Diamondback Fitness, LifeCore Fitness join forces

Raleigh America's Diamondback brand has licensed off its fitness division operations to LifeCore Fitness, which will merge sales, warehouse and customer service departments in California.

Raleigh America’s Diamondback brand has licensed off its fitness division operations to LifeCore Fitness to focus more on its bicycle business.

The deal gives LifeCore Fitness an exclusive global licensing agreement to operate the Diamondback Fitness brand, although ownership remains with Raleigh. The two fitness companies, which both make indoor bikes and ellipticals, will continue to have independent distribution, product development and marketing strategies, but will work together in LifeCore’s Vista, Calif., headquarters and merge its sales, warehouse and customer service departments. The combined operation will employ 12 people. Representatives from both companies told SNEWS three or four employees would not make the transition from Kent, Wash., to Vista, Calif.

“It’s not a blending of the brands,” LifeCore President Roger Bates emphasized. “It’s two brands with two different market positions. We want to keep that going forward as both brands have been successful operating this way.”

Brian Davidson, formerly the general manager of Diamondback Fitness and now the director of global sales and marketing for LifeCore Fitness, said this will better serve the specialty dealer and they shouldn’t expect to see any changes at all, especially in pricing, programs and product offerings.

“Two great fitness brands have come together under one operating structure to really serve the specialty dealer market,” Davidson said. “Our dealers should feel and experience the consistency as the two brands come together.”

Davidson said Raleigh has decided to focus its energy on the increasingly growing bicycle business and wanted to find another fitness company to license the Diamondback Fitness division. While the company looked at other companies, it decided on LifeCore Fitness because of conversations Davidson had with LifeCore’s Bates.

“I’m a 27-year fitness guy and we looked for companies we thought would be complementary and have a lot of the same business practices and philosophies,” Davidson said. “Roger and I talked about that and there was a combined interest as he was looking for ways to grow the LifeCore globalization.”

Benefits, Bates said, include offering Diamondback customers some of LifeCore’s proven customer service, and giving LifeCore access to Diamondback’s Asian vendors and sourcing opportunities. Plus, the popularity of cycling has caused Diamondback to be a common name out there, and this new partnership could also lead to higher exposure for the LifeCore brand.

The feedback from dealers, Bates said, has been positive.

“The underlying message to our dealers is they should feel it’s business as usual,” Davidson added. “Our No. 1 objective is to make our dealers comfortable and make this a very transparent transition as the companies come together.

Ray Chodorowski, owner of California Home Fitness, said he doesn’t have any concerns. He’s a dealer of products from both companies.

“We’re a LifeCore and Diamondback dealer so it’s the perfect fit. It’s going to be a lot easier for us since we carry both product lines,” he said. “I’m happy for the guys over at LifeCore.”

–Ana Trujillo