Franco Morbidelli during the Qatar racing competition.

ON THEIR MARKS: Italian footwear brand Lumberjack has unveiled on Tuesday its partnership with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS motorcycle racing team.

Franco Morbidelli, the 22-year-old biker who debuted in the first Moto GP racing competition on March 18 in Qatar, was named ambassador for the brand.

As part of the sponsorship, Lumberjack’s graphic maple leaf-shaped logo stands out on the biker’s helmet and the brand also provided whole Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS racing team with its signature Detroit sneakers.

The shoes, mixing knitted technical fabrics with suede, are available in white, navy blue and forest green with contrasting rubber sole. The style is part of the UN.Code range, which stands for “UrbaNature Code.”

Lumberjack's "Detroit" sneakers.

Lumberjack’s “Detroit” sneakers.  Courtesy Photo.

“I’m very happy to partner with Lumberjack, a brand that I’ve known since I was a kid growing up in Rome. Then I moved to Tavullia [a city in central Italy] in the countryside because I love being surrounded by nature,” said Morbidelli, underscoring the values he shares with the Italian brand.

“Lumberjack was a leading company in the Eighties and Nineties, one of the first in Italy to invest in marketing [activities], at a time when this practice was not common; then it sort of lost its brand awareness but in the past four years we’ve been working hard, riding 300 or 340 kilometers per hour [186 or 211 miles per hour],” Andrea Vecchiato, Lumberjack’s chief executive officer, said.

In 2012 the brand was acquired by Turkey-based Ziylan Group, a company manufacturing and distributing men’s and women’s footwear which closed 2017 with revenues of 700 million euros, according to Vecchiato.

“Despite the market’s weakness, we managed to double [Lumberjack’s] revenues and we are expected to exceed 40 million in 2017, or even more, up 11 percent compared to 2016,” explained Vecchiato who brought the company’s headquarters to Treviso, in the Veneto region, “to be at the center of Italy’s most prominent footwear district” and restructured the internal team.

In keeping with the Italian footwear specialist’s new strategy developed under Vecchiato’s tenure, Lumberjack returned to invest in marketing and promotional activities including the partnership with the Belgian motorcycle racing team.

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