After more than 20 years of licensing its brand name to an Italian entity for use outside of North America, Bell Helmets on Wednesday announced the reacquisition of its worldwide rights in the powersports market.
Bell has been working diligently to reacquire global distribution rights as part of a concerted effort to return the brand to its rightful place at the top of the powersports industry.
“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. Chief Executive Officer. “This positions our brand to regain share globally just as we have in North America.”
After two years of more than 40% growth in North America, the Bell powersports business is poised to expand its geographic presence. Previously, the Powersports business was only able to distribute into the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and select Latin America countries. With the reacquisition of global distribution, the brand will also focus on Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and Brazil. The next step is to identify the best distributor partners who will ensure that the core values of the Bell brand are upheld. Additional expansion will continue throughout other countries and regions.
“This is a dynamic, exciting and challenging time as we re-stake our claim to the Bell brand, sales and product development on a global scale,” said Chris Sackett, Business Unit Director – Powersports. “This is what we’ve all been working towards, and we’re excited that everyone in these newly-acquired regions will know they are buying superior product from the original Bell.”
To support its global unification, Bell recently announced several new hires, promotions and the reallocation of several key executives, which resulted in a product development team that has tripled in size. The product development team will be led by long time 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.
Matt Schumann, the Director of Sales, will take over global responsibility. His most recent hire was Brett Conley, International Sales Manager. Conley joins Bell from Fox Racing, bringing eight years of international sales experience. Conley will manage and support Bell’s international distribution partners, focusing specifically on Canada, Latin America and Pacific Rim regions.
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.
For more information, visit Bell at the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) on October 18-20 in Orlando, FL and at EIMCA November 5-10 in Milan, Italy.