GRAND RAPIDS, MI (BRAIN)—Industry retail veteran Patrick "P.J." McDonald has joined Michigan-based Slingshot Bicycle Company as its new majority partner.
McDonald joins Aaron Joppe, who purchased the company roughly five years ago. Slingshot has been in business since 1982. Better known for its aluminum mountain bike offerings, the company will be getting back into the road category more heavily this year with the release of a new model, McDonald said.
"We have a structure that will change over time," said McDonald, who has nearly 20 years of bicycle retail experience in Michigan. "I will be the majority owner but when dealing with a guy like Aaron, I'm willing to do whatever is best for the both of us. I didn't know him prior to this venture but I would be willing to close a deal such as this on a handshake with a guy like him."
McDonald views this as an "excellent opportunity."
"They've got a great product," he said. "It's just never been brought to market properly."
Brand visibility will be key for McDonald as well. "We need butts on bikes," he said. "We're going to travel the demo circuit."
McDonald said most of their sales currently are Web direct, but they would like to change that into a more IBD focus. "We think we'll be very appealing to new dealers," said McDonald, adding that the company will only require small buying commitments from dealers.
Slingshot may be best known for offering a fold up mountain bike, which the company introduced a couple years ago. "There's been a huge surge for them from people in the military," McDonald said. Slingshot frames are welded and painted in Asia, and assembled in the United States.