In the world of snowmobiling, 509 has established itself as a brand driven by authenticity and an unwavering love for the sport. Founded by Tom Delanoy, 509 has not only created highly technical riding gear but has also produced award-winning films and media content that encapsulate the sheer thrill of snowmobiling. The brand's rapid growth showcased its success but also brought about challenges. These challenges led to a pivotal decision in 2016 when 509 was acquired by Polaris. The acquisition not only relieved the stress of rapid expansion but also offered financial security to the brand, its founder, and employees.
"We have a passion for making highly technical riding gear and producing award-winning films and media content that truly captures the amazing experience of snowmobiling," said Tom Delanoy, founder and CEO of 509. The journey from a brand born out of sheer love for snowmobiling to a prominent industry player was remarkable. However, with rapid growth comes the need for significant capital, and for Tom Delanoy, it meant reinvesting all the business's cash and personally guaranteeing bank credit lines every year. This financial risk was a considerable burden for the founder, and he saw in Polaris an opportunity to secure 509's future.
Seeing Polaris's successful acquisition of Klim, Tom Delanoy decided that partnering with Polaris would be the ideal path for 509's future growth and financial stability. The process to bring 509 into the Polaris family began in 2015 and closed around January 2016, taking approximately six months to complete. One of the most significant concerns for 509 was keeping the brand rooted in Spokane and maintaining a level of independence in running the brand. These provisions were meticulously written into the deal, ensuring that 509's identity and operations remained largely intact.
For 509, the acquisition brought financial security to the brand, Tom Delanoy, and the employees. In fact, the employees were pleasantly shocked as they received double salaries the year after the acquisition, along with enhanced health benefits and increased pay. This newfound stability and growth prospects were indeed a win-win situation, allowing 509 to thrive under the umbrella of the Polaris family while preserving its core values and independent spirit.
Since Polaris acquired 509 in 2016, the brand has experienced impressive growth while staying true to its fun and innovative culture. Under the Polaris umbrella, 509 has expanded its product offerings, introducing a wider range of high-quality snowmobiling and outdoor gear. Despite this growth, the company has managed to preserve the core of what has made it unique – a culture driven by passion, adventure, and innovation. By maintaining this spirit, 509 has continued to captivate snowmobilers and motorsport enthusiasts with cutting-edge products that enhance their riding experiences. This fusion of growth and cultural integrity has allowed 509 to thrive as a beloved and respected brand in the world of snowmobiling and outdoor gear.
509's journey from its passionate and authentic roots to becoming a part of the Polaris family is a testament to the brand's commitment to snowmobiling and its ability to adapt to the demands of a growing business. It's a story of prudent decision-making and preserving the brand's identity, ensuring that the spirit of snowmobiling continues to be at the heart of 509's journey, now as a part of the Polaris family.