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>> Primedia — Powder Magazine’s parent company — has officially removed the “for sale” sign Powder has worked under for the last year. The decision comes at a time when Primedia’s ASG (Action Sports Group) is moving to develop its portfolio which currently consists of 13 magazines, 14 websites, 75-plus events, TV/video, radio and custom publishing. The decision to move forward does come with some personnel cost. Publisher Ben Warner’s position was eliminated as part of a restructuring. Associate Publisher Josh Weis and Account Executive Kevin Back will share the responsibility of brand management within the ASG sales organizational team. For now, there are no changes affecting the editorial staff.
>> Brunton’s Solo portable power device got some rather unique and prominent play through November and December. The company was asked to provide its product for display in Sony Style storefront windows as part of a special selection of high-tech items covered in Wired magazine’s December issue. The issue, which recognized Wired editors’ choices for the “most technologically exciting and cutting-edge products for 2002,” also included products from Microsoft, Panasonic, Black & Decker, Yamaha, Toshiba and Samsung. All the products were placed in high-traffic windows in premier Sony Style locations in such hot spots as Madison Avenue in New York, North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and Fourth Street at Sony’s Metreon in San Francisco.
>> The winners for the 2003 Polartec Challenge have been announced. Winners are Dylan Taylor of Boulder, Colo., for his Bhagirathi Alpine Enchainment in India, and Rob Walker of Bend, Ore., for his Chilean Passage Expedition in South America. Additionally, Andrej Stremfelj of Slovenia will undertake his attempt to make the first ascent of the Northeast Face of Chomo Lonzo, Himalaya. The Polartec Challenge grant program selects winners based on criteria that typically includes exploration of remote terrain in a frugal, low-impact style. Additionally, expeditions often embrace local culture, research scientific objectives and reach out to the human spirit of adventure. Started in 1991, and sponsored by Malden Mills, the manufacturer of Polartec fabrics, the Polartec Challenge gains critical feedback and assists Malden Mills innovative pursuits of new fabric technologies.
>> Travelchair is reaching into the rep and athlete field for grassroots exposure, but not through its own company. The rep forces and sponsored athletes for Black Diamond, Liquid Logic and Northwave are being provided with Travelchairs for use at demos, events, half-pipes, crags, river camps and backyard barbeques. In addition to providing road-weary reps and athletes with a comfy seat, the Travelchairs will be screened with the appropriate partner’s logo providing additional brand recognition at industry and consumer events.
>> Like everyone else it seems, Gregory Mountain Products is now sponsoring an adventure racing team, Team Venture4, led by Marc Secades, for the 2003 race season. Team Venture4 will now become Team Gregory. Beside Secades, the 2003 Team Gregory members are: Steve Klasna, Addy Goodvibes, Marg Fedyna, and Lynn Albrow. Secades worked very closely with Gregory in the development process of the company’s recently introduced long-course adventure racing pack, the Advent Pro. SNEWS View: Though many don’t identify Gregory with adventure racing, the company was one of the first to develop a pack for adventure racers back in 1995, when Mark Burnett, founder of the Eco Challenge, far better known for his TV series Survivor, approached Gregory to request an adventure racing pack to compete in the Raid Gaulouis. That pack was called, aptly enough, the Adventure Racer. While adventure racing is a growing market, it remains to be seen how this sponsorship will translate into new product development that consumers can relate to, and then, consequently, sales increases for Gregory. That challenge holds true for any company now sponsoring an adventure racing team.
>> Eagle Creek has named Roy Goldwasser as vice president of sales and business development, effective January 13. In this position, Goldwasser will be responsible for executive sales leadership and business development in North America. He will have direct management responsibilities for the company’s luggage sales efforts and the independent rep force in that channel. Additionally, Goldwasser will be pursuing new business opportunities for Eagle Creek’s future growth. Prior to joining Eagle Creek, Goldwasser served as vice president of sales for TRG (Swiss Army Travel Gear) and as vice president of sales for the Hugo Bosca Co. Michael Millenacker, director of sales for the outdoor market, will continue in his role responsibility and play a larger role in special projects, working closely with Goldwasser. Henry Friedman has resigned from Eagle Creek to pursue other interests.
>> After 11 years as executive editor of Washington Trails magazine (previously “Signpost for NW Trails”), Dan Nelson has announced he is stepping down to take on the challenge of combining two national magazines and relaunching them into one new, unified magazine for the U.S. Hang Gliding Association titled, Hang Gliding & Paragliding. Nelson will continue to be an active, regular contributor to Backpacker magazine, and will maintain his regular gear column in “The Seattle Times, NW Weekend” outdoor section. Nelson told SNEWS, “I look forward to continuing to work with the outdoor industry, and to helping introduce the outdoor industry to the free-flight community of hang glider and paraglider pilots in North America. This is a vast, untapped market full of enthusiastic outdoor recreationists, and I’m eager to bring them into the greater outdoor market.”
>> True North Brand Group has announced that Gigi de Young, formally public relations manager at Jansport, has joined its team. At True North, de Young will help manage the PR directions for True North’s roster of outdoor accounts, including Tecnica ski and hiking, Volkl skis, snowboard and tennis, Tubbs Snowshoes, Kamik boots, Nalgene and INCHworm Shoes. In addition, de Young will help manage True North’s editor events.
SNEWS View: True North already has an “A” team in place, and with the addition of de Young, it is set to really make some PR and marketing noise for its current and future clients.
>> Marmot has signed on as an event sponsor of the 2003 Life-Link/Dynafit Randonnee Rally Race series. The company will be the event sponsor of both the Alpental, Wash., race and the North American Championships in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The events will now be called the Marmot Randonnee Rally at Alpental (which will take place Feb. 23) and the Marmot North American Championships at Jackson Hole (Mar. 22). The ski mountaineering race series starts in Whistler, Canada, on Jan. 11. The series then goes to Crested Butte, Colo., on Feb. 16 followed by the Marmot Randonnee Rally at Alpental, Wash., on Feb. 23, the Rally at Stevens Pass, Wash., on Mar. 9, and culminates in the North American Championships on Mar. 22, in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Other sponsors of the series include Clif Bar, Cloudveil, Petzl, Couloir, Off-Piste Magazine, Croakies, Mountain Hardwear, Daggers Sunglasses, Suunto, Arc’Teryx, Honey Stinger, Boeri, G-Push, Crazy Creek, and Adventure Medical Kits.
>> In Memorium: Norm Cavallaro sent SNEWS the following sad news, “Sylvia Mitchell, our good friend, and Royal Robbins Rep, passed away Christmas Day, after a brief, but courageous battle with cancer. Those who knew her loved her smile and wit. We will all miss her terribly. She leaves a daughter and two sons.”