Five Ten restructures, moves European office to Adidas HQ

Five Ten is moving its European sales and marketing office from Belgium to Adidas Group headquarters in Germany. Read on for an exclusive interview with Adidas Senior Vice President Rolf Reinschmidt.
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Climbing and biking footwear brand Five Ten is moving its European sales and marketing office to its parent Adidas Group headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, SNEWS has learned.

Five Ten, which was acquired by Adidas for more than $25 million late last year, will transition from its current European office in Brussels, Belgium, opening its new office in Germany on Aug. 1, Adidas Senior Vice President Rolf Reinschmidt told SNEWS.

He said the seven employees in Belgium, for various reasons, will not make the move to Germany, so the company is hiring seven new employees. Five Ten will continue to work with its existing European agency partners, he said.

Jeremie Blondel, a former lifestyle and kids unit director at Reebok, will lead the new office as Five Ten’s European sales directior. Christoph Bösl, previously with Five Ten’s Munich-based sales agency, has been hired as the brand’s Europe senior marketing manager. Michael Fussing Clausen, who worked for Adidas’ finance department, will lead Five Ten’s Europe finance and accounting. Ivo Ninov, a Five Ten icon for his wing suit flying, will continue with the Europe team as senior sports marketing and event manager.

The full transition to Germany will take about six months, with Five Ten Europe customer service remaining in Belgium until January 2013, Reinschmidt said. When it does move to Germany, Suzana Savic will serve as customer service team leader and Melanie Mezel will be a customer service specialist.

Reinschmidt said the move is efficient for the company and brand, but stressed that the European Five Ten office will keep its independence from Adidas. Overall strategic direction and management will continue to come from Five Ten’s U.S. headquarters in Redlands, Calif.

“Charles Cole [Five Ten’s president] sits in Redlands and he sets the direction,” Reinschmidt said. The European team will report back to Cole and the U.S. team largely on the demand and trends coming out of Europe, to make sure the product is relevant for the European consumer. At the moment, Reinschmidt said, European consumers are showing strong demand for Five Ten’s biking footwear. Despite Europe’s economic troubles, demand for Five Ten product there has remained high, he said.

“In the past, retailers haven’t gotten all the product they’ve asked for,” Reinschmidt said. “That’s one of the ways Adidas is helping Five Ten, with its supply chain. Now, those issues are being resolved and there is fast delivery. We want to keep Five Ten independent, but wherever there are synergies that make sense for us to share our potential, such as with supply chain, we will.”

Reinschmidt, who spoke to SNEWS from the European OutDoor trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, said his sense was that the industry was holding up in Europe.

“I would not say the growth times for outdoor is over,” he said, “but it is being regulated, mostly because of the bad [warm] winter.”

--David Clucas

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