June 7, 2004 – Smith Optics revamps sales force

In the process of restructuring their sales department, officials at Idaho-based Smith Sport Optics, Inc. say they have hired Brian Cotsonas as new East Coast regional sales manager, placed long-time employee Linda Rodney as new Central regional sales manager, and are in the process of finding a new West Coast regional sales manager.
Based in Jamestown, R.I. Cotsonas joins the company with more than 11 years sales experience, most recently working as the East Coast sales manager for Eyeking/Hobie Polarized Sunglasses. He also held a position as the national sales director for Gargoyles, Anarchy and Angel Eyewear, overseeing 20 reps and two regional sales managers, and has spent time as an independent sales representative for Oakley, as well as working with O’Neill and Reef Brazil.
Rodney, who has worked at Smith for several years overseeing national sales, will become the Central regional sales manager and will handle a majority of Smith’s national accounts.
All three sales manager positions to be filled will report to Blair Clark, Smith’s vice president of sales.
Based in Sun Valley, Idaho, with a Southern California office located in San Clemente, Calif., Smith Sport Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. Today, with products sold in more than 50 countries, Smith is as well known for its diverse line of fashion and performance sunglasses as it is for its goggles.
Scott Wall Joins APS
Scott Wall, formerly with both Yamaha Motor Corp. and Tucker Rocky Distributing, is the new general manager/dealer principle of Woods Fun Center in Austin, Texas, a dealership belonging to America’s PowerSports (APS), one of the largest powersports dealer groups in the nation.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” said Wall. “I have had the opportunity to run a dealership in the past but it was not of this magnitude. I am looking forward to utilizing my past experience in sales and marketing to improve the operations and profitability of Woods Fun Center. The dealership has grown substantially in the past few years and I am excited about taking it to yet another level.”
Clark Vitulli, president and chief executive officer of America’s PowerSports, called Wall “a triple threat,” with retail, distribution, and OEM industry experience. “Obtaining top talent like Scott Wall can be challenging at times, but it is what my team here at corporate support is good at,” Vitulli said.
Wall spent the past four years as vice president of sales and customer service at Ft. Worth-based Tucker Rocky Distributing. Prior to that, he spent more than 12 years with Yamaha Motor Corporation in positions including regional sales manager for the19-state Northeastern Region; Watercraft Division general manager; and vice president, marketing, sales and customer service, Golf Cart Division. His career started in the powersports industry at Twin Lake Marine, where he was president.
“While I am personally happy for Scott, I’ll miss him and his contributions to Tucker Rocky,” said Steve Johnson, Tucker Rocky president and COO. “Scott came to Tucker Rocky at a time when it needed strong, professional sales management. Sales are growing and setting new records under Scott’s leadership.”
Formed in November 1998, America’s PowerSports is one of the nation’s largest retail power sports dealer networks, and represents all major brands including Harley-Davidson, Honda, BMW, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Sea-Doo and Polaris. Based in Brentwood, Tenn., the dealer group operates 11 retail locations in four states.
Scorpion Adds Sales Manager
Former Tucker Rocky sales rep Randy Hyden has been tapped to serve as Inside Sales Manager for Scorpion Sports’ Eastern Region.
New in 2004, Scorpion Sports, Inc. is a California-based company supplying a full line of dirt and street helmets directly to motorcycle dealerships. Dealing in product from Asia, Scorpion also offers parts and accessories to personalize each helmet, including liners in various colors and patterns, seven colors of faceshield, and various SpeedShift and vent slider options.
Hyden began his career in the powersports industry in 1985 as an inside sales rep at Rocky Cycle Distributing, then spent six years as both an inside and outside sales rep for Tucker Rocky. He has also served as a dealership parts manager.
“We’ve got a great team of outside sales reps in the region,” states Chief Scorpion Eric Anderson, “now Randy will be assigned to assist those reps and fill in any gaps while providing dedicated sales support for them here in our main office in California.”
Anderson, former vice president of Intersport Fashions West , says he believes Scorpion Sports will “transform” the helmet business with its dealer-direct distribution plan, patented features and graphics packages. To learn more about Scorpion Sports, visit www.scorpionusa.com or call 888/672-6774.
LeoVince Boosts Visibility
LeoVince USA, Richmond, Calif., has continued its push into the U.S. market with two recent key announcements: G-Force Strategic Marketing has been retained as the firm’s advertising and communications agency and Empire Suzuki Racing will utilize the SBK sportbike exhausts on its AMA road race machines.
Led by motorcycle industry veteran Scott Goodwin, G-Force is a motorsports-oriented marketing communications agency headquartered in Orange County, Calif.
“We have developed a comprehensive communications plan that includes four-color advertisements in many of the major consumer motorcycle titles,” said Goodwin. “Combined with on-going public relations activities to the trade and consumer press, we expect to see awareness and sales of LeoVince exhausts increase dramatically in 2004.”
Empire Suzuki fields riders Lee Acree and Opie Caylor aboard Suzuki GSX-R1000s and 600s in AMA Superbike, SuperStock and Supersport competition. “Bringing in LeoVince SBK exhausts as a key sponsor of Empire Suzuki, has already made a difference,” said Noel VanVeld, Empire Suzuki team manger. “Our results at Daytona and Fontana prove that. In addition to the performance, we are very happy with the fit, finish and reliability.”
LeoVince is a division of Sito Gruppo Industriale, Monticello d’Alba, Italy, a company claiming to be the largest exhaust manufacturer in Europe.
LeoVince USA brands (www.leovince.com) include SBK for sportbikes, Silvertail for cruisers, Scoot for scooters, and X3 for off-road and ATVs, all distributed by Western Power Sports, 800/999-3388.
TR’s New ATV Catalog
Tucker Rocky says it started mailing printed copies of its new ATV catalog to dealers May 28. Haven’t received one? Check it out online at www.powersportrider.com.
The catalog features T-R’s Quad Boss and Ducks Unlimited line-ups, plus more than 2,500 new items from recently added vendors such as Fox Shox, Houser Racing, Bill’s Pipes, HMF Exhaust, IMS/Roll Design, Works Performance, Tommy Toppers, Pro Design, Quad Works, Full Bore Plastic, Dalton clutches, Benz Silent Rider and AC Racing.
“This is the largest group of new ATV products introduced at one time and it could not have been pulled off without the help of these fine suppliers and the work of TR’s Products Department,” said Glen Urquhart, Tucker’s ATV segment manager.
Oakley Renews with Ducati
Oakley, Inc. (NYSE:OO), Foothills Ranch, Calif., announced that it has extended its
existing licensing agreement with Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. for an additional three years, and has expanded the scope of the agreement to include five exclusive models Oakley eyewear.
New for 2004, Ducati and Oakley will introduce custom versions of Oakley’s Monster Dog and Zero sunglasses, and will continue to offer last year’s successful introductions of custom Juliet, Half-Jacket and Valve styles. In addition to sunglasses, Ducati and Oakley will also offer a Wisdom snow goggle for the 2004 fall season (think Alps and Dolomites, not Rome and Naples). All products covered by the agreement feature color schemes and graphic treatments consistent with Ducati products, including laser engraved lenses with Ducati trademarks.
Distribution will occur through more than 100 Oakley-owned retail locations, and through exclusive “Ducati Stores” and dealerships.
Specific terms of the deal were not released.
Oakley’s trailing-12-month revenues through March 31, 2004 totaled $537.5 million, generating net income of $39.2 million.
Former AIH Execs Start BrandEra
Three former American IronHorse marketing executives have joined forces to launch BrandEra, a marketing and public relations outfit specializing in the powersports industry.
The brainchild of Beth Owens, Oné Musel-Gilley and Reecanne Joeckel, BrandEra intends to promote brands through a mix of marketing, promotions and publicity strategies. The company founders are targeting dealers, manufacturers and parts vendors.
New clients include Rick Fairless’ Strokers Dallas, Bikers Dream of Atlanta, American Classic Cycles, Custom Hawg Parts & Accessories and Boswell Harley-Davidson.
“One of our goals is to help companies in the motorcycle industry truly own their niche in this competitive, fast-moving market space,” said Musel-Gilley. “We want to make BrandEra available as a go-to resource for everything, from helping to increase press exposure
on a new store or a new line, all the way to the ‘look and feel’ of signage or brochures, and much more.” BrandEra is based in Arlington, Texas.
Kimpex TO Move N.Y. Warehouse
Officials at powersports product distributor Kimpex say they are negotiating to move the company’s Champlain, N.Y. warehouse operations to Rotterdam, N.Y., in the Albany area.
The distributor plans to initially lease 30,000 sq. ft. of space, with an option to add an additional 10,000 sq. ft. at a later time.
Allan Keswick, national sales director, says the move would result in better service to all eastern U.S. customers. “Many more of our customers will be able to receive next day service in addition to being able to order later into the day. In addition, as the new warehouse will be 40% larger, our on hand inventory will be greatly expanded.”
Kimpex says the move of Champlain
inventory will begin as soon as the deal closes, and said dealers should see no interruption in services. An estimated 50 employees will operate the new facility. Sales, credit and support staff will continue to operate out of the Champlain location.
Continental Eyes India’s Metro Tyres Ltd.
German tire producer Continental may take a 30% stake in India’s unlisted Metro Tyres Ltd, with which it currently has a technology transfer, tire and tube sourcing arrangement. The German company is looking to expand its operations in the Indian market, according to press reports in India, which also said the deal would pave the way for greater export opportunities.
Drag Specialties goes Drag Racing
Wisconsin-based Drag Specialties has entered into a presenting sponsorship agreement with the American Harley Drag Racing Association.
The affiliation with the AHDRA joins Drag’s national-level series sponsorship of the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship.
“It’s something that we’re very excited about, another fine venue to show our belief in how racing promotes enthusiasm with the buying public — and maybe even more importantly, to demonstrate our connection to our dealers that may have an event in their area,” said Jim Matchette, national sales manager for Drag Specialties. “We’ve got multiple event trucks on the road traveling to over 40 events this year, where we can set up and showcase our product and provide hospitality for our dealers. Our goal is to drive consumers to our dealers, and this series is a great way to do that.”
Pirelli Announces
Contingency Program
Pirelli has announced that it has signed on as a contingency sponsor for the 12th annual Yamaha AMA Dealers Series of motocross races at Glen Helen Raceway Park in Devore, Calif.
The tire manufacturer is offering $5,120 per race in possible contingency payouts for each of the five races in the series, for a total of $24,850. Pirelli will pay down to fifth place in all MX classes.
Racers can find complete details and requirements on Pirelli’s U.S. Web site at www.us.pirellimoto.com.
Yuasa Earns Yamaha Award
Yuasa Battery, Inc., recently earned Yamaha’s highest award for 2003 for supplier excellence. Nobyua Hideshima, president of Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America, presented the award at Yamaha’s supplier meeting April 1. The award recognizes consistent quality, on-time delivery, and cost reductions.
Yuasa Battery, Inc., headquartered in Reading, Penn., has been manufacturing batteries in the United States for the powersports industry since 1979. For more information about Yuasa, visit www.yuasabatteries.com. psb

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