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Delong assets purchased by Coralville-based company

• Daden Group to begin operations in Grinnell, will interview and hire potential employees in next 30 to 60 days There will be some activity in the Delong offices located in Grinnell in the next few months.

Daden Group Inc., based out of Coralville, announced on Sept. 10 that it has reached an agreement to purchase certain assets from Delong Sportswear. Daden Group will lease Delong’s corporate office and material distribution center in Grinnell.

Bill Gansen, chief executive officer of Daden Group, said there will be job opportunities within the next few months.

“It is our intent to begin operations in Grinnell within 30 to 60 days,” he said. “During this time, the company will contact and interview potential employees that are interested in working for Daden.”

Daden was formed in 2005 by the former president and vice president of adidas Team, 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 license and supplier agreements. The company’s products are sold to major retailers and team dealers throughout the United States and Canada.

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

Daden Group received funding from the Rural Vitality Fund LP. This fund was initially created by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation as part of “Renew Rural Iowa,” a 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.

“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 10 years and look forward to helping them grow their business.”

Delong was a leading provider of athletic uniforms, head wear and award jackets. It ceased operation in April 2009. “We look forward to being a part of Grinnell and wish to thank the community for their support of our efforts thus far,” said Gansen.

UPDATED September 15, 2009 1:11 PM

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