Sun Valley’s snowsports heritage runs deep. We’re talking Marianas Trench deep. Not only was it the first ski resort in North America, but it has inspired some of the most forward thinking inventors on the slopes like Ed Scott, who brought the world the first aluminum ski pole way back in 1958. Although you may not have much use for poles outside of splitboard, and MTN Approach missions, the company Scott founded, SCOTT Sports, has diversified into a wide array of categories, including moto, bicycle, eyewear, outerwear, helmets, technical apparel, accessories and more, that are most likely on your shelves, in your closet, and in your garage.
Over the past 54 years, SCOTT has grown into an international player, and is on track to hit $500 million in sales this year. While it was purchased in 2005 by a foreign investor, Beat Zaugg, the company remains firmly entrenched in Ketchum and built a new headquarters there in 2008.
We had the chance to take a tour of the facilities with U.S. Marketing Manager Adam Greene:
Follow the jump for a timeline of SCOTT’s history.
Scott dates back to 1958, when Ed Scott revolutionized skiing by inventing the first aluminium ski pole. Since then, it brought a series of innovative products to market. Milestones in Company history include:
The Birth of SCOTT and the Revolution of Ski Poles
The sport of skiing was revolutionized with a technical innovation from Ed Scott, a talented engineer and ski racer living in Sun Valley, Idaho. Ed Scott’s invention of the first tapered aluminium ski pole immediately replaced the sport’s existing use of bamboo and steel. That revolutionary invention launched a new brand, SCOTT, and fundamentally positioned Scott as a technical product leader in the skiing market. Ed Scott’s initial vision of technical innovation would serve as the cornerstone company philosophy as the brand matured and expanded to new markets.
Motocross Market Entry
In 1970, Scott entered the motocross goggle market with the first ever motocross specific goggle and later introduced motocross boots, grips and accessories.
Lightest Ski Boot and First Foam Ventilated Goggle
In 1971, the Company produced the world’s lightest ski boot and introduced one of the first ski goggles utilizing foam ventilation.
In 1978, the Company opened its European headquarters in Givisiez near Fribourg.
Most Sophisticated Ski Pole Factory and First Mountain Bike
In 1986, the Company opened the world’s most sophisticated ski pole factory in Italy and became the global leader in ski pole production. That same year, it introduced its first mountain bike.
First Aero Bar
In 1989, SCOTT introduced one of the most significant product innovations in the history of cycling – the aerodynamic handlebar. The handlebar was strategically utilized by American Greg Lemond in his 1989 Tour de France win.
In 1991, the Company entered into the production of mountain bike suspension with Unishock.
First Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes
In 1992, SCOTT shipped its first full-suspension mountain bikes and later introduced cycling shoes and helmets.
Expansion Financing through an External Investor
To fund its acquisition strategy, the Company sold 55% of its shares to Zell Chillmark Chicago's Investment Fund.
In 1994, a winter sport glove line was introduced.
Endorphin, the First Carbon Mountain Bike
SCOTT introduced its first carbon mountain bike. Thanks to many victories in the World Cup and at the Olympic Games, as well as great coverage in the media, the bike and the name, Endorphin, became a true legend.
Outerwear and Skis
In 1997, the Company introduced a technical winter sport apparel line. One year later, it was producing skis.
G-Zero: the Lightest Full-Suspension Bike Worldwide
SCOTT presented the lightest full-suspension mountain bike worldwide. The name “G-Zero” became a milestone in the development of the bike industry.
Beat Zaugg, Tom Stendhal (Group Chairman) and Scott’s management bought back the Group from Zell through a management buy-out.
Ski Accessory Innovations
The Group rolled out a global launch of patented goggle innovations: the RAM Air ventilation system and the revolutionary Amplifier lens. It also released another ski pole innovation: the adjustable LeverLock ski pole strap system.
New Records for Lightness
In 2001, SCOTT presented the road-bike Team Issue with the lightest frame worldwide (lighter than 1 kg), topped in 2003 by the CR1, the lightest frame on the market (895 gr).
Second Management Buy-out by Beat Zaugg
In 2002, the Company’s ownership structure changed again. In a second management buy-out, Beat Zaugg increased his shareholdings to 51.5%. Tom Stendahl and other shareholders retained a substantial stake in the Company.
The Arrival of the Genius – ‘A Revolutionary Mountain Bike’
In the same year, SCOTT presented the Genius, a new concept of a full-suspension bike with a shock-adjustable into three different modes (lock-out mode, all-travel mode, and traction mode.) Pretty soon magazines were filled with reports on the new Genius. The success of the Genius bike was highlighted by Thomas Frischknecht’s victory in the marathon event at the World Championships.
Take-over of Finnish companies Yoko and Reima
These purchases opened new doors into the street bike and snowmobile clothing markets.
Scott wins European Ski Award with the Biomex® Helmet
Created in cooperation with Biomex® Protection, this helmet was a big step forward for head safety in wintersports. The Biomex featured a Dual Band Roll Cage (rectangular shape), which reduced the swing weight and made it more comfortable to wear.
Lightest Triathlon Bike on the Market
Utilizing its proprietary CR1 technology, the Company developed a state-of-the-art triathlon frame; the PLASMA, which was 980 grams light. Add the integrated aero seat post at 300 grams and the result was the world's lightest aero carbon frame with triathlon-specific geometry.
Third Management Buy-out by Beat Zaugg
In 2005, Beat Zaugg acquired the remaining 48.5% of the Company in another management buy-out transaction, thereby taking over 100% of the Company.
Running Shoe Collection
The Company contracted a research and development lab in Portland, Oregon, to create a full line of high performance running shoes for both male and female athletes.
Introduction of the Addict Frame
The new Addict is the lightest road frame available, just 790 grams with integrated seat post (165 grams). When combined with SCOTT’s new, slimmer carbon IMP™ fork that weighs just 330 grams, the new Addict bike weighs an amazing 5.9 kg.
Lightest Frame/Shock Combination in the World
By applying its revolutionary new Integrated Molding Process (IMP™) to its already proven CR1 technology and new Nude TC™ shock, SCOTT produced the lightest full suspension bike available.
Scott 50 Years Anniversary
Scott celebrates the golden anniversary, marking 50 years of commitment to progressive sport. Times have changed and Scott has developed into a worldwide powerhouse in Bike, Wintersport, Motosport and Running. But the vision has always remained the same from the humble beginnings 50 years ago in Ed Scott's one man ski tuning business: INNOVATION – TECHNOLOGY - DESIGN.
Solar Blocker lens technology
The new lens technologies that will unquestionable improve your mountain experience – the Solar Blocker Technology. The lens blocks most of the blue light to protect the eyes and is recommended for glacier Skiing and sunny days.
Opening of the new US Headquater in Sun Valley, Idaho/USA
Genius bike generation 2 is born
Same name - new frame, revised geometry and new Equalizer2 shock with Oil Transfer System.
New Carbon Ski - the Crusair
The new Crusair is quickly becoming the benchmark ski for the freeride mountaineering market. The combination of carbon frame with sandwich wood air channels delivers an extremly lightweight, stable and reactive ski.
New Twin Loc suspension technology for bikes
The all new Twin Loc lever allows the rider to keep both hands on the handlebars while selecting the desired travel settings or fully locking the suspension. Riders can switch between, full travel, Traction mode, and now complete lock out of both fork and Equalizer 2 TC shock.
The all new Scott Scale MTB
Weighting less than 899 grams, the Scale is the lightest MTB carbon frame ever produced. World Champion Nino Schurter wins with the new Scale 899 the Overall MTB World Cup
Genius LT Bike redefines All - Mountain again
LT stands for Long travel, necessary in All Mountain situations where the descents are nasty but you plan to climb to the top. No problem when you have the lightest All Mountain Carbon frame with 185mm and the110mm of travel available and thanks to Twin Loc you can lock it out.
Scott offers an E-Bike line
In close collaboration with the electronic giant Bosch, Scott is the first company who offer a stylistically oriented and easy to operate E-Bike system.