Move Comes in Response to LeMond Threats, Ongoing “Pattern of Inconsistent Business Dealings”
WATERLOO, WI–(MARKET WIRE)–Apr 8, 2008 — At an employee meeting held today, John Burke, President of Trek Bicycle Corporation, announced that Trek has filed suit in Federal Court in Madison, WI, to sever the company’s ongoing relationship with three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond.
“Beginning in 1995 we had high hopes for the LeMond partnership,” said John Burke, president of Trek Bicycle Corporation. “And I am sorry it has come to this after so much hard work on the LeMond brand. But this troubling pattern of inconsistent business dealings forced us to do this, for the sake of the Trek family — our retailers, employees and customers.”
Since 1995, Trek has licensed the LeMond brand name and has produced road bicycles under the LeMond Racing Cycles name.
The move by Trek has come on the heels of LeMond serving Trek with a 41-page suit on March 20, 2008, to be filed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. LeMond’s suit was characterized by Burke as containing false and irresponsible allegations which “forced us to immediately end our relationship with Greg.”
The action filed by Trek Bicycle Corporation against Greg LeMond asks the court for declaratory judgment against LeMond and asks that the relationship be terminated due to multiple breaches of the contract. The breach of contract claims are based on LeMond’s ongoing pattern of public statements and actions which Trek believes have continued to be detrimental to the Trek-licensed LeMond Racing Cycles name and trademark, to the Trek brand as a whole, and to the Trek reputation in the global bicycle market.
At the employee meeting, Burke presented a timeline of the Trek business relationship with LeMond and the development of the LeMond brand.
Trek Bicycle Corporation began its business relationship with LeMond in 1995 and, since then, has produced the LeMond Racing Cycles brand of road bikes. In 1999, the LeMond line was one of the fastest growing road bike brands and one of the top five largest road bike brands in the United States.
The presentation highlighted the ongoing issues with the relationship, its impact on the LeMond and Trek brands and the reasons for the decision to sever the relationship. Despite a series of innovative designs and continued support from Trek, due to LeMond’s actions and the public response, the LeMond brand has consistently failed to live up to its potential in the marketplace.
“For years, Trek has tried our best to make this relationship work. And for years, Greg LeMond has done and said things that have damaged the LeMond brand and the Trek brand as a whole,” said Burke. “His actions are inconsistent with our values — values we believe in and live everyday. And after years of trying to make it work, we are done. It’s time to sever this relationship and allow Trek to do what it does best — build the world’s greatest bicycles and provide our customers with a great product and exceptional customer service.”
About Trek Bicycles:
Headquartered in Waterloo, Wisconsin, Trek Bicycle Corporation is a global leader in bicycle design and manufacturing. From the original hand-built steel touring frames introduced in 1976 to the revolutionary OCLV Carbon first introduced in 1992, Trek’s passion for innovation, quality, and performance leads the industry with next-generation technology and thinking. With an unprecedented eight Tour de France titles in the last nine years, six straight 24-hour World Solo Mountain Bike Championships, and countless other professional wins, Trek enjoys a rich tradition of victory in the world’s premier cycling events. Today, with a broad range of bicycles and cycling products under the Trek, Gary Fisher, LeMond, Bontrager, and Klein brand names, Trek continues to pursue new ways to bring the joy of cycling to all people.