Financial Press: Respect Your Universe set to Trade in Canada

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Respect Your Universe, Inc., a premium performance apparel and equipment company, is poised to begin trading in Canada on Friday on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Respect Your Universe, Inc., a premium performance apparel and equipment company, is poised to begin trading in Canada on Friday on the TSX Venture Exchange. - (Financial Press)

RYU designs and manufactures athletic clothing for mixed martial arts, and has been listed in the US since last April. The company has witnessed tremendous growth since then and credits this to their close ties to the sport.

“RYU is a great brand with awesome gear and good people that offer top notch support for fighters like me," said Jamie Varner, a popular Lightweight MMA fighter.

RYU provides men’s and women’s products, and we will focus on the wholesale market in Canada, along with MMA specialty shops and online to international customers.

“We understand that per capita Mixed Martial Arts is more popular in Canada than the USA,” said RYU Chairman, Kristian Andresen. “Obviously we have seen the success lululemon athletica has achieved starting in Vancouver and want to capitalize on consumers that share those sensibilities.”

Lululemon's stock currently trades around $58, down significantly from an all-time high of $80 in May.

RYU has 23 retail partners globally – not including the company’s website RYU.com.

“Online is available to all of Canada,” said Andresen. “L2 in Vancouver, KTB MMA in Surrey, and Hype Fight Shop in Calgary, are currently offering the products, and we have other accounts pending.”

Cross-fit is another booming area where the company will be expanding into.

“RYU is the brand inspired by training technologies, and philosophy,” said Andresen. “RYU believes that a positive presence in relation to Martial Arts is what people are gravitating towards. Martial Arts isn't about tattoos, skulls getting smashed and intimidation to RYU it's about being disciplined, the traditions, honor and of course respect for one’s opponent.”

The appeal of the RYU brand has already inspired confidence among investors. Last week RYU announced the completion of a public offering of shares of common stock.

“We are extremely pleased to have announced the closing of the offering,” said Andresen. “We look forward to our listing on the TSXV, and believe it is a step in the continued success of our growing brand.”

In the offering, RYU sold a total of 5,882,500 shares at a price of $0.85 per share for total gross proceeds of $5,000,125. The shares will trade on the TSXV on August 10, under the symbol “RYU”.

Salman Partners Inc. acted as placement agent for the offering. Salman Partners Inc. is an independent, research-driven investment dealer. Since 2010, Salman Partners has participated in $423 million new equity.

RYU expects to continue their staggering growth in what remains a very tough market. With so much achieved to date, what challenges lie ahead for RYU?

“Being a new brand is challenging but we see we are winning people over every day,” said Andresen. “RYU will continue to be successful with consumers as it delivers quality products that people can feel good about and feel good wearing.”

Founded on the principles of respect, strength, honor and sustainability, and influenced by the dedication of the athlete to the ancient sport of Martial Arts, RYU’s innovative premium apparel and product for both performance and lifestyle was created to inspire all athletes to achieve greatness.

But that’s not all that’s different about RYU.

By producing products that are environmentally, and ethically, sound, all of RYU’s apparel and products are comprised of up to 90% organic and recycled materials utilizing some of the best yarn and fabric suppliers in the world.

Through the creation of innovative apparel and products that have less of an impact on the environment, RYU’s fabrics and technologies boast the attributes of Moisture Control Fabric (AIR Weave), Thermal Control Fabric (FIRE Weave), Weather Resistant Fabric (WIND Weave) and Eco-Friendly Fabric (TERRA Weave). RYU’s authenticity in its apparel and products is also reflected in the design of each item containing one or more symbols from ancient Samurai iconography.

Efforts like these have been supported by smart marketing initiatives. For instance, RYU is an official sponsor of the UFC and will be visible in various elements throughout the UFC events in 2012 including logo displays and live announcements during bouts along with television promotions and placement on the UFC website including their web store.

So what else is new?

RYU released their Men’s Fall 2012 Collection and new Women’s Fall 2012 Line last month so that Martial Arts enthusiasts who train at the House of RYU athletic facility in Las Vegas will also be able to wear RYU’s premium performance apparel and gear specifically designed to enhance their overall performance.

RYU plans to open new retail stores in the ne ar future, and with the release of the Men’s 2012 Fall Collection and unveiling of the new Women’s 2012 Fall Line, RYU retail locations have 120 styles available from both the Men’s and Women’s Fall Lines in the store for customers including apparel and accessories.

About Respect Your Universe
Respect Your Universe, Inc. is a premium performance apparel and equipment company rooted in and inspired by Mixed Martial Arts. Focused on the needs of the athlete, RYU brings innovative design, development and production of premium authentic performance gear with style to mixed martial artists and athlete enthusiasts worldwide. The RYU brand is based on respect, strength, honor and sustainability. Respect to the End. http://www.ryu.com

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April Saretsky
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