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For the week of Oct. 26 to Nov. 1
>> Planalytics — www.planalytics.com — has reported that a winter-like trough of low pressure across the eastern half of the country combined with a warm high pressure ridge strengthening across the Western U.S. will create a four- to five-day blast of unseasonably cold air to spread over the eastern half of the country with the coldest air — perhaps record or near record-breaking cold — targeting the Midwest and Great Lakes then moving eastward to the Northeast. According to Planalytics, “Projected temperature departures from normal during the first half of next week will range from 10-20 degrees below normal across portions of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley then eastward into the Northeastern U.S. where 8-16 degree below normal cold will prevail. This dramatic departure from normal will translate into a pronounced surge in demand for winter merchandise. Points south and west to the Rockies and Gulf will experience 3-8 degree below normal warmth.”
>> Coming as no surprise to the SNEWS® team, K2 Sports has announced that Dana Design backpack and travel bag division will relocate from Vashon Island, Wash., to Santa Rosa, Calif., to operate under the Marmot Mountain division. Zac West, Dana’s head designer and product manager, will continue in that capacity for the Dana brand. His focus will be on the development of large-volume and mid-volume backpacks, daypacks, multi-sport packs and travel bags. Dana Design and Marmot products will continue to be developed and marketed as separate brands. SNEWS® View: Finally, it appears possible that K2 will be able to reap the rewards of its investment in the brand it acquired in 1996. Under the old K2 regime, the brand was moved from Bozeman to Vashon for all the wrong reasons, and has since struggled, surviving only because of a few in-house K2 folks (and Mark Terwilliger deserves huge credit here) who really worked hard keeping the brand alive, veteran reps (most especially Bill Sterling) that believed in the brand, and retailers who also continued to support the brand. Good that Zac is remaining with Dana as he is a real talent. With the resources that Marmot brings to the table, and with the brand-equity that Dana continues to enjoy, we suspect the synergy will produce beneficial results for both Marmot and Dana.
>> Cascade Designs has run into “technical difficulties” in its new stove introductions, forcing the company to announce that both the new two-burner stove and the capillary technology stove system will not be shipped to market in 2005. On the two-burner stove, it became clear to the company that the price it was seeking to introduce the new stove at was too high for retailers to accept it, inspiring Cascade to send the design back to engineering to cut some price out of the mix. As for the capillary stove — the one that wowed crowds at Summer Market — the company has issued a statement that says the stoves “have been delayed due to the inability of our key vendor, Vapore, to supply the capillary force vaporizer (CVP) as planned.” Cascade is working with Vapore to transfer manufacturing of the CVP to Cascade’s facility in Seattle, which will result in a manufacturing delay. That means the stove will not be available now until 2006.
>> If you’ve been wondering where some of those Sierra Designs employees went when they didn’t follow the company to Colorado, all you have to do is look two blocks down the road from SD’s old 4th Street headquarters. You’ll find OllyDog, a pet product company that offers dog collars, leashes, travel bowls, beds and accessories, and is driven by the philosophy of play — dogs who play with their people, people that play with their dogs. The OllyDog team, which includes some faces from The North Face, will channel their expertise in product development and creative marketing into the pet industry. The company made its debut at the 38th annual Pet Industry Christmas Trade Show in Chicago in October, touting fresh styling with innovative materials and features to make a dog’s life more fun. Mike Mooers, formerly with SD’s marketing department, is president of the company, and sales veteran Trudy Hutton was recently named vice president. Hutton will oversee all sales functions and be deeply involved with product and brand development. She has been sales manager for SD and Ultimate Directions and, most recently, Hydrapack. “We’re motivated by creating high-performance dog gear and bringing it to the world with a sense of flair and fun,” said Mooers. Hutton added, “We’re committed to the principle of ‘New Tricks.’ We won’t put any product out there unless we’ve found a way to make it better than what already exists.” They’ve also got a couple big dogs helping them out. Sally McCoy, former general manager of SD, and Ted Ganio are very actively involved as advisors, Mooers told us. For more info, visit www.ollydog.com or call 800-OLLYDOG.
>> Nov. 2 is an important day in the United States as millions of Americans head to the polls to vote for the country’s next president as well as other important leaders and propositions. The Outdoor Industries Women’s Council (OIWC) recently sent out a special election newsletter encouraging every woman in the outdoor industry to get out and vote. “This is a crucial election for issues regarding women and the outdoor industry, and your vote can make the difference,” it said. The newsletter articles traced the history of the fight for the women’s right to vote, encouraged mentoring of young women and getting them to vote, and emphasized voting for the environment. In the last presidential election 22 million single women didn’t vote, and only 68 percent of married women voted. This year, OIWC challenges industry members to find at least one woman who did not vote in the last election and get her to the polls.
>> California-based On the Horizon Communications has added Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine and Traveler Guitar, the manufacturer of quality travel guitars, to its list of clients. On the Horizon will handle the companies’ public relations needs, working with trade and consumer media. Earlier this year, On the Horizon relocated to a larger office, added staff and upgraded its website. Its other clients include Hot Chillys, Crazy Creek, Blue Canoe, Flojos, Bob Trailers, ispo, Ernie Ball, author Kimberly Lisagor, Aussie Dogs, SoJoe and PlaceTile Designs. For more information, visit www.thepressroom.com.
>> Columbia Sportswear has promoted Mike Prendergast to president of the Sorel division, and named Paul Gils general manager Europe. As Sorel’s president, Prendergast will manage all aspects of the Sorel apparel and footwear brand, effective immediately. He brings more than 30 years of industry experience to his new role, and joined Columbia in 2002 as national sales manager for the Sorel division. As general manager Europe, Gils will handle all aspects of sales, marketing and administration of Columbia products in Europe, joining Columbia after a 10-year career with Nike Europe. He’ll be based in Columbia’s European headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, and start Nov. 15.
>> The Western Winter Sports Representatives Association (WWSRA) has signed Atomic Snowboarding, Hotfingers, Optic Nerve and Swany as series sponsors for its 2005 regional trade events. In an effort to rejuvenate the association, WWSRA is offering sponsorship opportunities to reps, industry affiliates and manufacturers as a way to offer more hospitality and illicit a better overall experience for retailers and reps at its regional shows. Also, Malakye.com, Transworld Business, Ride (in Southern California), Tecnica/Volkl and Burton Snowboards (in the Northwest) and Rome Snowboards (in Northern California) will be hosting parties and entertainment at events across the western United States. WWSRA is still looking for more event sponsors in 2005. Call Jennifer Anderson at 206-284-0751 for more details. www.wwsra.com
>> Apparel-maker Solstice has hired Pale Morning Media to handle product publicity support for its spring 2005 line. Pale Morning Media will design and implement a fall public relations campaign to publicize Solstice and its growing assortment of warm-weather gear that includes hiking shorts and technical pants.
>> Columbia Sportswear has been beating the licensing drum, signing on with Coast Cutlery and California Innovations. For spring 2005, Coast Cutlery will design, manufacture and market a line of outdoor accessories, including knives, multi-tools, compasses, and LED lights. It will also make hiking sticks, binoculars, field glasses, and camping lanterns and lights for active outdoor enthusiasts. California Innovations will create a line of insulated products for Columbia, including coolers, lunch packs, thermal mugs and bottles to debut in spring 2005.
>> Timbuk2 Designs recently won the Emerging Growth Award at the 2004 Ebbies Awards Gala in San Francisco, given to companies “whose visionary leadership has made them role models for entire industries.” Every year, the award goes to a San Francisco-based small business or emerging growth company that has demonstrated creativity and innovation, while establishing itself as an industry leader. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce created the Ebbies in 1991 to highlight the achievements of the city’s top companies and community development. Timbuk2’s manufacturing is based in San Francisco’s Mission District where 500 bags a day are built and distributed worldwide.
>> Proceeds from signed copies of “Tight Lines,” a collection of more than 100 images from notable fly-fishing artist Dave Tibbetts, are going to the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. The trail is a historic, 740-mile waterway that runs through the northern forest region of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Quebec and New York. Tibbetts’ work can be found in galleries and museums, and the books are available for a limited time. Find out more by going to: http://www.HeartofNH.com/Tibbetts/NorthernForestCanoe.
>> Himaya Sports Sun Protection, a new action sports sunscreen brand designed to protect outdoor athletes from overexposure to the sun, is scheduled to hit retail in mid-November. Founded by Stuart Knowles, creator of Himaya and Duotone Snowboards for the B&M Group, with Dave Schmidt, previously the vice president of global sales for Burton Snowboards, they say the Himaya products have been specifically developed to meet the demanding requirements of outdoor athletes and to provide complete broadband UVA and UVB protection using the “nanotechnology of microfine zinc oxide.” (SNEWS® note: Puleeze. Enough with the nano-whatever blather. We get it — extra fine zinc oxide. Sheesh!) The company said it will focus on the winter and water sports markets first and then extend into other outdoor sports — targeting specialty retail distribution. Knowles, based in Innsbruck, Austria, will focus on Himaya’s European market, while Schmidt, based in Williston, Vt., will handle the North American market. Check out www.himaya.com for more details.
>> Liquid Solution’s Tea-zer tumbler for brewing tea won the bronze medal at the second annual Portland Design Festival. The competition, which included more than 200 entries from Oregon and southwest Washington, was sponsored by the Portland Design Collaborative. The Tea-zer mug has a double-wall construction with a stainless steel basket that keeps leaves or teabags from mixing with brewed tea. For more information, go to www.pacific-cornetta.com.
>> Dean Karnazes is joining Brunton’s pro team, which already includes mountaineer Ed Viesturs and free skier Alison Gannett. Karnazes, 38, is an endurance athlete with 10 years experience, including a recently completed 262-mile, non-stop run for charity and a Badwater Ultramarathon victory. He has also won the silver buckle at the Western States 100-mile endurance race nine times and the Outdoor Life Network recently named him one of the10 Ultimate Athletes. This month he is competing in the World Championships in Europe with the U.S. Ultrarunning Team.
>> Glen Bernard, publisher of Canoe & Kayak magazine, dropped SNEWS® an email to tell us about a rare occurrence — a new ad exec at the magazine. Bernard said that Stephen Jones has been hired to lead the magazine’s advertising sales department, after most recently working as director of business development at Hooked on the Outdoors magazine. Before that, he worked as advertising director at Paddler Magazine for five years. Jones replaces Chris Callanan who will be returning to his hometown, Boise, Idaho, to take a position with AIRE/Outcast Inflatable Boats. Jones enjoys all aspects and disciplines of paddling, mountain and road cycling, and tele and Nordic skiing.
>> GERMANY — The ispo winter 2005 sporting goods trade show has fully sold out its available 160,000 square meters (1.72 million square feet) of the New Munich Trade Fair Center for the show Feb. 6-9, 2005. Organizers said they are expecting more than 1,600 exhibitors from 40 countries in Munich, of which foreign attendees (which includes any country outside of Germany) should account for more than 70 percent. This year, the outdoor segment is starting the “Greenhouse Project” to promote new, young outdoor brands with innovative approaches. Supporting the newcomers with their booth space and setup, public relations and communication, the project is a long-term concept, and will provide exhibitors with three consecutive trade fair presences for brand and image cultivation. The exhibition area of the “Greenhouse Project” will be in Hall 5, directly adjacent to the European Outdoor Summit. The application deadline to participate in the Greenhouse Project is Nov. 5. Also, ispo’s organizer, Messe München, is going to present the ispo Outdoor Award in the categories of hardware, footwear, textiles and accessories for the innovative outdoor products for the 2005/2006 season. The criteria for the jury are innovation; function, quality and technical solutions; and user-friendliness and operation or use and design. Entries are due Jan. 21, 2005. Details and additional information dealing with all aspects of the outdoor segment and its projects are available from the Community Manager Tobias Gröber, +49 89 949-20155, firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, visit www.ispo.com.
>> Despite a presidential signature, a federal judge struck down a ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, calling it a “prejudged, political” move. U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer ruled that the Clinton-era ban was invalid because it did not involve adequate public participation and failed to follow federal law. The decision could clear the way for new rules that allow the machines. National Park Service officials are drafting new rules for the next three winters, tentatively allowing 720 snowmobiles a day into Yellowstone and 140 a day into Grand Teton. Interior Secretary Gale Norton said her agency would continue working toward a “common sense solution” for snowmobile use. The ban, which was adopted during the Clinton administration and was set to take effect last winter, was set aside in early 2003 by the park service to settle a lawsuit filed by snowmobile makers. Under the agreement, new rules were drafted to allow a limited number of snowmobiles in the parks. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan later overturned the regulations and ordered the ban to begin this year, which was set aside by Brimmer.
>> Founded in 1911 by outdoorsman Leon Leonwood Bean hawking waterproof boots in catalogs, L.L. Bean has grown to a billion-dollar corporation with catalog, Internet and retail operations. Although its catalog and Internet sales still account for 70 percent of revenue, Bean expects retail to grow steadily and is planning to open five new locations by 2007 and expand beyond the East Coast in 2008. Newsweek magazine reported on the company’s plans in the article, “Swimming Upstream: L.L. Bean faces tough new challenges from old rivals and e-commerce. Can the iconic mail-order company from Maine continue to thrive?” Click here to read more.
>> Sports publisher Inside Communications (ICI) has named Amy Walker to the newly created position of event marketing manager. She will head up all event and field marketing, management and logistics for the assorted events run by VeloNews, Inside Triathlon, Ski Racing, VeloSwap, VeloPress, VeloGear, and associated websites. Walker was previously with Groundzero Sports Marketing. She’s available at 303-440-0601, ext. 113, and email@example.com.
>> Among those being elected to the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame are James Cabela, Mary Cabela and Richard Cabela of outdoor retailer Cabela’s, and Konstantin (Conny) Klimenko of Sevylor Inc. The Hall of Fame induction will take place May 24, 2005, during the 41st Annual NSGA Management Conference and seventh annual Team Dealer Summit, which will be held at the new JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz. The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Breakfast is co-sponsored by W.L. Gore & Associates, Mizuno USA, New Balance Athletic Shoe and Southern Athletic.