Outdoor: Did you hear?…
GoLite not going bankrupt (rumor busting a la SNEWS), SIA and AHS plan Winter Trails 2004, Lisa Raleigh to become associate publisher at Big Stone, Pacific Trail launches ads with real families, CGPR celebrates The Big 1-0, and more...
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>> Bustin’ another rumor: GoLite is NOT going bankrupt, is NOT looking for outside investors, and is NOT under pressure by outside investors to pump up the profits for a quick sale. All three rumors were floating around the trade show halls during Outdoor Retailer and, according to co-founder and owner Demetri “Coup” Coupounas, are laughable. For the record, there are three investors at GoLite: Demetri, his wife Kim (and the company’s CEO), and Demetri’s father, George. Coup tells SNEWS that since the summer of 1999 when the brand was launched, they’ve received interest from investors, but they have no intention right now of expanding the circle for one main reason — control and the ability to be nimble. “With three investors, we can be very nimble in responding to market needs, and we are not being controlled by others who might have other goals,” Coup said. As for the bankruptcy talk, call it rubbish. Coup tells us they are having their best year ever and each year since 1999 has been a best year with no expectation that each successive year going forward will not also be a best year. SNEWS View: Proof that GoLite has arrived is the rampant rumor mill — and there is little doubt these rumors started with a competitor. The path of success with a new idea is predictable. First you get questioned and sometimes derided, then you get imitated, then you get folks making things up in search of an edge. Laughable!
>> SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and American Hiking Society (AHS) will be putting on the ninth annual Winter Trails on Jan. 17, 2004. This program is part of SIA’s Winter Feels Good, a nationwide public awareness campaign that promotes the health, fitness and social aspects and benefits of snow-sports participation. The one-day event is geared toward families, hikers and fitness walkers, recreational enthusiasts, school groups and youth organizations who are interested in learning more about the sport of snowshoeing. Programs and activities will include the basics on getting started, how to dress, picking the right shoe, kids activities and more. Free, guided hikes, tours and seminars will occur throughout the day at every event site location. For more information, check out www.winterfeelsgood.com.
>> Rodale has reported that the first half of 2003 was up 14 percent in terms of overall revenues compared to the same period in 2002, which was also a solid year for the company. Of interest to the outdoor market, Bicycling is up 68 percent in ad revenues and pages are up 42 percent. Backpacker’s ad revenues were up 10 percent, while pages were up 6.7 percent, both over the same period 2002. Mountain Bike and Scuba Diving are not tracked.
>> The first-ever Outdoor-Bike Order Show in Munich will be held Sept. 14-16. The show is positioned to take into account the preferred ordering time of dealers and manufacturers — after the main selling season, after summer sales and the European vacation season — as well as preferences of hard goods suppliers. The following brands are among those exhibiting at first-ever show of this type: Berghaus, Briko, Chillaz, Conte of Florence, Deuter, Dynastar, Exel, Gonso, Helly Hansen, Icepeak, Jack Wolfskin, Lange, Leki, Limar, Look, Lowa, Lowe Alpine, Lucido, Maier Sports, Meeting, Meindl, New Balance, Northwave, Odlo, Pearl Izumi, Protective, Red Chili, Roeckl, Rudy Project, Schöffel, Scott, Serac, Sergio Tacchini, Singing Rock, Skila, Smartwool, Sunrise, Tatonka, Teva, Think Pink, Wild Country, Wolfgang Junge Outdoor and Ziener. Companies still have time to participate and can contact Tobias Grober at firstname.lastname@example.org or 49-89-32353 260 for an application.
>> Duane Raleigh, head of Big Stone Publishing, told SNEWS that Backbone Media’s Lisa Raleigh is joining the crew as associate publisher of Rock and Ice and Trail Runner magazines. She is transitioning into the new role effective immediately, and he anticipates she’ll be fully in the saddle in 30 to 45 days. The opportunity arose when the company’s advertising director resigned recently, and Duane said he wanted to expand that role into one of associate publisher. Lisa’s duties will be overseeing the advertising department and account management, and heading up pubic relations and marketing. “She’ll be able to beef up Rock and Ice and Trail Runner in the areas of marketing and PR, and be able to work directly with a lot of advertisers on ways to increase their presence beyond print advertising. She brings that level of expertise over to Big Stone that we currently don’t have. That’ll be a huge benefit for advertisers. For the magazines, she’ll be able to get us nationwide media coverage and put together a cohesive marketing plan.” Lisa brings to Big Stone not only her six years of experience in public relations at Backbone Media, which she helped co-found, but also five years as ad director of Climbing magazine. “Backbone has been the most extraordinary personal and professional journey of my life. I look at it today and it’s just exceeded my wildest imagination and expectations. I’m psyched to take my former years at Climbing magazine and my six years of working with magazines from the other side, and put those two worlds together.” Penn Newhard and Nate Simmons will continue forward with Backbone as its two primary partners. And, yes, she does happened to be married to Duane also.
>> PowerBar Inc. and Trails.com have entered into a partnership. Through a customized PowerBar Harvest Trail Finder on www.powerbar.com/outdoor, consumers can now access over 30,000 guidebook trails covering 25 outdoor and travel activities to help research and plan their next outdoor adventure. The content is provided by Trails.com. A free trial subscription is provided, which offers hikers, bikers, skiers and paddlers activity-planning resources including a database of more than 30,000 trails from over 1,000 guidebooks across the United States.
>> Pacific Trail is launching a new print campaign this fall, where consumers will see a snapshot of the outdoor adventures of three real families. From horseback riding and beachcombing, to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, the ads depict the kinds of outdoor recreation enjoyed by everyday families. Created by Portland, Ore.-based, Sasquatch Advertising, the “Real Families” campaign employs a documentary-style approach to chronicle the Northwest outdoor adventures of three families: the Bradleys from Seattle, the Denver-based Dawleys, and the Jensens from Minneapolis. Each ad features one family in a montage of images that captures them enjoying a real Northwest outdoor adventure. Pacific Trail outerwear is showcased by family members participating in a variety of activities and settings that call for the brand’s diverse assortment of casual, active and performance outerwear styles. Consumers are invited to log onto Pacific Trail’s website to submit an application for a chance to appear in an outdoor adventure in the fall 2004 campaign. The company is also sponsoring a talent search with Outside Magazine in three key markets to find families for future ads. The campaign debuts in the September 2003 issue of Backpacker and runs through January 2004 in outdoor and general lifestyle magazines, including Cooking Light, Family Fun and Outside.
>> In a second year endeavor to bring more women into the invigorating world of snowshoeing, Atlas Snow-Shoe Company will expand its Explore Winter Women’s Workshops to include more venues at a wider variety of locations in top regional markets. World-class athlete and adventure racer Cathy Sassin will lead the workshops. She was recently named to the Women’s Sports Foundation’s “Top 100 Female Athletes” for 2003. To promote the Women’s Sport Foundation (WSF) and its quest to ensure participation and leadership opportunities for all girls and women in sports, Atlas is including information about the WSF on every pair of its women’s-specific Elektra snowshoes. Proceeds from the Explore Winter events will go to support the WSF. For a complete list of Explore Winter events, visit www.atlassnowshoe.com.
>> Kimberly Bourne has accepted a position as the new development director of the AAC and will begin with the club on Sept. 8. Bourne most recently was the development director for the Denver chapter of Dress for Success, an organization that provides interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to more than 45,000 low-income women in over 75 cities each year.
>> CGPR, the public relations firm headed by Chris Ann Goddard, marks its 10th anniversary with the addition of seven new clients in the last six months. New clients include: Inova, manufacturer of LED light products; Intercast, maker of sunglass lenses; Harmony paddling accessories and Sospenders PFDs, both Watermark brands; and three winter resorts in New England that are part of the Booth Creek Ski Holdings family. “CGPR started with one client, and has grown to include a whole spectrum of products in the outdoor industry and beyond,” said Goddard. “We have solid partnerships with our clients and the media and we thank them for working with us during the past 10 years.” CGPR’s clients frequently appear in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and on The Today Show.
>> Sears is rolling out Lands’ End’s apparel and merchandise into its 870 full-line stores coast-to-coast by the end of August. Since its purchase of the company in 2002, Sears has gradually been upping the number of stores carrying the line from 183 stores five months after the purchase to 217 more in March. Mindy Meads, executive vice president of apparel for Sears, said, “Sales of Lands’ End apparel for men, women and children have been strong in the 401 stores carrying the brand this spring. In fact, comparable sales for apparel in stores carrying it were 2 to 4 percent better than those without. The integration of Lands’ End into Sears has been very successful, and this is only the beginning.”