Future For Mistral


Sports and lifestyle brand Mistral is entering into an exclusive collaborative arrangement with the windsurfing phenomenon Anders Bringdal – and as a result, a new generation of boards is in the pipeline.

The sports and lifestyle brand Mistral is rediscovering its worldwide reputation as a label of champions. At the start of May, Mistral International BV – which is owned by the Twente-based family company Van Merksteijn BV and by entrepreneur and investor Ado Huisman – entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for windsurf boards with Swedish windsurfing sensation Anders Bringdal. Bringdal is a four-times world champion windsurfer and one of the front runners in the Speed World Cup. With this deal, Mistral demonstrates that the brand is inextricably linked with supreme quality, a genuine winner’s mentality, and a passion for speed in both sailing and windsurfing.

It is 33 years since Mistral hooked up with another sporting legend, the American Robby Naish; the company’s sponsorship agreement with windsurfing’s youngest ever world champion helped Mistral develop into a globally renowned water sports brand.

The new deal has also secured the future of the recently opened windsurf-board production line in the new factory in Vietnam. The licensing agreement commences on 1 July 2009, whereupon the current licence holder, German company Boards & More, will cease its licence-holding activities.

The licensing agreement between Mistral and Bringdal is exclusive: Bringdal will be focusing completely on the Mistral brand. This is highly fitting for this perfectionist, who has a great reputation for designing and selling his own line of unique boards to live up to. Bringdal will fulfill his responsibility for all Mistral’s board-related activities from his home town of Marseille. Given the brand name, there couldn’t be a more appropriate location: this French port, located on the Mediterranean Sea, has traditionally enjoyed the cooling mistral winds that blow down from the Alps.

Mistral hopes that the deal will secure it a more central role in the water sports world and bring it closer to windsurfers. ‘Performance through simplicity’ and ‘value for money’ will remain the watchwords for the company’s boards.

The line of new generation Mistral boards, to be launched at the end of November, will include three attention-grabbing types of board: the ‘5 slalom’ series, the long distance GPS boards and the GPS Speed Board. Ultimately, Mistral’s new line is to include at least 14 different boards. A noteworthy detail is that the graphics on the boards will be developed by Ernstfried Prade, one of Mistral’s co-founders, who was also the company’s original designer, the man behind the famous Mistral logo. By resuming its working relationship with Prade, this originally Swiss sports brand aims to reconnect with its successful roots.

Ado Huisman, managing director of Mistral International, is delighted about the licensing agreement with Bringdal. He says that Bringdal is not just a top windsurfing specialist, but also somebody who knows the sailing world inside and out. The managing director expects Bringdal to help lift Mistral to new heights, developing over the long term into an all-round sports brand renowned throughout the world of sailing.

Bringdal is also highly enthusiastic about the collaboration and sees new growth opportunities for Mistral. “I am very happy with this new opportunity, even though it isn’t the easiest of times to be launching a new windsurf line. But I am 100-percent convinced that this new deal will ensure that we can produce the best products and take full advantage of the Mistral brand name. This will enable Mistral to play a pivotal role in the world of windsurfing and to meet its customers’ expectations.”



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