January 6, 2012
We often get sent tidbits of news from the bicycle trade, and uncover other bits in our travels. They’re not always juicy enough to warrant a whole story, but from time to time, we’re going to gather them up and let you have them so you can keep up with who owns what and who’s going where.
Howies buy their freedom
According to Howies website, it has just bought itself back from the giant behemoth that owned it. It says:
“As of January 1st, howies got small again.
When we were sold to Timberland in 2006 we we became a tiny part of a $2 billion company and that was not easy.
When VF bought Timberland last September we became a miniscule part of a $10 Billion corporation, and that was never going to work.
So while everybody was crunching the big numbers, the howies management team quietly bought the business back.
We thank VF for giving us the opportunity to be small again.
It could be big.”
Scott buy Syncros from Ritchey
In other news, bike, snow and accessories company Scott Sports has just bought component manufacturer Syncros (from previous owner Ritchey)
Here’s what they say:
“Ritchey Design today announced the sale of the Syncros component brand to Scott Sports SA. Ritchey, a world leader in the road, mountain and cyclocross components, acquired the Syncros brand in 2003 to address the freeride and downhill mountain bike segment.
The sale will allow Ritchey to focus on new product and innovations under the Ritchey brand. In 2011 Ritchey announced a return to the steel frame market with the P-29er and Swiss Cross, and launched the all-new C-260 stem design, several new wheel models and updated graphics across the line. Ritchey also has a broader range of trail components currently in development.
“We’ve had a great experience working with and developing the Syncros brand,” Sean Coffey, Ritchey Global Marketing Director, said, “But we want to shift our focus on taking Ritchey to a new level.”
Ritchey Design has a long history of OE sales with Scott Sports through both the Ritchey and Syncros brands, and was pleased when their longtime partner inquired about purchasing the brand.”
Athertons and Animal part ways
As we reported last month, the Athertons parted ways with longtime bike sponsor Commencal – but Dirt Magazine broke the news just before Chrimbo that they’ve parted ways with Animal, the clothing sponsor that’s been with them for almost a decade. It was only back in September that they were running a “Create a kit for the Athertons” competition on the Atherton Racing Facebook page. Still no official news on who their sponsor list for 2012, but plenty of rumours, including that Dan will be concentrating on gravity enduro racing rather than DH…
Cube go Enduro
More gravity enduro news now, with German brand Cube announcing that they’re going to be fielding a specialist team to take part in events such as the Mega Avalanche, Finale Super Enduro and more in 2012.
“After a nearly year-long break in sports sponsorship and a profound reorientation the Bavarian company is ready for the new Megatrend. Megavalanche, Trail Master, Trail Trophy and Super Enduro are the names of the new races. Enduro is not just about the fastest uphill, or going downhill – for the new sport the complete and universal mountainbiker is needed.
Marcus Pürner, founder of CUBE bikes, describes the commitment to professional enduro sport as follows: “With our international team we want to show our bikes to a large international Enduro scene. Our wide range of fullsuspension bikes will be presented perfectly in the rapidly growing enduro segment.”
CUBE Bikes has hired the two french Megavalanche specialists Valerie Priem-Schandene and Nicolas Lau, the German DH Champion Andrè Wagenknecht, Ludwig Döhl (2x CaiDom winner), 4X specialist Laura Brethauer and Enduro specialist Julia Hofmann for the team.”
Annie Last races for chocolate
On the cross country front, crowd favourite Annie Last will be racing for chocolate this year. Well… she’ll be racing for a chocolate team anyway: the Milka-Brentjens MTB Team… formed just for her by team manager Bart Brentjens.
“Bart Brentjens will start a second UCI Trade Team around British talent Annie Last; “The Milka-Brentjens MTB Racing Team”. This team will give Annie Last the opportunity to continue to use long time sponsor Boardman bikes in 2012. The main sponsor will be chocolate company Milka. Annie Last (21), second at the 2011 World and European under-23 mountain bike XC Championships will be working towards establishing herself in the UCI World Cup Series and targeting the London 2012 Olympic Games and the under-23 World Championships.
“I am very happy to start working with Annie Last in 2012. She has a great relationship with Boardman Bikes and because of this I decided to start a second UCI Trade Team so Annie can continue to ride on Boardman bikes in 2012. Annie is a promising talent, her best result this year in the World Cup was sixth in Czech, Nove Mesto, an extraordinary result considering her young age. In 2012 her focus will be the Olympic Games in London in August, I think she can have a good result there!”
“I am really looking forward to working with Bart Brentjens and his team. They have got a huge amount of experience about performing at the highest level in the sport and they have presented me with an exciting opportunity to be part of the Milka Brentjens MTB Racing Team. I will continue to be sponsored by Boardman bikes who will be supplying me with my bikes for the 2012 season. I am happy to take my relationship with Boardman bikes forward with me into my new Milka Brentjens team.”
It could always be worse
A bit of a lighthearted one now – it’s well known that sometimes you have to suffer for your sponsors, but sometimes the suffering can be more than vicious training, a hectic schedule and lacklustre kit. Sometimes the price you pay can be self respect itself…