Formerly part of the Newell Brands and K2/Jarden Group portfolio, triathlon apparel and accessories brand Zoot Sports previously sat alongside a number of outdoor, and predominantly winter sport brand offerings, such as Atlas, BCA, Dalbello, Full Tilt, K2, Line, Madshus, Marker, Ride, Tubbs and Völkl.
However, in May this year, Newell Brands sold its winter sports business to private equity firm Kohlberg & Company, for US$240 million. In a separate deal, Zoot and Squadra, were sold in a separate transaction to Zoot Squad. Terms of the deal (effectively a management buy-out) were not disclosed. The Carlsbad, California-based Zoot Squad operation was founded by former Zoot Sports employees Shawn O’Shea and Dan Weatherford.
Previously part of the K2 Sports Group, Zoot Sports was founded as ‘the world’s first triathlon brand’ on Hawaii in 1983. The brand focuses on providing athletes with performance footwear, apparel, wetsuits and accessories. In the mid-90s, Zoot moved to Carlsbad, California. Inspired by the Californian way of life, a second, independent product line was born. Zoot Running footwear and apparel combines the brand’s technological expertise with relaxed surfer styling.
Zoot Squad co-owner Shawn O’Shea said, “Next year we will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of Zoot and none of that would be possible without the support of triathletes all over the world. We want to honour that in everything we do.
“We own and control every aspect of the business now. Being able to manage the process from conceptualization to production to shipping allows us to best serve the athletes. We are able to really listen to what our customers are saying and can respond to needs; turning around products faster than ever.”
O’Shea continued, “Too many brands see triathlon only as a springboard or stepping stone. We see triathlon as our family. Instead of looking for the next great thing, we are committed to our singular goal of being the best triathlon brand in the world. That is why we are so proud to be the Official Performance Apparel Sponsor of the IRONMAN World Championship, IRONMAN North America Series, and IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Series.”
Alongside a focus on triathlon and new product development within the multisport category, Zoot will also work to grow its roster of Team Zoot athletes over the next 12 months. Team Zoot currently has a roster of more than 300 athletes worldwide.
“The brand was born in Kona and the idea of family, or Ohana, is woven into our DNA,” said O’Shea. “While we have a lot of top age groupers on Team Zoot, you don’t have to podium to be on the team. You just have to be passionate, love the sport and support your fellow athletes.”