely Custom Group, Inc., from from Prospect Partners are Mr. Maurer, as Chairman, and Prospect Partners' Vice President Phil Brennan, as a Director.

The other platform companies in Prospect Partners' $200 million third fund, Prospect Partners III, L.P., are: Velocity Aerospace Holding Group, a Burbank, Calif.-based provider of aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services; ICI Holding Company, a Daphne, Ala.-based wholesale distributor, supplier and manufacturer of agricultural irrigation mechanical and electrical components; Landmark Irrigation Holding Services, Inc., a Madera, Calif.-based designer and installer of custom drip irrigation systems for Central California farmers; Prospect Water Co. LLC, a Lombard, Ill.-based provider of water treatment products and services through independently franchised dealers; and SurePoint Holdings, LLC, of Lawrence, Kansas, a nationwide provider of direct-to-consumer diabetes supplies and services. Prospect Partners III, L.P. closed in August, 2010.

About Prospect Partners

Prospect Partners is a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, managing $470 million across three funds. A highly experienced and active investor, Prospect Partners focuses exclusively on management-led leveraged recapitalizations and acquisitions of niche market leaders with revenues typically under $75 million. Since 1998, Prospect Partners has invested opportunistically nationwide in more than 100 companies in a broad range of niche manufacturing, distribution, and specialty service markets. Based in Chicago, Prospect Partners also has an office in Menlo Park, Calif. 

Back to Press Releases