Two brands with a passion for breaking the rules join forces
Norcross, GA - In 1947, Saab Aircraft engineer Gunnar Ljungstrom broke the rules of conventional automotive design by creating a car with the aerodynamic shape of an airplane wing, proving that form and function weren't mutually exclusive in a passenger car. In 1974, Gary Fisher broke the rules of bicycle racing by designing the world's first "all-terrain" bike, proving that bikes didn't just have to go down the hill-they could go up, too. While separated by nearly three decades, the birth of these two brands signaled a challenge to the status quo. Today, Saab and Gary Fisher Bicycles continue their quest to bring new ideas and insightful solutions to the art of four- and two-wheeled transportation. The companies have also joined forces in bringing their shared philosophies and world-class products, to rule breakers around the world.
"Breaking the rules, challenging the status quo, is what Gary Fisher is all about. That attitude, along with the company's innovative line of products, had tremendous appeal to us" said Sal Gatbonton, promotions manager for Saab Cars USA. "At Saab, we've always believed that conventional wisdom doesn't provide the best answers, and we actively seek out brands like Gary Fisher Bicycles who share this philosophy." Gatbonton emphasized that the relationship isn't a traditional sponsorship. "We're very much interested in helping each other pinpoint new opportunities for growing our respective brands."
Saab Cars USA remains Gary Fisher Bicycles' exclusive automotive marketing partner for 2000. For the racing season, Saab will have a prominent presence at both national and World Cup mountain bike events - both on the sidelines and on the off-road course. The Gary Fisher Saab Race Team, which includes 1996 Olympic Gold Medal and 1997 World Championship winner Paola Pezzo and top World Cup racer Michael Rasmussen, will be competing in exclusive team wear featuring the Saab logo. The Saab name will also be featured on team bicycles and accessories, as well as all team promotional materials. In addition, approximately 300 grassroots riders will be sporting Gary Fisher Saab Race Team jerseys, and thousands of additional jerseys will be retailed to local riders. The full line of team wear will also be featured in the Saab accessory program.
Saab 9-5 Wagons will serve as the team's four-wheeled transportation. "The Saab 9-5 Wagon is the ideal car for people who want a high level of performance, safety, long-distance travel comfort, and maximum versatility," said Nate Tobecksen, media director, Gary Fisher Bicycles. "Innovative features like CargoTracks, which give us optimum flexibility when we're strapping down the volumes of stuff we need to transport from race to race, are invaluable. And, because the 9-5 Wagon has the coolest styling out of any utility vehicle on the market, as well as incredible off-the-line torque, our racers usually battle for the car keys."
Gary Fisher bicycles are being featured in all national Saab auto show exhibits. Conversely, Gary Fisher will host Saab owners and prospective buyers at a number of exclusive events, ranging from recreational bike tours with team members to mountain bike riding clinics and trailhead parties. Web site links, private label bicycles, employee product discounts and sweepstakes are some of the additional benefits of the partnership.
Gary Fisher Bicycles is one of the world's leading brands of performance bicycles sold through specialty retailers. As chief designer, Gary Fisher continues to be one of the most creative forces in cycling, with a bicycle line that includes highly engineered, American-made aluminum alloy and steel mountain, luxury and children's bikes. In addition to his innovative concepts in bike design, Fisher also creates a full line of helmets and accessories.
Saab Cars USA, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab Automobile AB, Trollhattan, Sweden, is the U.S. importer and wholesaler of Saab 9-5 and Saab 9-3 automobiles. Since the 1947 debut of Saab's first passenger car, the superbly aerodynamic Saab 92, Saab has continued to build on its heritage as an aircraft manufacturer by introducing numerous engineering and design innovations. Featuring such world-first technologies as the Saab Active Head Restraint system, and an asymmetrically turbocharged V6 engine, Saab's 2000 model line continues to exemplify Saab's spirit of independent thinking.