I just got back from cycling on RAGBRAI, an annual bicycle tour across Iowa. There are typically 10,000-15,000 riders that complete at least some portion of the weeklong ride. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many cyclists were wearing Pearl Izumi attire on this ride. I don't remember seeing this much Pearl Izumi when I joined RAGBRAI in 2002, but maybe I was just more aware of the brand this time around.
I can't judge the business decision to acquire Pearl Izumi from this, but at least I have some anecdotal evidence that Pearl Izumi is successfully marketing to the cycling community.