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Bell Sports Acquires Bell Motorcycle Helmet Line; New Bell Powersports Division to Manage Brand

    IRVING, Texas--Nov. 4, 2002--Bell(R) Sports, the market leader in helmets and accessories for cycling and other active sports, is bringing Bell motorcycle helmets back into the family. The company has acquired the North American rights to the Bell Helmets brand of motorcycle helmets and accessories from Bieffe, an Italian motor sport company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
    Bell Sports also announced it has created a new division, called Bell Powersports based in Santa Cruz, Calif., to manage and rejuvenate the Bell brand name in the motorcycle helmet industry. Bell Powersports will design, manufacture and sell motorcycle, snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) helmets and accessories in North America under the Bell Helmets brand name.
    Bieffe owned the license to the Bell brand for motorcycle helmets since 1991.
    Bell was the first company to develop motorcycle helmets with protective expanded polystyrene (EPS) liners -- now the industry standard -- and invented the full-face motocross helmet. Bell-branded helmets, defined by their innovative designs and tough, proven durability, are worn by leading racecar drivers, motorcycle racers and cyclists around the world.
    The company's brand-building plan is centered on three key priorities: differentiating its product line through design innovation; creating consumer demand with high-profile marketing programs; and fortifying retail relationships through timely service and high-quality products.
    Kwai Kong will lead the Bell Powersports management team, with Greg Shapleigh as vice president of marketing and John Vanderburg as vice president of sales. The team will oversee Bell's world class helmet designers in Santa Cruz, Calif., home to the largest helmet development and test lab in the world. Bell Powersports will be making additional investments in marketing, sales and staffing resources to re-energize its presence in the motorcycle, snowmobile and ATV market segments.
    Tom Doran, president of Bell Helmets -- a separate entity from Bell Sports -- will serve as strategic and market advisor to Bell Powersports.
    The Bell product line ranges from street and off-road motorcycle helmets and accessories to snowmobile and ATV helmets. Styles include full-face, open-face and half helmets. All Bell-branded motorcycle, snowmobile and ATV helmets meet the appropriate industry safety standards.