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“We’re in the business of sports and fashion – if you can’t get excited about that, what can you get excited about?”

Book open Reading time: 2 mins

That's what Pentland Brands say about themselves ... And we couldn't have said it better. The umbrella organisation may not be a household name, but as the number one uber-brand for sports, outdoor and fashion, just about everything that Pentland Brands produces – from JD Sports clothing to Lacoste shoes – is. And if you’re excited about either sports or fashion or both, and in branding to boot, it is one of the finest places to work for clever graduates.

That's why we're so chuffed that Pentland's will be at the Bright Festival in not one, but two incarnations. A talk from their COO, Andy Long, is one of our headline acts. And there will be a whole gang of Pentland's people to network with all through the afternoon at their exhibition stand. But before you meet them in person at the Festival, we thought we'd treat you to a few tasters of what's to come.

Founded in 1932 as the Liverpool Shoe Company, a wholesale shoe business, selling fashion shoes to UK retailers, their history is long and impressive. They floated on the London Stock Exchance in 1964, and changed the name to Pentland Industries Ltd in 1974. Following that, Pentland went on to acquire a majority stake in Reebok in 1981, to become the UK distributor for Ellesse and Kickers. Then, after becoming Pentland Group plc and selling its Reebok shareholding, they built up a portfolio of brands by purchasing Speedo, Berghaus, Brasher, Ellesse, Mitre, KangaROOS and Red or Dead. From there, Pentland also acquired Franco Sarto and became the worldwide liscensee for Lacoste Footwear. But it doesn’t end there: Pentland is now the worldwide licensee for Ted Baker, is the majority shareholder in JD Sports and Hunter Boot Ltd, and owns Boxfresh and ONETrueSaxon.

Today Pentland’s global reach spans 195 counties with a portfolio of brands, they employ over 16,000 people worldwide and in 2010 global sales exceeded £1.3 billion. And they are constantly winning prizes – for the innovation of their products, the quality of the branding and the brilliance of their workplace. As an employer, they provide excellent and numerous opportunities for furthering your knowledge and developing your professional skills. Being so truly international, the chances that you’ll be able to work abroad at some point are also high. But entry standards are tough: to succeed there you need to be passionate, dynamic, challenging and fun – which plenty of us are, so it’s definitely worth a shot, and meeting them in person will improve your chances.