Starting January 1, 2010, Völkl and Marker will end their long relationship with Tecnica and begin collaborating with Dalbello. The international agreement will focus initially on joint distribution in several major markets. The brands will also work together in R&D, product development, marketing and promotion.
Calzaturificio Dal Bello s.r.l., still run by founder Alessandro Dal Bello, has been building ski boots for 35 years. The brand has developed a reputation for quality freeski boots and has seen unusual success here in Chamonix due in part to Glen Plake’s influence on the brand as well as big support from the crew at Falline Bootfitters Extraordinaire.
Kai Palkeinen of Fallline told us, “Dalbello has been making a great product for years. The partnership, as far as it stands now, is primarily at a distribution level. I think that there will be a few speed bumps along the way but not anything that will have a major impact at a consumer level. At the end of the day, Dalbello makes a great product that fits and skis well. That’s not going to change. Moving forward, I only see the potential for good things. Brand awareness, R&D and being aligned with a major player in the ski world will only open doors for both brands. Let’s wait and see.”
It’s important to note that Dalbello have not been bought by Völkl, K2 Sports or Jarden Corp. Dalbello remains independently owned.
The deal will happen as Völkl and Tecnica’s current distribution agreement ends at the end of 2009 and the Tecnica Group will bundle its distribution with an unnamed ski brand. Hmmm, seeing as how Tecnica owns both Nordica and Blizzard, it’s a pretty safe bet that the unnamed ski brand won’t be Atomic.
In any case, those who care about little more than when the next dump will hit and how deep it will be will see very little difference, except perhaps for an increased Dalbello presence as it steps up for a ride on Völkl’s powerful marketing machine.