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Heeling Sports Limited Purchases Soap Brand
Business Wire - Oct 23, 2002
Original "Grinding" Shoe Joins Heelys and Axis Skating Shoe Brands Under HSL Umbrella
Heeling Sports Limited announces it has inked a deal to take over the Soap brand of "grinding" shoes, completing a trifecta of premium skating and aggressive sport shoes that also includes the popular Heelys and Axis brands.
The purchase agreement was signed September 25, according to Heeling Sports Limited CEO Mike Staffaroni.
"We have tremendous synergy with Soap, both in terms of who our consumer is and what we do as a company," said Mr. Staffaroni. "There is a great deal of interest in the sport of grinding and significant equity in the Soap name and we believe we can restore the brand to its full potential, both nationally and internationally."
The Soap brand, almost synonymous with grinding (also known as "soaping"), has suffered from neglect of late. Soap had not come out with any new styles since back-to-school 2001 and both domestic and international sales had suffered.
HSL plans to introduce its first Soap line for February 2003. The new line will include some classic styles and favorite technology, but will also feature faster, more durable grind plates and new upper and outsole styling. New aesthetics and technology will continue to evolve from there.
Heeling Sports is also putting back together the core of the popular "Team Soap" based in California. The team will travel from city to city, performing with the Soap brand at events and demonstrating the sport of grinding in support of retailers.
"There is a new generation of consumers that has not been exposed to the fun and excitement of grinding," said Mr. Staffaroni. "With the increased national and international interest in extreme sports and all things skating-related, along with new Soap styles and technology, we believe grinding is positioned for a real resurgence."
Dallas-based Heeling Sports Limited burst onto the skate scene in late 2000 with the wildly successful Heelys skate-shoes, the patented wheel-in-the-heel shoe which gave rise to the sport of "heeling." In 2002, it introduced Axis, its patent-pending skateboard shoes with "Air-Shocks" technology, and ventured into the sport of grinding with its Heelys-branded "Grail" shoe, which integrates heeling and grinding.
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