On Running takes direct control of Spanish business
On Running, the Swiss brand specialised in performance trainers, has raised its profile in Spain. On Running entered the Spanish market seven years ago, and has since been distributed by Siker Sports, targeting select multibrand retailers. The Swiss brand, founded by Caspar Coppetti, Olivier Bernhard and David Allemann, has now decided to add Spain to the markets in which it operates directly.
The announcement was made by representatives of the Zurich-based company at a press conference held on Thursday 25 November. On January 1 2022, the expiration date of the distribution contract with Siker Sports, On Running will take control of its Spanish business. Until then, as they have been doing since September, On Running and Siker Sports will work together in order to “ensure a smooth transition.”
For its new course in Spain, On Running has created a team that is chiefly based in Barcelona, consisting for the time being of five people, including Marketing Director Antonio Melero and Sales Director Jens Ullbrich. Ullbrich is an experienced industry professional, having held various management positions in his 12 years at Adidas. He was then brand director for Spain and Portugal at Reebok, between 2009 and 2015, and strategic account director for Under Armour in France and Spain from 2016 to October 2020.
"The stock market listing has given [On Running] greater resources to integrate countries. This enables us to be closer to our clients and to implement our selective retail strategy. We don't want to be just anywhere, but only in select premium stores," said Christian Bahr, talking about the new impetus given to On Running by the NYSE listing in the autumn. Bahr has been On Running’s head of sales Europe for the past 9 years and, six months ago, he began to work on adding new countries to the brand’s portfolio. He will be in charge of On Running in Spain.
“[Spain] is a very important market, with a great deal of growth potential,” added Bahr, indicating that On Running's plans in the country mirror those that have been followed for some years in markets such as Germany, the UK and France. In these countries, On Running has local teams of 30, 15 and 12 people respectively. In Spain, the plan is to expand the team gradually and, as Melero indicated, in 2022 the brand will “focus chiefly on the running community” and will set itself the goal of “continuing Siker's work, operating clean, thriving distribution channels.”
To bolster growth, On Running has partnered with two well-known professional Spanish athletes: five-time triathlon world champion and Olympic medallist Javier Gomez Noya, and junior world triathlon champion Igor Bellido.
On Running did not give details about its “cautious revenue targets” for Spain, preferring to underline its intention to “grow sustainably” and to consolidate its presence in premium multibrand retailers. Globally, On Running achieved record sales in Q3 of the current fiscal year, generating a revenue of CHF218 million (€206 million), equivalent to a 68% rise over the same period the previous year.
On Running is present in more than 50 countries, and Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer is one of its shareholders. The company employs 880 people and commercialises its products via 8,100 retailers. The latest guidance on the brand’s year-end revenue result is CHF710 million (€673.7 million).
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