SCOTTS VALLEY, CA (BRAIN) — After more than 20 years of licensing its brand name to an Italian company for use outside of North America, Bell Helmets has reacquired the worldwide rights to its brand in the powersports market.
“Our motorcycle helmet business is a growth engine for our portfolio and this acquisition marks a major milestone for the Bell brand,” said Terry Lee, Easton-Bell Sports, Inc.'s Chief Executive Officer. “This positions our brand to regain share globally just as we have in North America.”
The Bell powersports business has grown more than 40 percent in North America in each of the last two years, the company said. Prior to the reacquisitino announced this week, Bell's powersports business was only able to distribute into the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and some Latin America countries. With the reacquisition, the brand will also focus on Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and Brazil.
Jessica Klodnicki, executive vice president and general manager for Bell Helmets, said the ability to continue to expand the powersports business helps the brand in all areas, including its bicycle business.
“Our history and our DNA were formed in auto racing and motorcycle culture and it informs everything we do on the bike side of the business. As you can see by such recent launches as our Full-9 downhill mountain bike helmet – it drafts off our very popular Moto-9 motocross helmet. However, in most global markets, we were unable to tell the full story,” she said. “This acquisition now allows us to fully market the power of the Bell brand in all regions. With the success we have seen on the powersports side of the business, this is going to have a huge positive halo effect on our bike business.”
Bell recently announced several new hires, which resulted in a tripling of the size of its product development team. The team will be led by industry veteran,Mike Lowe, who most recently managed helmet development across a portfolio of head protection brands including Bell cycling helmets, Giro snow and cycling helmets, Riddell football helmets and Easton hockey helmets.
Bell is also actively recruiting a sales and marketing leader and a sales operations manager based out of Europe, who will handle Europe, the Middle East and Africa.