Golden Viking Sports, an entity owned and headed by former Diadora America President William Nuttall, has entered into a license agreement for the North American market for the Diadora brand, switching from a subsidiary arrangement. The license follows the sale of Italy-based Diadora S.p.A. to Italian holding company LIR.
Golden Viking Sports is essentially replacing Diadora America, a former Diadora S.p.A. subsidiary, and will continue to be led by Nuttall and Diadora America's former management team and supported by the same sales force.
In an interview with Sports Executive Weekly, Nuttall suggested the transition will be seamless. “The transition from a subsidiary to a licensee will be seamless as I am still running the brand in America and I have my entire management team in place so the transition will be almost invisible,” said Nuttall. “Diadora Sport will plan their growth and entry into new categories in a very calculated way. As the soccer licensee for Diadora in America, we will focus on soccer and maintaining our #3 position in the branded soccer category.”
“This is a great opportunity for Diadora in America,” Nuttall added. “It is the best possible situation for our management team and for the U.S. soccer market, and our focus on the business will continue seamlessly into 2010.”
Going forward, Golden Viking Sports said it will focus on soccer specialty stores, full-line team dealers and general sporting goods retailers, and will retain an online presence. The company will also continue to work with club and college teams and will provide promotional and marketing initiatives and in-store support.
“As the licensee for Diadora in America, we will focus on being “the soccer specialist,” said Nuttall. “Soccer is our only business and we will continue to support and work with our soccer shops and team dealers. Our competitive advantage in a category that has leveled off is our relationship with our dealers, quality customer service, always in-stock, and the Italian styling and craftsmanship that goes into our footwear and apparel.”
New Deal Keeps Relationships Intact…
Nuttall also indicated that the resources of LIR, which is owned by the family that runs the Geox footwear brand, will help support the brand. He acknowledged Diadora has not experienced the worldwide growth the two leading soccer brands have seen.
“LIR has the financial and management resources to support and grow the business at a rapid pace,” said Nuttall. “LIR will put a plan in place that will be financially supported to grow the business in a very intelligent way.
Based in Kent, WA, Diadora America has been selling Diadora in the U.S. market since 1986.