Portland Business Spotlight: Castelli
All images courtesy of Castelli.
May is coming to an end, and Res Nova Law is ready to ride into summer. This month, we're shining our Portland Business Spotlight on Castelli, a legendary Italian cycling apparel company rooted in Portland, Oregon. We spoke to Greg Cowan, the president of Castelli USA, to learn more about Castelli's presence in Portland.
A Little Bit of Italy in Portland:
In 2004, Greg bought the United States and Mexico arms from the former licensee in partnership with the Italian company brand-holders. He moved the company from Minneapolis to Portland and, since then, he and his team have brought Castelli back to prominence. Just look at the biggest bike races in the world, like the Tour de France and the Italian Giro, monuments like Paris-Roubaix, and uniquely American races like the infamous Red Hook Criterium in Brooklyn—you’ll see Castelli. And, in the United States and Mexico, it all runs through Portland.
Building and Protecting the Brand:
Customers for so many different types of businesses buy more and more on interest without ever touching the product, so a company's brand and logo need to stand for something. When customers buy a product with the Castelli name and its iconic scorpion logo, they expect the piece to live up to the reputation. They want the promises of performance, fit, quality, and innovation fulfilled. That’s what Greg and the Portland team at Castelli work for every day. Greg’s mission, and Castelli’s, is to really deliver the most innovative products that emotionally connect with cyclists seeking maximum performance. They aim for that at every price point. And they hit the mark.
And, as so many clothing designers in Portland know, apparel is notoriously hard to fence off from competitors. With such a highly visible brand like Castelli, copycats abound. So Castelli and Greg take an efficient tack: they continuously innovate and stay ahead. Constantly improving Castelli’s performance, fit, quality, and technologies demands dedication, but customers know what they get with Castelli’s scorpion logo.
Advice from Castelli:
Starting with his team of four, a strong athletic and outdoor business environment in Portland, the nous from his years at Nike, and a move-forward work ethic, Castelli stands again among the vanguard of cycling apparel. Here’s Greg’s advice: Be resourceful. Husband your resources. If you want your business to stay around, keep fighting. Have a plan. Work the plan. Be mindful of your customers. And have integrity. If a bad batch of product comes in, do you sell it? Or send it back and lose some sales? Think long-term and do the right thing.
For Greg, the reward is knowing he’s done a good job. When someone recognizes the brand, appreciate a piece, or industry cohorts and press recognize the team’s work, that’s what matters.
Res Nova Law is a boutique intellectual property and business litigation firm based in beautiful Portland, Oregon. We serve innovative companies and entrepreneurs across the Pacific Northwest, and we’re your go-to lawyers for businesses of all types and in every stage of business growth. As experienced litigators, we can help you resolve intellectual property and business disputes, and advise you on how to avoid potential litigation. Get in touch with our team today, and let's talk about your business goals.