HEAD Wintersports Comes Back Home to the Rockies

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 9, 2012 10:04 am

HEAD USA has made some significant moves in professional sports over the past couple years, most notably in their emphasis on ski equipment. While the company’s Winter Division is currently headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, the President and CEO of the company, Kevin Kempin, recently made the announcement that they would be relocating their facility to Boulder, Colorado.

The brand which spans across racquets, diving and winter sports touts some of the industry’s most innovative equipment offerings and has some of the world’s top athletes using their gear. The most exciting part? These athletes win. HEAD has long been a name synonymous with professional tennis and they’ve partnered with some of the best. Leaders of the sport that go by the names Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray Victoria Azarenka, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf all swing HEAD racquets. When approaching this recent resurgence of their Wintersports Division they’ve undergone the same philosophy, and assembled an equally impressive roster of athletes hitting the slopes on HEAD skis. World champions such as Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Ted Ligety absolutely tear it up in the competitive World Cup and Olympic skiing scene on their HEAD supported equipment. And as the times change, so does HEAD Wintersports, shown by the latest addition of freeskiing sensation Simon Dumont, who can now refer to himself as an Olympic-hopeful hanks to the inclusion of freeski halfpipe in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The driving force of these relationships is the symbiotic relationship HEAD creates between its athletes and their product. The ultimate goal being the progression and evolution of the sport.

The renewed brand momentum is a key impetus for the move. Kempin said, “The move to Colorado will help us build on our recent sales growth. At the same time, we are returning to our former home and it feels great. This will allow us to focus on more U.S.-based product development and to hone in on the ideal pricing, performance, and design for the birth country of our brand. The line is now largely designed here in the U.S., and with the support of our world-class American athletes , we’re poised for aggressive growth. This move to Colorado allows us to expand our offices and puts us back in the middle of snow country.”

Not only will HEAD have a presence in a region where a majority of the industry’s top athletes reside, but some of the most active and loyal customer-base frequent the Colorado Rockies each year.

“The move to Boulder, Colorado is going to be terrific for the brand!”, stated David Ingemie, President of SnowSports Industry America (SIA). “This is where head originally planted it roots and initiated the culture of their Winter Sports Division.”

Jon Rucker, Vice President Sales & Marketing/Wintersports commented, “Choosing Boulder as our new home simply made sense. For over a year, we toured numerous potential locales, but kept coming back to Boulder. Colorado boasts 20% of all U.S. skier visits and with the presence of major resorts and retailers in the state, we knew it was the place to be. Additionally, our ability to be on snow virtually year round testing and refining product, along with the chance to host our retail partners in our new location will prove invaluable. The move from sea level to over a mile high is symbolic of our future growth.”

This move of course, could not have happened without the recent explosion of sales growth within the company’s snow sports efforts, which is all thanks to an equally committed organization. HEAD treats its staff in the same fashion as its athletes; by identifiing key individuals and providing them with the resources they need for success. President and CEO of HEAD USA, Kevin Kempin, began his focus on the tennis side of the business to rise up as a captain of the industry. But as a passionate skier, Kempin took his love of mountain sports and applied it to become a captain of the ski industry as well! Kempin is responsible for the rise of HEAD WinterSports, but cannot take all the credit — as he is backed by some of the best in the business.

Kevin Kempin explains the significance of the team they’ve assembled for the Winter Division, “The biggest reason for the incredible resurgence of the HEAD Winter brand has been the passionate people we’ve brought aboard.  They’re knowledge, passionate about the sport, grew up on the snow, and love the heritage of the HEAD brand launched right here in the U.S.  Jon Rucker, our VP of Sales/Marketing, has held key positions within the winter sports industry and is a marketing dynamo.  He is tied in closely with the resorts, instructors, and key influencers.  His creativity and fresh approach have helped HEAD stand out above the crowd these last two seasons.  Andrew Couperthwait (“Coup”), our Sr. Business Manager, is a product guru.  He has been a long time and greatly admired expert in the industry and his knowledge of product, performance, and consumer needs is unparalleled.  He and Jon, in collaboration with our industry leading engineers in Austria, have created a line targeted perfectly for the U.S. consumer.  On top of that all the ski/board designs/graphics were created right here in the U.S. in conjunction with some of America’s greatest designers”.

After relocating their Winter Sales and Marketing staffs this upcoming summer, HEAD will move their Finance and Logistics team later in the year. One thing is for sure; it is going to be an exciting year for HEAD’s Winter Division and the community of Boulder, Colorado. Ever since Howard Head constructed the first metal skis in 1950 HEAD USA has been a driving force in the ski industry and will continue to push the boundaries even further thanks to its new location in the heart of ski country.