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Cannondale, GT, Mavic, SRAM product premiere – Interview with Aspire Sports Sales Director Marek Dolezal

This spring saw the announcement that Aspire Sports would be a new official distributor for the Cannondale, GT, Mavic and SRAM brands. We reported about the news on this site. August 2018 saw the first dealer meeting where the 2019 products were introduced to the shop managers and dealers from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The product premiere had a great success, and we were fortunate to have been invited for the occasion. In the course of this well-organized official event, the magazine staff had the chance to try out next year’s novelties from the prestigious brands Aspire Sports carries, and we were also been able to talk to the sales director of the new Czech distributor, Marek Dolezal.

Similarly to major distributors and manufacturers, Aspire Sports decided to forego showcasing its range of product to various exhibitions, instead they organized a full week-long dedicated dealer gathering. This provided the company a much better opportunity to communicate with the distributors, shop people and — in our case – with the media. This rather effective event also provided the opportunity not only to see and touch the new products, but also to try them out during the prearranged rides. This way dealers are not blindly ordering from the catalog, as they will also have some riding experience to pass on to the consumer. This is something which is not readily available at conventional trade shows.

We journalists also love these events, as we get to learn more about the brands and their new product lineup, and we are provided with added information then those contained in the shiny catalogs or simply admiring the novelties behind glass doors. Testing the products is a great bonus, and we can pass on what we learn to our readers.

It’s also quite strange to see the complete range of such prestigious brands all in one place. We could not only ride the new 2019 bikes from Cannondale and GT, but compare merits and shortcomings across these major brands. So now we know the strength and weaknesses in each category, from the new top-of-the-range aero System Six road bike to the F-Si model equipped with the new Lefty Ocho fork. We had the opportunity to test a lot of bikes, even rarely seen models like the Cujo 130 e-MTB.

Images of some of the bike tested:

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We got a glimpse of more than just the new bikes, parts and accessories. We also had the chance to meet the staff of Aspire Sports, we learned a lot about a Czech company and their business plans concerning the Hungarian market. We know all too well that our market is relatively tiny compared to the Polish, Czech and Slovak counterparts, but the representatives of the company are optimistic about the possibilities. We talked in great length about this topic with the company’s sales director, Marek Dolezal, which we’d like to share with you now.

What are your goals in Hungary?

We don’t define our goals in term of sales. That’s not our main focus. We want to build proper dealer network for Cannondale, GT, Mavic and SRAM. Group of dealers, who will provide very good level of service and sales support to customers. We also want to improve bikes and parts availability for customers. Focus on improved spare parts availability, customer care, warranty service etc. We want to do good job, profit come later.

Why you decided to enter Hungary?

After discussions with most brands we sell, we have come to the conclusion that extended distribution in Hungary might reinforce our partnership and we can easily use and leverage benefits we have. If we stock thousands of bicycles and parts, we can easily deliver them to Hungary, without significant extra costs. We belive that Hungarian dealers and consumers can profit from Aspire’s distribution. Anyway, Brno (the city where we have headquarter) is just slightly more than 300km distant from Budapest. We are quite close.

How can consumers benefit from Aspire’s distribution?

They will benefit from wider product availability on the sales floor, improved warranty and technical services.

How can dealers benefit from co-operation from you?

Dealers can benefit from improved goods availability, we have strong inventory available within days in Brno. No minimal in season orders needed. We can provide better payment conditions. We support the brands awareness – we invest into it. Plan dealers technical trainings.

What you have done business wise in Hungary so far?

Since April 2018, where we started we have done quite a lot. We hired Hungarian Country manager – János Kanász, experienced bicycle expert with history in the industry. We have fully translated B2B interface into HU language. We have co-operation with BikeMag to promote the brands. Attractive business conditions and prices. First group of Hungarian dealers visited our sales show in CZ and were very happy from what they could see.

Can you tell us something about your company?

Aspire sports was established in 1996. It is private owned company. Based in Brno, CZ. Distributing brands like Cannondale, GT, New Balance, Uvex, Maxxis, Merrell, SRAM, Mavic, Osprey.WE are present in CZ, SK, HU and Poland. Employ around 50 people.

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