The Amer Sports group is adjusting its business structure to create a connected devices and services category, as the Finnish sporting goods supplier is multiplying efforts to launch connected products.
The new category is covering Amer's digital services and technologies along with the former Sports Instruments division, which chiefly covers the Suunto brand. Heikki Norta, the group's chief digital officer since October 2015, was appointed as president of the new category. Mikko Moilanen, Suunto's chief executive since 2003 and a member of the Amer group's executive board, has decided to leave the company at the end of this year.
The change comes after the Amer group set a target for its digital products and services to reach sales of more than €600 million by 2020. The growth should come from the development of new digitally connected products and services; the use of a database of user profiles to push relevant products directly to consumers; and more efficient and direct interaction with consumers. All these functions are connected across the group's activities – as an example, it could suggest the purchase of Salomon apparel to a customer who just bought Atomic skis.
Connected products marketed by the Finnish company include the Wilson X connected football, with an undetectable chip collecting data that can be moved to statistics, TV or stadium infrastructure; the Suunto Spartan device; the Preva connected fitness technology integrated with Precor fitness equipment; and Sports Tracker, the tracking app, which has turned into a platform for personalized content.
At the same time, Amer has decided to integrate its entire sales organization under the global leadership of Michael White. He is currently the group's chief commercial officer and general manager for the Americas and for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and he has taken on responsibility for Asia-Pacific as a chief commercial officer as well.
Matt Gold, general manager for Asia-Pacific and member of the Amer group's executive board, will be leaving the company on Feb. 17. Christy Sports, a U.S. specialty retailer of ski and snowboard gear with more than 50 locations in Colorado, Utah and Washington, announced that Gold would be its new chief executive.
Both Norta and White are already members of the executive board. Their new positions are with immediate effect and they report directly to Heikki Takala, the group's president and chief executive.