After his takeover of Duca del Cosma in 2016, Frank van Wezel has rapidly built up offices and an international distribution network for the golf footwear brand, to start selling two distinct ranges for the golf course and the street.
Van Wezel is the founder of the Hi-Tec and Magnum brands, which were sold to Cherokee Global Brands for $95.8 million in 2016. He subsequently obtained rights to these brands in most of Africa and went on to buy Duca del Cosma, the formerly German-based golf footwear brand that filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
The Dutch entrepreneur has since rebuilt a product range that was launched earlier this month, from the company's head office in Vreeland, near Amsterdam. It operates under the leadership of the chief executive Carlo Verbraak, former commercial director at Protest Sportswear. The international sales director is Raymond Steenhuis, who previously held the same job for more than two decades at Scotch & Soda. Both report directly to Van Wezel.
The company started by rebuilding its technical golf range but Van Wezel is targeting the wider sports fashion market. The prices make the brand resolutely upmarket, with the key pieces just about €200. The range launched in September is sold in about 200 stores, approximately 70 percent of them pro shops and other golf specialists, and the remaining 30 percent lifestyle stores.
Duca del Cosma established an office near Birmingham run by Tony Eccleston and Niki Johnson, who have both worked with Hi-Tec and Magnum for many years. Eccleston's function with Hi-Tec before his switch to Duca del Cosma related to key accounts and golf sales in the U.K. Eight sales agents have been appointed to cover the U.K. and Ireland.
Another subsidiary was opened in Hamburg to cover the German-speaking countries under the leadership of Frank Lichte, who was previously involved with Duca del Cosma in Africa and went on to work in the travel business.
The entire African continent is covered from an office in Cape Town run by Adolf Stoffberg, who has worked at Hi-Tec in South Africa from 2010, mostly as key account manager. Sales agents have been appointed for specific sales regions in both cases.
Petr Hrbacek is in charge of an office in Prague to cover the Czech Republic along with other countries in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Hrbacek is a very familiar name at Hi-Tec, since he has been working with the brand for many years in the Czech Republic and in international functions. He is no longer involved with Hi-Tec Europe, although he continues to work on the brand with Van Wezel in Africa.
Steve Rogers, another former Hi-Tec employee, has been appointed to take charge of the brand's distribution in Asia and Oceania, from his office in Vietnam. Matt Brown, former global category director for the Magnum brand in the U.S. until ten years ago, is the super-agent in charge of U.S. sales, based in Florida.
As part of a team that already comprises 40 people, Camilla Nävermyr joined from La Manga golf club in Spain. Caroline van Wezel, Frank's wife, is public relations director.
The brand's marketing investments include a partnership sealed earlier this month with the organizers of the KLM Open, a golf tournament in the European Tour. Duca del Cosma will be one of its sponsors for three years starting in 2018. It will supply footwear to more than 1,500 officials and ground staff at the tournament, along with a KLM Open shoe range to be sold by retailers at the event.