Ritchey Design Inc. Chooses SOAR Communications to Manage its U.S.A. Public Relations Efforts

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SAN CARLOS, Calif. – Nov. 28, 2007 - Ritchey Design Inc., founded by mountain bike pioneer Tom Ritchey, today announced that it has hired SOAR Communications to manage its public relations efforts in the United States.

Under terms of the agreement, SOAR Communications, a full-service marketing communications agency, will provide Ritchey with public relations and marketing communications services and products to promote its business efforts under a 12-month contract that came into effect on Nov. 1, 2007.

Following several years of continued sales growth through its original equipment manufacturers, distributors and independent bicycle retail partners, as well as enjoying strong brand recognition with cycling enthusiasts, Ritchey Design’s management felt they were not reaching their full market potential. Hence, Ritchey Design hired SOAR Communications, a Utah-based full-service strategic marketing communications agency focused on the sports, outdoor, athletics, recreation and sporting goods industries, to help with its U.S. public relations efforts and Web 2.0 online marketing efforts.

“We have strong brand momentum now, thanks to our wholesale and retail partners,” said Steve Parke, Ritchey Design USA’s general manager and vice president of marketing. “We want to continue that momentum, so for the first time in many years we are hiring an outside agency to give us a fresh perspective. SOAR’s credentials within the bicycle industry are solid, and I am impressed with their knowledge and experience communicating to a wider audience.”

SOAR Communications currently represents multiple companies and corporations within the cycling industry, including the Interbike OutDoor Demo and International Bicycle Expo, Delta 7 Sports, Blackbottoms Cycle Wear, Slipstreamz and non-profit organizations Bikes for Kids Utah and Trips for Kids. Chip Smith is the president of SOAR Communications and previously spent 10 years with bicycle industry leaders Shimano and Specialized in various marketing communication and sales positions before joining SOAR in 2005.

“Ritchey Design has a great history and offers very smart, well-designed products,” Smith said. “We are looking forward to working very closely with everyone at Ritchey to continue that successful history using a smart, well-thought out public relations strategy.”

Ritchey Design was established in 1974 by Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee Tom Ritchey. Prior to forming the company, Ritchey was an accomplished road racer and earned a spot on the U.S. National Junior’s Team where he competed at the 1974 Junior’s World Championships in Warsaw, Poland. In order to have the best equipment, Ritchey began designing and building his own bikes when he was 15-years-old. Ritchey was also one of Northern California’s pioneers of mountain biking in the early 1980s. During this time he experienced the design deficiencies of products on the market and began his product development career refining existing products, as well as developing completely new products under the Ritchey Mountain Bikes brand name, later to become Ritchey Design.

Tom Ritchey is president and lead product designer at Ritchey Design. The company currently has four offices, with corporate headquarters in Sparks, Nevada, a sales and warranty office in San Carlos, California, an international sales office in Lugano, Switzerland, and a manufacturing / product development liaison office in Taichung, Taiwan.

SOAR Communications is a leading sports marketing communications agency founded by David Politis, who also heads Politis Communications (a long-time strategic communications and public relations agency focused on serving technology clients). Capitalizing on his experience in the high-tech industry, Politis formed SOAR Communications as a subsidiary of POLITIS, LLC in 2004 to provide marketing communications services to the sports, outdoor, athletics and recreation industries, thus the acronym S-O-A-R. In addition to its clients in the cycling industry, SOAR Communications also provides marketing services to the Health+Fitness Business Expo, Redwood Parks Lodge Company and RIM Hospitality, to name a few.

For more information about Ritchey Designs, please visit www.ritcheylogic.com and for information about SOAR Communications, please visit www.soarcomm.com.


About Ritchey Design, Inc.

Northern California-based Ritchey Design was founded by mountain bike pioneer and product innovator Tom Ritchey in 1974. The company is well-known for its attention to detail during the product design phase, resulting in high-quality, reasonably priced road and mountain bike components. Under its Fit Logic philosophy, Ritchey Designs offers a wide range of “cockpit” components (handlebars, stems and seatpost) that help riders custom fit their bikes for a more efficient, comfortable, and enjoyable ride. Ritchey Designs also offers a complete line of innovative products ranging from headsets to tires for professional racers and the serious weekend rider, as well as its line of “Break-Away” travel bicycles for adventure driven cyclists. For more information about Ritchey Designs, please visit www.ritcheylogic.com.

About SOAR Communications
Utah-based SOAR Communications (www.soarcomm.com) is an innovative strategic marketing communications agency focused on the sports, outdoor, athletics and recreation industries. A subsidiary of POLITIS, LLC, SOAR Communications was formed in 2004 and provides its clients with a variety of communications disciplines including advertising, collateral development, database-marketing, graphic/web design, public/media relations, internet marketing, investor/financial/analyst relations and sales support programs.

source: csmith@soarcomm.com

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