Commercial spots are running for the Diadora and Geox brands on Italian television in connection with the current World Cup, and the two brands are working together in other areas. While announcing a new waterproof technology that is being applied to Geox’ street shoes, called Amphiobiox, the company’s management said earlier this month that it is studying the terms of a possible licensing deal with Diadora for its adoption of the Nest technology introduced by Geox a couple of years ago to support the launch of its own first line of athletic footwear.
While declining to comment on further synergies with Diadora, they indicated that Geox is going to drop out for the time being of the sports shoe sector except for the golf segment, where its sales of its Nest-fitted Geox branded shoes have reached annual sales of about 80,000 pairs. New products may be launched next year under the Geox brand name in the sports-casual segment, however.
With Geox trading publicly on the stock exchange, the official position is that Diadora and Geox remain distinctly run companies, although they are both controlled by the family of Mario Moretti Polegato, the Italian wine maker near Montebelluna. He appointed his son Enrico as chairman of Diadora after acquiring more than 70 percent of its shares a year ago, working with two former high-caliber managers of Geox.
Diadora held its international sales meeting on June 8 and 9 at the magnificent Villa Sandi, which is owned by the Moretti Polegato family and is often used by Geox for a variety of special events. Diadora presented its collection for spring/summer 2011 there, but company officials denied a report that it has been designed in collaboration with Geox.
They stressed that none of the products in Diadora’s spring/summer 2011 range feature Geox’ Nest technology or its new Amphibiox technology; which is said to be making the shoe completely waterproof and breathable. It features a micro-porous membrane that clings to the inside of the upper, and it in turn is fused to the rubber sole, which also “breathes.” The shoes protect the feet from wet conditions but allow moisture inside to evaporate. The first Amphibiox lines are for men, and will be available for the fall/winter season in selected markets such as those of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (more on this in Shoe Intelligence).
The participants in Diadora’s international sales meeting included some new distributors of Diadora including PSK Sport, which is now selling the brand in Spain and Portugal, replacing a former sales subsidiary. The Iberian operation is led by David Matamoros, who acted as brand manager of Mizuno for its Spanish distributor, Vilella Sports, between 2000 and 2009. Another company, Contorn, will continue to distribute Diadora shoes for cycling and triathlon in Spain.
The distribution of Diadora in Germany and Austria has been assigned to Sport Outsourcing (SO), the company run by Roland Wagner that takes care also of Elan, Alpina, Original Buff and other lines including most recently MGM’s Fila inline and ice skates (see news brief further below). Diadora has had several different distributors and agents in Germany and Austria after the shutdown of its German sales subsidiary in 2003.
Other distribution changes could not be learnt for the moment. Officials said the brand is currently distributed in 63 different countries.