>> Thanks to a press leak (damn those inquisitive press folks!), Deal.com broke the news that J.P. Morgan & Co. had begun shopping Marmot for a reported $125 million figure. Insiders have told SNEWS® that they doubt Marmot will go at the current asking price as it far exceeds the current industry-accepted multiple of 1.1 times LTM (Last Twelve Month) sales. If estimates are correct that the last 12 months are in the range of $80 million, that would put the sales target figure at $88 million — WAY below what J.P. Morgan is trying to grab. Our guess is that Crisafulli is simply testing the waters to see what the market will bear, and that it isn’t as serious a play as the Deal has made it out to be. That said, if Marmot does find a buyer, it will be because Crisafulli is getting a multiple somewhere closer to what CamelBak received than the industry standard.
>> Speaking of CamelBak, a funny thing happened to a CamelBak customer on the way to his first Colorado Rockies game, and his first baseball game, in over 30 years. Seems he tried to get through security wearing his CamelBak — sans reservoir because he knew that would be illegal. Upon inspection of the bag’s contents — which included a jacket, glasses, and other non-illegal personal items — security noticed the brand name and told him, “no CamelBaks are allowed” and even showed him a reference on page 33 of a rules booklet that stated no CamelBaks. Security’s logic was that if the rule book said “No CamelBaks” then that meant, nothing with the brand name CamelBak on it period. The poor man had to leave his pack at a courtesy check booth and missed the first inning entirely. Naturally curious, we contacted Jay Alves, the Rockies’ director of communications and public relations, and told him that while we were in complete agreement that allowing reservoirs that might contain 100 ounces of margarita in them into a ballpark was not acceptable, banning a pack, that no longer contained the reservoir, simply on the grounds of a brand name association, was somewhat curious. He agreed, and told SNEWS® that he had spoken to his team and clarified the rule which he admitted they were taking a bit too literally. The term “CamelBak” was being used in the rulebook to mean any hydration system, rather like Kleenex is used to refer to tissue (we’re sure that makes CamelBak feel just peachy and hope that at least the rulebook used the trademark symbol correctly?). Alves told us that, of course, any small backpack without a hydration system inside was acceptable and that this brand name confusion would not happen again. As for the individual, Alves asked us for his name so he could, we presume, make the poor man an offer he couldn’t refuse.
>> GoLite and The Timberland Company have teamed up to co-sponsor a veteran adventure racing team, marking GoLite’s return as an adventure racing sponsor, and Timberland’s debut. Racing under the Team GoLite/Timberland name will be: Isaac Wilson (Park City, Utah), Billy Mattison (Vail, Colo.), Monique Merrill (Breckenridge, Colo.) and Kiwi native, Aaron Prince. Team GoLite/Timberland will be racing in 2004’s major professional adventure races, including the Subaru Primal Quest, the Raid Gauloises, Raid the North Extreme, and the Balance Bar 24 series.
>> Cloudveil has received recognition from the Summit Creative Awards and The Communicator Awards for its fall 2003 consumer catalog and advertising campaigns. Cloudveil’s fall ’03 “Soul Focus” advertising campaign garnered silver medal honors from the Summit Creative Awards and the top level Distinction Award from The Communicator Awards. In addition, the Cloudveil catalog was named a Crystal Award of Excellence winner by The Communicator Awards. The Summit Creative Awards is an international awards competition that recognizes exceptional work by marketing creative firms with annual budgets of $15 million or less. This year’s competition received approximately 3,000 entries from 20 countries. The Communicator Awards, also an international competition, was founded by communication professionals to recognize excellence in the communication field. The Crystal Award of Excellence is given to entries whose ability to communicate is among the best in the field, while the Award of Distinction is presented to those who exceed industry standards.
>> Outdoor Life Network and the editors of Outside magazine are partnering to present a new weekly television show, Outside Magazine’s Ultimate Top 10. Premiering July 3 at 10:30 p.m. EST and PST, the show features adventure athletes experiencing top travel destinations with a strong flavoring of adrenaline. Outside’s editors choose the adventures, OLN films and airs them, and Tyler Harcott hosts the show.
>> Pertex, which entered the Russian market in 2003 through an exclusive agreement with Russian outdoor sports brand, Bask, recently exhibited at Sport Activities — Outdoor, an outdoor exhibition in Moscow. Word has it that the exhibition attracted over 10,000 attendees including manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and consumers. Pertex representatives in attendance stated that Russia clearly has a high potential for growth and that the demand for lightweight and performance fabrics is very strong.
>> Salt Lake City has honored Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) with a Downtown Alliance Achievement award. The awards are designed to pay tribute to those individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to downtown Salt Lake City. In a memo to OIA President Frank Hugelmeyer, Bob Farrington, executive director of the Downtown Alliance, wrote, “We owe you and the Association not only our thanks for your economic contributions to downtown Salt Lake City but perhaps more importantly your focus on our unique and amazing outdoor resources.” The Downtown Alliance is a non-profit organization created to foster business, community and culture in the Central Business District of Salt Lake City. Special thanks were conveyed by OIA to Black Diamond President Peter Metcalf who accepted the award on behalf of the OIA board of directors.
>> The American Alpine Club (AAC), Mountain Safety Research, Therm-a-Rest and Platypus jointly awarded $22,000 in Lyman Spitzer climbing grants and gear to support “cutting-edge expeditions attempting bold first ascents in Pakistan, Greenland, China and India.” Only four of the 12 expeditions seeking support were granted funding, which included cash totaling $12,000 and $10,000 worth of gear to supply the expeditions. The cash grants are drawn from an endowment made possible by support from AAC members, including a generous bequest from the estate of Lyman Spitzer. The four grant recipients are: Nathan Martin and Jared Ogden, who will attempt an ascent of a 2,000-foot granite fin in a remote fjord in southeastern Greenland; Carlos Buhler and his team, who will try a new route on the north face of Kalanka (6,931 meters) in the Garhwal Himalaya of India; Josh Wharton and Jonathan Copp, who will attempt a first ascent of the southwest ridge of Great Trango Tower in the Karakoram region of the Himalayan mountains, with the secondary goal of an alpine-style ascent of Broad Peak; and Tommy Chandler and his climbing partners, who will try to establish new routes and further expand the climbing possibilities on Janmo Spire, Jarjinjabo Dome and the other formations in the Jarjinjabo Massif, in the Sichuan Province of western China. Grants are awarded by a committee that includes Jack Tackle, John Middendorf and Nancy Feagin.
>> Water Dawg University, Watermark’s retailer training program — dubbed Water Dawg University and modeled after the Yakima Rack Dawg retailer training program — wrapped up its first year of operation with Watermark telling SNEWS® that over 45 dealers and 130 individuals participated at five venues (Boston, Houston, Marin, Seattle and Washington, D.C.) throughout the United States. WaterMark plans to expand the Water Dawg event schedule for this coming year.
>> Congratulations to the Asolo team, who notified SNEWS® that the company has been told by the Gore-Tex team that Asolo has scored the highest of any footwear manufacturer making Gore-Tex boots following the completion of Gore’s recent audit of Asolo manufacturing standards and procedures. Gore tests and certifies all of the factories and businesses worldwide that produce footwear. We know, from a visit to one of Asolo’s factories last year, that the company test 100-percent of all the Gore-Tex booties for waterproofness — a level of testing not required by Gore. Asolo also tests every delivery of Gore fabric to ensure it meets its standards before accepting a delivery. The folks at Asolo told us that as a result of their score, the company can now legitimately claim to be one of the very best companies, if not the best, in the world in terms of production quality of Gore-Tex footwear — quite an achievement.
>> Seattle Sports Company, an established manufacturer of paddling and camping gear, has decided it is high time the company went to the dogs and has introduced a line of leashes and leash accessories designed to provide the ultimate in comfort, safety and convenience while walking a dog. Both the Get-a-Grip leashes and clip-on handles and the Hot Paw leash mitts are part of the company’s new Pet Accessory collection introduced earlier this year. In a play to grab a share of some of the reported $573 million market, the company recently exhibited its line at the Pet Accessory collection at the PIDA Pets 2004 Pet Exposition & Trade Show and the HH Backer Pet Industry Spring Trade Show & Educational Conference. SNEWS® View: Isn’t the first time an outdoor company has decided it can play well with mutts, and it won’t be the last, but it is a very, very difficult market to break into. There are already very successful outdoor brands focusing on the pet market and doing it well (to learn more go to www.GearTrends.com and download our 2003 GearTrends Summer Outdoor magazine to reference the article, “Woof it Up” on page 104).
>> Canoe & Kayak Magazine won two Maggie Awards at the 53rd annual awards ceremony, held April 23 in Los Angeles. Presented by the Western Publications Association, Maggie Awards recognize editorial and design excellence in magazine and electronic publishing for publications based west of the Mississippi River. Among 1,700 entrants, five Canoe & Kayak titles were selected as finalists in four different categories. The magazine won Maggies in the categories “Best Regularly Featured Department” for its Take Out column, and “Best Table of Contents” for its Canoe Journal 2004 all-canoeing annual.
>> Kim Miller and Jack Tackle have joined the High Gear independent rep team as regional sales and marketing representatives for the company’s Rocky Mountain territory. In addition to High Gear, Miller and Tackle currently represent Black Diamond Equipment, Vasque Footwear and Blurr Clothing, and work with over 250 retail accounts in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas and Western Nebraska. Miller is headquartered in Boulder, Colo., and can be reached at 303-245-9177 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tackle is headquartered in Victor, Idaho, and can be reached at 208-787-1112 or email@example.com.
>> Five Ten has restructured its management team in Europe. Bastiaan Wauters is now Five Ten’s new sales and sponsorship coordinator for Europe. Wauters previously served as sponsoring manager Europe. Beverly Mead has been named as Five Ten Europe international business finance coordinator and will be working out of both the Redlands, Calif., and Brussels offices.
>> Terry Lavin has joined Outside magazine’s New York-based staff as an account manager. Lavin will report to the magazine’s Eastern advertising director, Skip Gilbert. Most recently, Lavin was the East Coast sales director for Viacom.
>> Optimer Performance Fibers, marketer of Dri-release with FreshGuard patented moisture transfer fabrics, has promoted Karen Deniz to president of the company’s European division from vice president of marketing. Deniz is based in New Jersey and will retain responsibility for East Coast, U.S. Dri-release customers and continue to head Optimer’s marketing efforts, in addition to her new position as president of Optimer’s European division.