Briko, which specializes in clothing, helmets and eyewear for snow sports and cycling, is reviewing its collections in an effort to relaunch itself. The Italian brand was bought by B Holding last year.
B Holding is a diversified conglomerate owned by the family of its chairman, Carlo Boroli, which is involved in wineries and publishing. It bought the Briko brand along with the client portfolio and created a new company that focuses on research and development, marketing, and customer care, while logistics, distribution and production are outsourced. Manufacturing is carried in Italy, the Mediterranean basin and the Far East.
The new streamlined Briko started operating in September of last year, and booked sales of €4 million in 2008. It forecasts revenues to reach about €8 million in 2009 and around €10 million in 2010. The company’s strategy is to cover all client segments from children to professional athletes.
Helmets represent 30 percent of revenues, eyewear and ski goggles 30 percent and sportswear 40 percent. Boroli estimates that all three lines of products offer strong growth potential but the company’s aim is to evenly balance revenues between its winter and summer collections. Currently, winter products represent 65 percent of sales, and summer collections, mostly represented by cycling, the remaining 35 percent.
Briko sells in 60 countries but the top five markets represent about 90 percent of sales, with Italy totaling 60 percent of overall revenues. The group has a direct presence in Italy, France, Austria and Germany, where it operates a network of agents. In the U.S., Briko has completed the creation of a network of agents for its skiing products, already starting to sell the 2009-10 collection. A U.S. sales team for cycling equipment is scheduled to be set up this summer. For the remaining markets, Briko relies on importers and distributors.
In April, Briko hired Paolo Bettini, a road specialist and winner of a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games and of two world championships in 2006 and 2007, to design and endorse a line called Briko by Paolo Bettini.
The company will launch five lines of cycling sportswear next year, including the Paolo Bettini collection, that will be positioned in different price segments and all bear the Briko brand name, effectively putting an end to the company’s Katana brand. One line will be dedicated to mountain biking.
The collections will be unveiled in September at the Eurobike show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and InterBike in Las Vegas, and will be available in the stores in the spring. Briko intends to have matching lines in clothing, helmets and eyewear to offer a “total look” with a strong focus on design.
The 2010 winter collections will be presented at the Ispo and Denver exhibitions and will comprise three completely new skiing apparel collections under the Briko brand covering different price segments as well as a collection of top and bottom overlayers. The group’s Beitostolen brand will survive as a top-end line for cross-skiing. The winter helmet, goggle and eyewear collections will be reviewed along the same pattern.
Briko is focusing on a few high-profile endorsements with athletes who are also expected to take part in product development. The company has the endorsement of the skiers Bode Miller, Benjamin Raich, Peter Fill and Pietro Piller Cottrer.
Briko spends about 90 percent of its promotion budget on field initiatives and the remainder on advertising in the press. The company is also seeking cooperation deals with complementary premium brands to organize joint marketing and distribution initiatives in Italy and abroad in both cycling and snow sports.
B Holding is monitoring the market for further acquisitions in the sporting goods sector in Italy and abroad, and is ready to join forces with other investors if necessary. It does not exclude buying into a company with manufacturing activities. However, any potential acquisition has to offer synergies with its existing operations.