The European company that owns Salewa, Wild Country, Dynafit, and Pomoca helps Evolv continue to grow
Announced at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market yesterday, the Oberalp Group has acquired the climbing shoe brand Evolv from BRS Outdoor Holdings. This mutually beneficial transaction gives the Italian based Oberalp Group a pivotal piece in their rock climbing offerings while providing Evolv with an expanded opportunity to grow in the European and Asian markets.
“The addition of EVOLV allows us to offer a complete solution for rock climbers when paired with our WILD COUNTRY brand, an international leader in technical climbing hardware,” said Ruth Oberrauch, a member of the owner family of the Oberalp Group, explaining the acquisition of the brand.
“We only do what we understand and are enthusiastic about. And that is the mountain, even in the form of a climbing hall,” said Christoph Engl, CEO of the Oberalp Group. “Our approach is focused on one theme – mountain sports. This is why the EVOLV brand fits so well into Oberalp’s brand strategy. The acquisition of EVOLV – with a clear focus on climbing shoes and a leadership position in its segment – was a logical step.”
What this means to the U.S. Evlov team
Oberalp plans to keep the Evolv staff intact; founder and product manager Brian Chung will continue product development, brand management, and athlete supervision duties. The diverse Evolv athlete team also carries on and includes Daniel Woods, Kai Lightner, Ashima Shiraishi, Paul Robinson, Steph Davis, and Alex Johnson on the US team and many other global athletes.
“I am extremely honored and excited for EVOLV to become part of the Oberalp Group and look forward to strong global growth in the future. I have always had the highest respect for the Oberalp Group of brands for making industry-leading product and for the company’s commitment to sustainability which are values that EVOLV shares. In addition to our focus on creating the best climbing footwear, EVOLV will also continue in our mission to make a positive impact in the climbing community through our various initiatives and organizations that we support,” said Chung.
“We are excited to work with Brian and the EVOLV team to elevate the brand at home in the US and Canada, as well as abroad. With the strength and momentum of the brand paired with the value that we can add through our existing infrastructure and team, there is great potential for EVOLV as the newest member of the Oberalp house of brands,“ said Drew Saunders, General Manager of Oberalp North America.
Combining resources but maintaining the sharp focus of each involved brand bodes well for all involved. Evolv launched in 2003 and has become a force in the rock climbing world and the family-owned Oberalp Group has grown to almost 700 employees since Anton Oberrauch founded the company in 1846. This American and European fusion, of a newer rock shoe brand into a long-standing climbing centered organization, can only continue to propel Evolv and Oberalp in their upward trajectories.
“I’m going on my 13th year with Evolv and my 9th year with Salewa, and I’m psyched for this next chapter. Salewa has its roots in climbing, since 1935, and will bring a lot to the table in regards to product development and innovation. What a great way to wrap up the OR show and roll into summer!” said Kurt Smith, owner of Top Gun Sales.