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DAYTON, OHIO – APRIL 4, 2018
The Wright Brothers USA, the commercial arm of The Wright Brothers Family Foundation, today announced the launch of a licensing program that will allow manufacturers to use the name of The Wright Brothers on select bicycles, equipment and accessories, as well as bicycle-related businesses like cycle shops and touring companies.
This announcement follows the late-2017 launch of two Wright-inspired bicycles, the St. Clair™ 1896 and the Van Cleve™ 1896, which are built to order with modern-day specifications and sold exclusively through The Wright Brothers USA’s website.
“Our bikes invoke the Wrights’ indomitable spirit of innovation, persistence, and pursuit of perfection,” explained Kenneth Botts, president. “They’re limited editions, built in the same Dayton city block where the brothers conducted the bike shop business that funded the invention of the airplane.”
History buffs and cycling aficionados know that Wilbur and Orville Wright operated a number of bike shops in Dayton, from which they produced their own models of bicycles and ultimately went from wheels to wings.
The original St. Clair bicycle was named for Arthur St. Clair, the first president of the Northwest Territory of the United States, comprised of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Today’s version is handmade of Reynolds 725 tubing, with a Shimano Alfine 8 internal hub and SRAM Avid BB5 disc brakes. It sells for $3,950.
The Van Cleve model harkens back to the Wrights’ top-of-the-line build and pays homage to their mother’s ancestors the Van Cleves, some of Dayton’s earliest settlers. The $4,750 bike features Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal rear hub, TRP Spyre brakes, and Gates Carbon Drive CDX belt.
Summarized Botts: “Building on the success of our made-in-the-U.S.A. St. Clair and Van Cleve bicycles, we are seeking licensing partners in the bike industry who see the appeal of the Wright brothers’ near-universal name recognition, and appreciate its connection with history, quality manufacturing, and integrity.”
Previously, The Wright Brothers USA has forged successful partnerships with Detroit-based Shinola and UK-timepiece-maker Bremont Watch Company. The Shinola project involved production of 25 co-branded bicycles and 1,000 watches, all of which sold out. Similarly, the Bremont collaborative, 450 high-end watches that incorporated a small swatch of the original wing cloth from the 1903 Wright Flyer I, also sold out.
Proceeds from licensing ventures fund the work of The Wright Brothers Family Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the Wright brothers’ legacy worldwide. Its initiatives include maintenance and programming of Hawthorn Hill (the Wright brothers’ success mansion), restoration of the original Wright Company buildings (the first U.S. airplane factory) and preservation of aviation history around the globe.
To learn more about The Wright Brothers brand story, and discuss licensing opportunities, please email KenB@TheWrightBrothersUSA.com.
About The Wright Brothers USA
The Wright Brothers USA is the exclusive global licensor for The Wright Brothers trademark, which is owned by The Wright Brothers Family Foundation. Appointment of The Wright Brothers USA marked the first time the foundation had commissioned an agency to create, develop and build a brand around commercial products and services bearing the brothers’ famous name. Founding partners Kenneth Botts and Doug Knopp lead the company, which is based in Dayton, OH, the birthplace of aviation. A portion of all licensing royalties goes directly to The Wright Brothers Family Foundation. For more information, go to thewrightbrothersusa.com.
About The Wright Brothers Family Foundation
The Wright Brothers Family Foundation supports the preservation of aviation history related to Orville and Wilbur Wright by funding research and publication of aviation history, scholarships for studies in the fields of aviation and aeronautics, educational programming, the restoration and display of aviation artifacts, and landmarks and memorials related to the Wright brothers’ story. Established at The Dayton Foundation by Wilkinson Wright, the Wright brothers’ grandnephew, the fund today is advised by Stephen Wright and Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandnephew and great-grandniece, respectively. For more information, go to thewrightbrothersfamilyfdn.org.