Interview with Didac Sabaté, Marketing Manager at SCOTT Spain: "In this industry it is easy to fall into monotony"
For the last 8 years Didac Sabaté has been in charge of Marketing for SCOTT Spain, one of the most consolidated brands in our country and at the forefront of this sport worldwide. We have had the opportunity to talk to him about some general and specific aspects of the present and future.
Interview with Didac Sabaté: "it would be stupid not to take risks"
Before joining SCOTT, Didac Sabaté worked for other renowned companies, such as Adidas London and Moto GP, but when we asked him to explain what working at SCOTT meant to him, he confessed that his first bike was Scott and that today "it's a lifestyle that I identify with, or as I also like to call it: a source of personal pride".
To give a little more context to the figure of Sabaté we will say that he is not a typical office manager and his hobby and commitment to the sport of two wheels is real, having participated in and finished such important races as the Cape Epic or the Titan Desert.
Now we leave you with the interview.
2020 is proving to be a bad year for almost everything except for the bicycle, where we have seen shops literally running out of bikes. How has SCOTT experienced this year?
It has undoubtedly been a very complex year, in which we have gone through different phases. From a situation of maximum containment when we were confined in March, always trying to find the best solutions for the viability of our clients and our brand, to the madness generated by the over demand that has accompanied us until today and that began in June with the lack of confidence. Flexibility, capacity to react, good stock management and digitalisation have been key factors in this highly volatile environment.
SCOTT is among the 5 best mountain bike brands in the world, but we have the impression that especially in Spain it is considered one of the maximum references both for users of the brand and for fans in general. Do you think this could be due to the Racing philosophy so deeply rooted in the brand? When did SCOTT arrive in Spain and how has its evolution been in this country?
It is clear that our racing DNA has had a lot to do with it. Spain is a country with a strong connection to competition and many people share our values and passion. Our RC (Racing Concept) image, along with the technology, innovation and design of our products has been the key to our success.
In the mid-80s, when mountain biking was still totally unknown in our country, cycling in Spain was associated with roads and leisure bikes. SCOTT was one of the pioneering brands and has done more to introduce this discipline which is now one of the most practised and most popular. Our evolution has always been upward, at the same pace as the practice of mountain biking.
In Europe, XC is one of the most widely practiced modalities, but in Spain we can say that it directly leaves little margin for the other mountain bike disciplines. Do you think that the new Trail or aggressive XC modalities could reach more people in our country than the Enduro or DH?
Indeed, XC, but above all, XCM has a large number of practitioners in our country. Hence our strong commitment to the SCALE and SPARK models. As the discipline becomes more radical and requires a higher technical level, the number of practitioners decreases and therefore our range is smaller. The equation is simple: the longer the route, the fewer the number of participants.
For 2021 we have seen that the options within the same model in the SCOTT MTB catalogue have grown, could you indicate some mountain bikes that will be key this year either by assembly, price or performance?
For the 2021 season, the SCALE family is taking on a special prominence, becoming one of our best-selling families. I would particularly highlight the 970, 940, 980 and 930 models. Another key model for this season is the Spark RC 900 Comp; a world champion for just over 3,000 euros, as you mentioned in your article about the bike. As far as the electric models are concerned, the ones that are showing a better performance are the STRIKE eRIDE 930, 940, 920 and Genius eRIDE 920 and 930.
Occasionally, and to the surprise of many, we have seen Nino Schurter say that if he could only keep one bike he would choose the SCOTT Ramson. Even if it's a bit personal, which one would you choose?
A difficult question to answer when you work in SCOTT, hahaha. Well, I'd say it depends on the moment. A couple of years ago when I was preparing for the Cape Epic, my answer would have been the Spark, without a doubt. Now, however, I am more inclined to Strike eRIDE, which I enjoy as a family-oriented event with my wife and two daughters.
It may sound exaggerated, but when we saw the new SCOTT facilities in Switzerland they reminded us a little of those recently opened by Apple or any other Silicon Valley technology company. How important is innovation and development to your brand?
Technology, innovation and design are part of our DNA. It has always been clear to us that our commitment to development would make our products different from those of our competitors and would mark our path to success. We have succeeded because we don't just keep up with our competitors. If you are not willing to explore new territories and take risks, you will never innovate anything. In this industry it is easy to become monotonous. With the technological background we have, it would be stupid not to take risks; it's not just about improving products, but reinventing them. It has been the freedom to innovate that has driven us from the beginning. This is something we will never change.
Currently, electric or assisted bicycles seem to be on the rise, but the truth is that many studies suggest that this is only the beginning of the trend and that we could see a real tsunami of them in less than 5 years. How do you see the future in SCOTT?
For us it is already the present. The assisted models are those that show the greatest growth at the moment. Our eRIDE family currently has a total of 16 families and 73 electric models. Likewise, we are clear that we should not focus our strategy solely on power-assisted models and continue to be at the forefront with our "muscular" models. At SCOTT we are clear that we have an obligation to be present in all categories and to do so at the highest level.
We usually ask professional cyclists what their training weeks are like, but in your case, since we imagine that work takes up a lot of your time, we'd like to know how often you go cycling each week.
Not as much I'd like, that's for sure. Besides, with the arrival of my second daughter... I try to go out a couple of days a week and whenever I can, at midday I escape from the office for an hour to stretch my legs and "connect".
Thank you Didac for giving us some of your time.