The Oberalp Group, which owns Salewa, Dynafit, Pomoca and Wild Country, has acquired Evolv, the American climbing shoe brand, from BRS Outdoor Holdings, an investment platform of BRS & Co.
“The addition of Evolv allows us to offer a complete solution for rock climbers when paired with our Wild Country brand, an international leader in technical climbing hardware,” said Ruth Oberrauch, a member of the owner family of the Oberalp Group, explaining the acquisition of the brand.
With five brands focused sharply on mountain sports, Oberalp continues to position itself clearly in the broader outdoor market.
“We only do what we understand and are enthusiastic about. And that is the mountain, even in the form of a climbing hall,” said Christoph Engl, CEO of the Oberalp Group. “Our approach is focused on one theme – mountain sports. This is why the Evolv brand fits so well into Oberalp’s brand strategy. The acquisition of Evolv – with a clear focus on climbing shoes and a leadership position in its segment – was a logical step.”
Oberalp plans to invest in the Evolv brand for growth in its home markets of the US and Canada—and to use the strength of Oberalp’s international distribution to grow the brand in Europe and Asia.
Evolv’s technical climbing shoes and performance lifestyle products with a youthful, diverse, urban brand positioning set it up well for global growth, especially in the indoor climbing gym network that is expanding worldwide. With climbing set to become a new discipline in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the sport will continue to gain more exposure around the world.
Evolv will remain headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. The brand was founded in 2003 by Brian Chung. As the founder and long-time product manager, Chung will remain with the brand in L.A. and continue to play a crucial role in product and brand management. Chung will also continue to oversee Evolv’s athlete team. The brand boasts a strong and diverse group of athletes, including Daniel Woods, Kai Lightner, Ashima Shiraishi, Paul Robinson, Steph Davis, and Alex Johnson on the U.S. team and many other global athletes.
“I am extremely honored and excited for Evolv to become part of the Oberalp Group and look forward to strong global growth in the future,” Chung said. “I have always had the highest respect for the Oberalp Group of brands for making industry-leading product and for the company’s commitment to sustainability which are values that Evolv shares. In addition to our focus on creating the best climbing footwear, Evolv will also continue in our mission to make a positive impact in the climbing community through our various initiatives and organizations that we support.
“We are excited to work with Brian and the Evolv team to elevate the brand at home in the U.S. and Canada, as well as abroad,” said Drew Saunders, general manager of Oberalp North America. “With the strength and momentum of the brand paired with the value that we can add through our existing infrastructure and team, there is great potential for Evolv as the newest member of the Oberalp house of brands.”
Photos courtesy Evolv