TAHE is the new name for BIC Sport. Tahe Outdoors is an Estonian heritage outdoor company and purchased BIC Sport from the larger BIC Group two years ago. The two parties saw the need to forge a new path for the brand and decided to lean on the Estonian company’s rich heritage as a launch pad. They keep the same omni-channel distribution framework and are still made in France with best eco practices their MO.
Please give us a brief history of the Tahe Outdoors Group. Tahe Outdoors was built in 1989 in Estonia. “TAHE” means “the will to succeed” in Estonian. Tahe Outdoors is now a European group dedicated to outdoor sports. It has developed the successful Core kitesurf brand and paddle maker Egalis. The Tahe Outdoors group’s financial stability is derived from a majority shareholding held by a Luxemburg fund manager, KJK. In 2019 KJK created KJK Sports, a new group containing all the individual brands and businesses in the KJK portfolio.
What other brands are part of the Tahe Outdoors Group? TAHE (SUP, Surf, windsurf, kayak, dinghies), CORE (Kitesurf), SIC (SUP and Surf), Zegul (Kayaks) and Egalis (paddles).
What was the thinking behind launching the TAHE brand? We were sold by the BIC group 2 years ago and so we had to replace the BIC Sport brand with a new brand to cement the end of this story and the start of a new one. As we had been bought initially by Tahe Outdoors (Estonia), who had a very strong history in watersports like us, it seemed logical to use this history as a merger between the BIC Sport & Tahe Outdoors stories, to form one unified brand under the Tahe umbrella. In this way, we now provide customers with the opportunity to go on the water in almost any possible manner.
What is the brand’s USP? The core values of our new brand TAHE come from BIC Sport’s legacy. Reliability, accessibility, simplicity, modernity. Made and engineered in France with Eco responsibility. These values are unique, especially our production facility located in France, being Europe’s only production facility that has so many different watersports technologies, all available on one site. We are also one of the only watersports manufacturers to have such a high ratio of recycling inherent in our production processes. Also, a large number of our products can be recycled at the end of their lifetime.
How will you operate in Europe – distributors, sales agents, direct to consumer? Our network remains the same. Our distributors support us 100% and will explain to end consumers that TAHE rigid products are still built in our factory in France. For BIC Sport, a large part of the reason why we are still very successful after 40 years is because we have built up a very strong distribution network and have a strong relationship with our clients at all levels. This sales network is an integral part of our ongoing development in the future, even in a modern sales environment heavily focused on the internet and web sales. At the end of the day, it is simply impossible to deliver a number of our long kayaks and SUP boards to the final client without a strong distributor and retail network support.
How do you market your products? We are heavily focused on an omni-channel approach using all possible channels to communicate our message. Using new photos and videos content, ambassadors, focus on our eco-friendly manufacturing, product recycling, demos on the beaches, and, of course, our sales and retail network as mentioned above. The marketing program may vary from country to country based on the strengths and weaknesses of that particular market, but we have a lot to say via social media, web media & magazines.
What trends and opportunities do you see in the current market for SUP? For us the current SUP market is very much split into three core segments: Inflatable boards for entry-level recreational and family use, rigid boards for rental & school use, and finally a niche composite market offering all types of boards to specialist SUP consumers whether it is racing, fitness, SUP surfing or touring. In the rental & school market we still have a very strong presence with our exclusive T-TEC & A-TEC technologies, offering one of the best durability/product value ratios on the market.