Kian Capital-backed T Sportline, a designer, marketer, distributor and e-commerce retailer of premium-branded aftermarket parts and accessories designed specifically for Tesla and other electric vehicles, announced that Brian Reese has joined the company as CEO. He joins T Sportline co-founders, Jon Pek and Elie Rothstein, who will continue respectively as VP of Product Development and VP of Sales & Marketing.
Reese is a member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Board of Directors and has more than 22 years of experience fueling premium direct-to-consumer brands with innovative products in the automotive aftermarket. He most recently served as CEO of Driven Lighting Group (DLG), the leading source of premium-branded automotive enthusiast lighting products, which was acquired by Wheel Pros, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of proprietary-branded aftermarket vehicle enhancements for light trucks, SUVs, passenger cars and ATVs/UTVs. Prior to DLG, Reese was CEO at Race Winning Brands, a manufacturer of racing and high-performance parts sold to automotive and powersports markets.
“Brian’s successful track record leading premium branded automotive aftermarket enthusiast companies and sophisticated e-commerce business models made him the perfect partner to lead us as we enter into this next phase of growth,” said Pek. “He is equal parts strategic leader and innovator, having the unique ability to anticipate consumer need and capitalize on emerging opportunities.” Rothstein added, “I am excited to welcome Brian as CEO as he shares our vision for T Sportline’s potential and brings the rapid business scaling experience we’ll need.”
T Sportline, founded in 2013, is a pioneer of premium-branded aftermarket parts and accessories designed specifically for Tesla vehicles. The company has developed a full suite of custom wheels and interior and exterior accessories that inspire customers interested in upgrading their Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y with modifications that not only enhance the look of their cars but also provide tangible performance gains. A digitally native business, T Sportline sells both direct-to-customer via e-commerce and through a wholesale network of dealers, delivering a rich online content experience for Tesla enthusiasts.
“T Sportline impressed me as an authentic first-mover and trendsetter in the red-hot EV market—an authority within the space with tremendous potential to grow,” said Reese. “The company has established itself as the destination for all things EV, anchored with an impressive offering of must-have Tesla upgrades. I look forward to partnering with Jon and Elie to further solidify our position in the Tesla aftermarket and leverage that position to quickly expand to other EV platforms.”
Kian Capital, a middle-market focused private investment firm, invested in T Sportline in June 2021. T Sportline represents Kian’s third platform investment in the automotive aftermarket space joining Driven Lighting Group (exited in September of this year) and The Eastwood Co. in the firm’s Fund II portfolio. The partnership reinforces Kian’s focus on investing in branded/enthusiast DTC companies with a differentiated strategy, a robust e-commerce presence and superior product lines that result in a highly engaged customer base.
Rick Cravey, partner at Kian Capital, commented, “This is the second time we are partnering with Brian after he achieved incredible growth leading Driven Lighting Group. He is renowned in the automotive aftermarket space for successfully scaling businesses by complementing organic growth with value-accretive acquisitions. We are confident in his and the team’s ability to continue on T Sportline’s impressive growth trajectory.”