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For the week of Nov. 2-8
>> Mammut and Climb High (the U.S. distributor for Mammut) have issued a recall for approximately 500 Barryvox avalanche transceivers shipped to U.S. retailers since August 2004. According to Mammut, “tension cracks may appear in the red plastic casing of some of the Mammut Barryvox Opto 3000 avalanche transceivers produced for winter 2004/05. Despite the cracks, the device functions properly under normal circumstances. However, it cannot be completely ruled out that moisture may penetrate through these cracks and potentially impact the correct functioning of the device.” Although Mammut has found cracks in only a small number of units, it is recalling the entire production series to be safe. Transceivers with the following serial numbers (M0080000 – M0090419) are subject to the recall. Packaging for the affected units states “Includes Bonus CD / Barryvox interactive Training” on the outside of the box. The serial numbers are located inside the battery compartment under the bar code. All devices packaged after the plastic case quality control issue was discovered will have a red sticker on the box reading “new case” and are not subject to the recall. More detailed information may be found by going to www.barryvox.com. Should you have any questions regarding the recall, contact Climb High directly at 800-451-5127.
>> Marking Teva’s first exclusive international licensing agreement, Deckers Outdoor Corp. has signed a license agreement with RMP Athletic Locker Ltd. for men’s, women’s and children’s sportswear in Canada. RMP will design, manufacture and market sportswear for Teva, including knit and woven tops, pants and shorts. RMP is a Canadian owned and operated athletic footwear and apparel company headquartered in Ontario, Canada. It has the distribution rights to several leading brands in the Canadian marketplace, including Umbro, Airwalk, Brooks, Rider, Avia and Ryka. The initial term for the license is through Dec. 31, 2007, with an option for a three-year renewal.
>> It’s a sign of the times: Cascade Designs’ MSR Miox POP display won the silver medal in the “Design of the Times” competition at the POP Times trade show in Chicago. Sponsored by the In-Store Marketing Institute, the MSR Miox point-of-purchase display has a solid wood base with an 8.5-inch x 11-inch sign and product holder that allows consumer interaction with the product while minimizing theft. The competition drew several hundred entries in 16 categories and 14 display types. The MSR Miox placed in the “counter displays, recreation/sporting goods” category for its excellence in design and in-store execution.
>> The maker of Buff headwear is changing its name from Caviro to Original Buff to reinforce the Buff headwear brand, and reflect the fact that it is the company that created the multi-functional headwear category, the company said. A spokesperson with the company told SNEWS® that it had outgrown the Caviro name, which pre-dated the Buff brand when it manufactured other textile-oriented garments in Spain. Now that the company is singularly focusing on the Buff brand and broadening its reach into other markets including the United States, “it made sense to rename the company after a very popular brand that it created — the brand for which people know the company, we were told. The new name does not reflect any other internal changes at the company, and Original Buff will continue to operate under the same structure and with the same dealer-distributor relationships as Caviro.
>> Exel is saying goodbye to Karhu and opening a new North American subsidiary based in Georgia, Vt., to support its cross-country ski and Nordic walking pole business in the United States and Canada. “We recognize the importance of the North American market for our winter and Nordic Walking businesses. For us to play a major role in these businesses here, it is necessary to make decisions about the direction of the brand directly instead of operating through a distributor. We have developed a strategy that is focused and targeted for the North American market. By creating a subsidiary, we are able to combine the knowledge in our specialized industry with the expertise of individuals who understand the North American marketplace. By making this decision, we strongly believe we can become a leading company in the outdoor fitness market,” said Chris Griffin, international sales manager for Exel in Finland. As the North American headquarters, Exel USA Inc.’s operation will include sales, marketing and customer service. For more information on North American operations, contact Tracy Ferland at 802-524-4770 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information is available at www.exel.net.
>> Nearly $12,000 is being donated to Habitat for Humanity by Grabber Performance Group and its 2004 retail partners Galyan’s Trading Company, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Meijer Inc. and Blue Ridge Mountain Sports. Through the “Share the Warmth” package program, Grabber retail partners purchased specially designated hand warmers and offered them to consumers during the 2003/2004 season. Grabber gives a portion of the proceeds to local Habitat for Humanity chapters for every package sold, in the name of the participating retailer. Grabber has been an active supporter of Habitat for Humanity for over a decade.
>> Charting the evolution of alpine climbing throughout North America, “Ways to the Sky: A Historical Guide to North American Mountaineering” recently won two prestigious publishing awards. It was selected as the history/biography category winner at the 2004 National Outdoor Book Awards and given the James Monroe Thorington Award for the Best Work in Mountaineering History at the 2004 Banff Mountain Book Festival. Written by Andy Selters, the book traces alpine climbing in the United States, Canada and Mexico, from unrecorded ascents by native people centuries ago to the cutting-edge climbs of today, combining historical narrative with hundreds of photographs. Published in May 2004 by the American Alpine Club Press, in partnership with the Alpine Club of Canada, the 352-page book has 365 photographs (28 of which contain route overlays) and 47 featured climbing routes, as well as maps and illustrations. It’s distributed by The Mountaineers Books (www.mountaineersbooks.com).
>> Mark Singleton has joined American Whitewater (AW) as its executive director and will be responsible for leading the organization’s staff and volunteers and implementing its goals and objectives. An avid paddler, cyclist and skier, Singleton worked with the Nantahala Outdoor Center from 1990 to 2003 in various positions including marketing vice president and overseeing the retail division of the company. While at NOC, he worked closely with AW to create a pass through contribution for new membership in the non-profit. He has served on boards of OIA and the North Carolina Division of Travel and Tourism. He is a past president of Smoky Mountain Host, where he helped implement a Rural Tourism Grant Program in North Carolina. Grants from this program have been used for river enhancement projects on the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers that help fuel the economic vitality of region. “Mark brings to American Whitewater deep experience and knowledge of our sport and our membership constituency,” Sutton Bacon, AW’s search committee chairman and incoming board president, said. “He is extremely well regarded as both as an industry executive and thought-leader. We look forward to him taking this organization to the next level to strengthen our ability to protect and restore our whitewater resources.”
>> Tecnica is making it easier to race around the world, outfitting participants and crew of the reality show “The Amazing Race” with its Cruiser GTX light mountaineering boots. The sixth installment of the show premiers Nov. 16 and features 12 teams who race around the world facing a series of outdoor adventure tasks before they can move on to the next destination. Tecnica said it is contractually prohibited from discussing the end uses of its products or activities in which it has acted as consultant until after the episodes air. Guess we’ll have to tune in to see how well the boots work out.
>> Freeze is frozen: TransWorld Media is ceasing publication of Freeze magazine after the January 2005 issue. The company said the magazine wasn’t hitting its circulation targets, partly due to its narrow niche and difficulty competing with larger ski consumer publications. The Freeze staff is being let go, as well as Mike Jaquet, director of marketing and business development, and Allen Crolius, vice president of marketing and sales.
>> A quick lesson in retail self-help thanks to Reality TV: Working to resuscitate American Terrain Outdoors in White Plains, N.Y., a self-described “dream team” was brought in by the Learning Channel’s new “Taking Care of Business” show and analyzed the store’s faults and set out to fix them. Founded in 1993, the rugged outdoor clothing and equipment storefront had hit the sales wall due to no brand identity, micromanagement, and a kayak showroom dubbed “the dungeon” by staff and customers. Reviewing hidden camera footage of the store, the team implemented new customer service procedures, crafted a new logo, signage and eye-catching window displays, and added a rock climbing wall. They also improved the store layout and cleaned up the dungeon with the addition of greenery, faux-lawn floor, a wall mural and better product arrangement. According to a Business Journal report, since the store reopened, sales are up by 11 percent.
>> Five Ten has hired Seattle, Wash.-based, Alta Group as its Northwest sales rep force, replacing Egan and Associates who recently resigned the account. Dave Haavik, with Dave Alland and Chip Miller, will cover Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Montana for Five Ten. The rep group also handles Petzl America, Atomic Nordic and Telemark skis, Indigo Equipment, Sea to Summit, and Ambler Mountain Works. The Alta Group is available at 206-783-0760.
>> Launched in 2003 by Jimmy Olmes, the co-founder and former owner of Freestyle watches, Reactor Watch is expanding its specialty reach and has hired Hayter Communications to handle its national public relations campaign. Initially building its retail base in surf and action sports shops, the company intends to grow the brand in the United States and Canada through specialty outdoor, winter sport and progressive watch retailers in 2005. Reactor has hired Hayter to educate the trade and consumers about the brand’s performance attributes. The PR company also handles Helly Hansen, K2, Ride Snowboards, Dana Design, Valandre down products, Raleigh America, Diamondback Fitness and Skatelite. For more info on Reactor, visit www.reactorwatch.com.
>> NEMO Equipment Inc. has hired Christopher Dickey to help launch its marketing and sales department. Most recently, Dickey was the marketing coordinator for Alpinist Magazine where he worked on expanding Alpinist’s retail base, coordinated promotional offers and formed alliances with non-profit associations. NEMO was founded in 2002 by Cam Brensinger, a senior industrial design major at the Rhode Island School of Design, who has now focused the company on developing new and innovative ideas to improve the quality and function of equipment for adventure and survival. NEMO has also been working with MIT and NASA to help develop new spacesuit concepts for human exploration of Mars. NEMO will introduce its first line of tents in spring 2005. www.nemoequipment.com
>> Mountainsmith has hired Tri-Marketing Group as its sales sales and marketing group for Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The Tri-Marketing Group team includes Tim Goodwin, Greg Allen, Chris Robertson, Marc Fuentes and Suzie Goodwin. The group is well established in the bicycle, running, outdoor, ski, and motorcycle markets, representing Camelbak, Thule, Giro Sports and Clif Bar. The Tri-Marketing Group is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and can be reached at 972-517-2857.