Tucker Rocky Distributing acted as host to representatives of about 500 dealerships this past weekend during the supply specialist's 2008 National Sales Meeting in Frisco, Texas.
The dealers came from all over the country for a chance to see and buy the latest parts, garments and apparel to be offered by Tucker Rocky. Nearly 150 vendors showed product during the event — double the size of any previous product showcase organized by the distributor.
TR spent the past eight months advertising the two-day event to dealers, and even offered incentives like reimbursed travel expenses to coax dealer attendance. The company says it hoped to offer retailers an increased awareness of product, specials and deep discounts.
Stephan Ulbrich, marketing director, Tucker Rocky, says only 300 dealerships were expected to attend.
"We were pleasantly surprised to see so many dealers choose to come and take part," he told Dealernews. "The turnout has far exceeded our expectations. As a result, I think we're going to continue to have an event in this format, but modify it as needed for the future.
"It's all about creating the best experience possible for our customers, the vendors and dealers."
Product included, among others, helmets from Shark, KBC, Nolan, Zamp and Arai; pipes from FMF, HMF, Two Brothers Racing, Arrow and Yoshimura; tires from Avon, Bridgestone, Continental, Maxxis, ITP and Dunlop; action sports cameras from MotoCam 360 and GoPro; protection devices from RXR Protect, Acerbis and EVS; side-by-side product from Bestop, Seizmik and Red Art, Inc.; sportbike-related product from Epic Powersports, Gilles Tooling, Bazzaz Performance, Hot Bodies Racing and Vortex; sport ATV product from DG Performance, HiPer, HydroDynamics (iShock), Elka, Houser Racing and Bling Star Industries; and other, unique items from firms such as STM, Flash 2 Pass, Shad Bags, PIAA, McCuff Industries and New Ray Toys.
One vendor who proved a no-show: UK exhaust brand Micron, which reportedly closed business July 10 after its parent company pulled the plug on the 20-year-old business. "It was a complete surprise to us," Ulbrich said of the brand TR picked up in 2007.
Finally, in apparel, TR's newest house brand, Speed & Strength, made for big news. The distributor commissioned Bruce Parker, former marketing manager for Joe Rocket, to create the lineup of jackets (textile and leather), pants, gloves, women's apparel, casual wear and even a racing suit. All will be available by September except for the gloves,
which will be ready in October. Parker also owns Parker Synergies, a company that produces private-labeled apparel for several OEMs, as well as its own Honda- and Yamaha- branded apparel exclusively distributed by Tucker Rocky.
One TR sales rep, who asked not to be named, said he sold $8,000 in Speed & Strength gear to one dealer customer. Another said he took a $25,000 order.
Read more about the event, Tucker Rocky Distributing and the vendors in an upcoming issue of Dealernews.
Freestyle stunt rider Aaron Colton, 16, helped design two of the new Speed & Strength jackets. Colton put on a show at the TR sales meeting in Frisco, Texas.