MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—Sidi has turned to an old friend, Al Budris, to head up its direct sales subsidiary in the U.S. market. Budris will serve as general manager of a new dealer-direct sales entity for Sidi cycling shoes.
“I am honored that my long-time friends, the Signori family, owners of SidiSport, S.r.l., called me out of the blue and asked to speak with me about this opportunity,” Budris said. “To be able to work with them, the most respected brand in cycling and motorcycle footwear, is a dream-come-true.”
In early August, Sidi ended its exclusive distribution agreement with Veltec Sports, which had distributed the high-end Italian shoe brand for more than 20 years.
Budris worked with the Signori family that owns Sidi while employed for almost a decade at Veltec Sports. He left Veltec Sports in 2005 and established his own consulting firm with clients in cycling and sporting goods.
In July Sidi contacted Budris unexpectedly and said it wanted to discuss establishing a U.S. subsidiary.
“We are committed to the American market and have realized for a long time its great potential,” said Daniele Signori of SidiSport. “In order to maximize that potential, we believe, like in any serious relationship, that you have to get closer to your partner. Our true partners in America are the bicycle dealers and the independent sales representatives. For this reason, we are establishing a U.S. subsidiary, that is called Sidi America, to make sure we can communicate quickly and effectively with our partners.”
Signori said he hoped for a smooth transition in being able to supply stock. Budris was working feverishly to set up back-end facilities for the newly formed company in early August.
He has since established sales and marketing offices for Sidi America on the central coast of California. He is contracting distribution and logistics out to a third-party firm, more centrally located in the Western United States that is known for its world-class logistics capabilities and electronic communications. Budris said its location improves delivery to the central and eastern parts of America, while not detracting from one-day service to the West Coast.
Budris has secured a team including a seasoned accounting manager, logistics professional and his former customer service manager, Matt Ryan. In addition, Sara Ecclesine, who resigned from her post as Sidi product manager at Veltec in July, is the new product manager for Sidi America.