In The Saddle: Orbea's Damian Hackett

Hackett is Orbea's head of marketing and sales in the UK
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What bikes do you own and where’s your fave place to ride ‘em?

At the minute I only own an Orca and an urban Carpe. Because I’ve just moved from Ireland, my favourite place would still be in Ireland. I lived at the foot of Carrick mountain in Whitlow. In recent years, on the road, Sallygap would be my preferred loop. That’s anything from 70 to 120km with super views and little traffic. I’m yet to bed into cycling life in Wimbledon. 

How did you get into the cycling industry?

I’ve been around, previously looking after KTM and Exteondo in Ireland. Catlike and MET too. Going right back, I started in journalism and I published the Irish Marketing Journal. I sold that business in 2002 to begin Outsider magazine, spending a lot of my time reviewing product and became familiar with the industry. 

Can you tell us about your role at Orbea?

Orbea offered me the sales manager position for the UK and Ireland one year ago. Since then we’ve made big strides in recruiting a strong team and refining our dealerbase. One year on from taking the role we’ve found the right dealers, the right people to support those dealers and helped Orbea understand the UK market’s needs better. We had some excellent and some critical feedback from dealers and we took that to Spain. Orbea has shown an enormous willingness to adapt to the market’s needs, from range, pricing, delivery and investing in a team of seven in the UK.

At this point I’m ensuring that all the cogs turn together. Our support team in Windsor, factory in Spain and reps on the road are all working seamlessly.

Any territories in need of a Orbea presence?

We just got a new guy Andrew Hastings who is managing East Anglia to North London. Formerly from Madison, he’s well known in the trade already. That’s currently the biggest geographical gap. We’re not actively looking for more shops, though are open to conversation. Give us a call on 01753 851111 if you'd like to discuss Orbea.

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