Fox Racing, well known for its off-road apparel, is putting more emphasis on the street side by widening its on-road brand, Shift.
“At the moment, we’ve only been serving the dirt side of the dealers,” said Brett Nicholas, brand manager for Shift, which was originally started by Fox Racing founder Jeff Fox’s son, Pete.
“Well, if we have reps going in there (to dealerships), why don’t we try to tackle the greatest part of the market, the street side?”
That was the thinking behind widening the Shift brand from 26 styles in 2006 to 40 this year. That additional stock includes more choices for women riders. Plus, Nicholas said the company is working on adding helmets, boots and further expanding the Shift line for 2008.
It’s not the first time Fox Racing, which has been in existence for more than 30 years, has had street clothing. In fact, Nicholas said 15 years ago it made up half of the company’s business. But that changed when the off-road side gained massive momentum, especially in the youth market.
Today, Nicholas said the company firmly believes Fox Racing fans will slide over to be Shift consumers as easily as riders move from one type of bike to another.
“I ride street, and I ride moto,” he said. “A lot of the design guys at Fox ride street as well as moto. So we saw a niche of the market and thought, ‘Well, Icon has done a good job of legitimizing that category.’”
Shift products are designed with the young sport rider in mind. And unlike Icon, it does not have “in-your-face bling” or bolt-on chrome parts, Nicholas said. It’s also designed “not to be as symmetrical and straight lined as a lot of the race-heavy brands are,” he said.
Shift features different price points, from entry-level vintage textiles to premium leather jackets.
To manage the increased production of street apparel, Fox Racing, which handles about 2,500 dealers, increased its design and development team by eight employees, Nicholas said.
Dealers can expect Shift’s profit margin to be similar to what’s found on Fox Racing apparel, which is about 40 percent.
One issue that will be different for Shift will be its marketing. Because it’s a street product, Nicholas said Fox Racing’s traditional marketing method of supporting racers won’t necessarily work. So he expects Fox Racing to spend more money on traditional advertising for Shift products.
“So far the range has been received awesome,” Nicholas said of Shift’s broadening product line. psb
Copyright 2007 Powersports Business