Outdoor: Did you hear?…

WSJ article on bolting, Nike ACG sponsors Adventure Racing team, SLC article on Leavitt for EPA, Patagonia wins award for catalog, Outdoor Channel goes international, CEO sounds like Dilbert, REI awarded as Best in E-commerce, Army turns to Ortovox, Coleman launches campground search site, Backcountry Access to distribute Naxo AT binding...

>> The June 11 Wall Street Journal placed climbing and the bolting controversy on the front page. In an article by Dean Starkman, titled “Bolts in Rocks Have Climbers Screaming From Mountaintops (click here to read) the author states, “Whether to bolt or not is a smoldering question in rock climbing these days as the sport comes to grips with growing popularity. Once the domain of a scruffy few who embraced an ethic of self-reliance, conservationism and risk, rock climbing is being overrun by a new generation less connected to its daring past. The result: a culture clash on the rocks.” SNEWS View: Unfortunately, Jonathan Thesenga, the former editor of Climbing magazine, and the magazine itself gets publicity in the article, but not the kind either was probably seeking.

>> Nike All Conditions Gear (ACG) has announced that the company will co-sponsor one of the most accomplished adventure racing teams in the world for the next two years — the former Team GoLite, now called Team Nike ACG/Balance Bar. The team includes Ian Adamson, Mike Kloser, Michael Tobin and Danelle Ballengee. Collectively, members of the team have won four Eco-Challenges, as well as Raid Gauloises, Gorge Games, ESPN X-Games, MSOQ, Balance Bar Series and Primal Quest. In addition to competitive races, the team will contribute to product testing and design for Nike ACG to develop high-performance gear and apparel. Over the next two years, Team Nike ACG/Balance Bar will participate in Nike ACG retail promotions as well as conduct product clinics.

>> June 11 Salt Lake Tribune featured a snippet in a column by Paul Rolly and JoAnn Wells titled, “Would Bush Tap Leavitt for the EPA?” The snippet read, “Gov. Mike Leavitt flew to Washington, D.C., on Friday, the morning after hosting his $150-per-plate annual fund-raiser in Salt Lake City. The meetings he had with federal officials reportedly included discussions about Leavitt possibly replacing Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christy Todd Whitman, who recently announced her resignation.” SNEWS View: Perfect, a governor that just learned the word wilderness actually means something being tapped to protect our environment. Yet another confirmation that the Bush administration has a very clear agenda and is going about dismantling environmental and land protections in a methodical and, unfortunately, under-the-radar manner.

>> Patagonia’s fall 2002 catalog was named “Catalog of the Year” by Catalog Age during its 18th Annual Catalog Awards, presented June 3 during the 20th annual catalog conference. In addition to Patagonia, several other outdoor companies garnered recognition including CMC Rescue Equipment with a Silver for Business Specialty catalogs, Wilderness Travel: Journeys for the Year 2003 with a Gold for Retail, Patagonia Winter 2002 with a Gold and Backroads 2003-2004 with a Silver for Consumer Specialty, and Wilderness Travel and Mountain Travel Sobek each earning Gold for Travel.

>> Outdoor Channel, a subsidiary of Global Outdoors, and Digital Latin America (DLA), the digital content and service provider for Latin American and Caribbean cable operators, have signed an agreement for DLA to become the channel’s exclusive distributor in Latin America. The deal marks The Outdoor Channel’s debut to an international audience. The companies also announced that the 24-hour channel has launched in major systems in Mexico including Cablevision Mexico and PCTV in both analog and digital.

>> As outdoor companies get larger, CEOs tend to get more and more corporate and, dare we say, Dilbertized? One of our loyal readers emailed us the following comparison, one a real quote excerpted from a recent Paddle Dealer magazine attributed to a major paddlesport company CEO who shall remain nameless here, but knows who he is, and the other from the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator online. Enjoy the chuckle.
1) “This process has been part of the effort we began over a year ago to develop a superior product, enhance our service capabilities and streamline our business processes while anticipating the needs of the marketplace. With a strong product line that appeals to a wide variety of enthusiasts, we are poised to continue the momentum we have established and look forward to forging stronger partnerships with all our dealers. However, the current business climate commands responsible and proactive management of costs.” — Paddlesport company CEO quoted in Paddle Dealer.
2) “We have committed to assertively build prospective catalysts for change in order that we may efficiently restore unique solutions in order to solve business problems. It’s our responsibility to quickly engineer business technology to meet our customer’s needs. Our goal is to interactively disseminate timely solutions in order to collaboratively administrate mission-critical leadership skills. Our mission is to seamlessly leverage long-term high-impact solutions to allow us to synergistically facilitate unique benefits to set us apart from the competition.” — Dilbert Mission Statement Generator created the above and can be accessed by clicking here. SNEWS View: As a CEO, finding that your quotes are beginning to seem remarkably similar to those found in a Dilbert cartoon is not necessarily a good thing, other than to garner a laugh. If you see yourself in these quotes, it’s time for a gut check, reality check and systems check.

>> Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) was recognized for Best in E-commerce Innovation during the Retail Systems Achievement Awards at the recent 2003 Retail Systems conference in Chicago. The award was presented to REI in recognition of “the company’s industry-leading B2C systems and practices that improve the consumer shopping experience and raise standards throughout the industry.” REI was nominated by Top of the Net, an e-commerce industry news analysis service of MoonWatch Media. Presented by MoonWatch Media and Chain Store Age magazine, Retail Systems Achievement Awards honor outstanding examples of systems and interactive applications that have resulted in more effective customer service and improved business processes. The awards recognize individuals and companies whose efforts and companywide dedication to information technology have raised standards throughout the industry.

>> Select U.S. Army mountain-based special operations forces will be carrying the Ortovox M2 Avalanche Transceiver, as well as the Ortovox Expert Shovel that is constructed from an aluminum/magnesium alloy. According to Ortovox, the mountain-based special operations forces will begin training with Ortovox’s M2 transceiver and Expert Shovel this summer and have them in the field by fall.

>> The Coleman Company has launched what it is calling the Outernet site at The Outernet is designed as a one-stop source of searchable information on more than 16,000 public and private campground locations throughout the United States. According to the company, many of the site locations on the Coleman Outernet can be reserved online.

>> Backcountry Access (BCA) has begun to market and distribute the new Naxo alpine touring (AT) binding in North America. The Naxo nx01 is an AT binding from Switzerland with a full alpine toepiece, maximum DIN setting of 12, and an innovative “virtual rotation system” that increases stride ergonomics while touring. It was developed by Naxo AG of Thun, Switzerland, a company founded in 2001 by former managers at alpine touring manufacturer, Fritschi AG. Naxo was introduced to the European market during the 2002/2003 season. BCA began taking orders from North American retailers on June 5, for delivery in autumn 2003. The U.S. suggested retail price for the nx01 is $299.95, including ski brakes.

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