By Neil Pascale
One of the developers of the Icon apparel and helmet brand has left that brand to pursue a new challenge with an emerging, dealer-direct brand.
Phil Davy, the former brand manager for Icon, has become general manager of a protective safety gear company called Leatt Corp. The Valencia, Calif.-based company was started in 2002 when Dr. Chris Leatt worked with a team of physicians, surgeons and biomedical engineers to create a neck brace.
Davy will oversee the marketing of Leatt products, development of new products and the establishment of dealer direct sales.
“I wanted an opportunity to create something of my own in a way of a sales force, a marketing strategy and fulfillment opportunities and all those things,” Davy said in an interview with
Powersports Business. “That’s what Leatt brought to me and gave me as an opportunity.”
Davy, who became the first full-time employee with Icon in 2002, said he left the LeMans Corp. house brand on good terms.
“They gave me and certainly Kurt Walter, the Icon designer, a grand opportunity,” he said. “They let us do what we wanted and use LeMans as a resource to create the brand.
“When we created Icon in 2002, it was like nothing else in the marketplace and that’s a very, very rare event in the motorcycle industry today. Usually somebody says you can create something new, as long as it’s in the image of something that’s already out there that has been successful. Yeah, that’s a good recipe for success but it limits creativity, and LeMans did not limit creativity.”
Among Davy’s first major projects at Leatt will be building a national outside sales force. Even with Davy’s background and having worked so closely with distributors, he sees positives to going dealer-direct.
“Although (Leatt’s protective gear) sells quite well and we have a lot of background to that, it has a tendency to get lost in some of the big distributors,” he said.
“The other thing is it’s a very technical product and it’s a growing product category and I really believe that trained reps that can walk into a dealership and tell them how to sell it is critical.”
Davy is hoping by spring to have 50 people on the road selling Leatt’s products. Davy says he’ll be looking for sales reps that are established and currently have one or two other brands they’re selling as well. “Quality people that have been in their territory for a long time and understand how focus can sell more product sometimes than having a thousand brands to sell,” he said.
Those reps will be selling a product line that will be increasing in size in 2010.
“There are a whole lot of things that are going to happen with the Leatt brand, both within the powersports industry and a lot of work we’re doing outside of the powersports industry,” Davy said.
Copyright 2009 Powersports Business