K2 SPORTS announced the appointment of Robert “Bernie” Bernthal as brand director for the European market. Bernthal will work out of K2 SPORTS’ European headquarters in Penzburg, Germany.

Bernthal, a staple in Europe’s youth and trend sports marketing scene for more than 20 years, most recently lived in Encinitas, California, pursuing the surf lifestyle. Born in America, he is fluent in French and Swiss-German, and has done a little bit of everything promoting mainstream and fringe sports around the globe. Most recently he developed, marketed and toured the world with the first portable wave simulator. The Wave Tour was sponsored by Siemens Mobile and featured top board sport legends Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater and Terje Haakonsen.

Prior to Siemens, Bernthal worked as International Youth Marketing Director for Swatch, based in Switzerland. While there he developed one of the world’s dominant pro-athlete teams with Shaun Palmer, Tony Hawk, Conan Hayes and Michael Johnson. He also conceived and implemented Swatch’s Boarder-X Tour, Biker-X World Cup, and Swatch-sponsored snowparks in the U.S. and Europe.

“K2 and its brands have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember” said Bernthal. “The company historically is dedicated to building the best tools for adrenaline-fueled outdoor sports. I’m anxious to help K2 SPORTS achieve its full potential in the European market and intend to hit it hard and make things happen.”

Bernie moved to Europe in 1979 and became the first U.S.-born soccer player to play professionally in France. Following his soccer career he moved to the legendary alpine village of Verbier to climb and telemark ski.

“K2 SPORTS and Bernie are a perfect match,” said Anthony DeRocco, K2’s vice president of Global Marketing. “He’s an authentic participant in all the sports he promotes, he’s unorthodox and he knows better than anyone how to connect sports brands with the youth market that drives our industry. We are thrilled to have him as a part of the K2 SPORTS Team.”