>> The newest member of the Mammut Pro Team is Vinzenz Lüps — a freestyle snowboarder from Munich, Germany. Lüps, 21, won gold at the ISF finals in Switzerland last spring, and he also won this season’s freestyle competition opener in the fall.
>> ispo and sponsor Volvo will present a sports design forum at the winter show in February in Germany. The program will give time to not only present concepts, but also stimulate discussion and encourage participation by attendees. Speakers will include: Henrik Otto (design director, Volvo Car Corp., Germany), Eyan Allen (Nike) and Neil Pryde (president of Neil Pryde Ltd., Hong Kong). For more, go to www.ispo-sportsdesign.com.
>> Maria Bogner, founder of Bogner sport house in Munich, has died. She was 88. Her son, Willy Jr., still heads up the business.
>> Odlo is launching a winter fitness collection at the winter ispo show in February under license with developer and running expert Ulrich Strunz. The line is slated to be ready for retail by fall/winter 2003-04 and will be called “Forever Young.” It will focus on the Nordic market and will coincide with a book by Strunz on Nordic Fitness. For more: www.strunz.com or www.odlo.com.
>> Fox River’swomen’s walking sock has received the Seal of Approval from the National Health & Wellness Club. Some 300 women members tested the sock and gave it an overall rating of 8.9 on a scale of 10.
>> Hind is completing its move from Boulder, Colo., to Peabody, Mass., to combine with its parent Saucony ahead of schedule, SNEWS has learned from Hind chief Brian Enge. The office in Boulder will shutter its doors on Dec. 20 and re-open in the east on Jan. 2. Of the 10 employees invited to move east, Enge says, five accepted the geographical change. The 800 phone number will remain the same. In other company news, Pam Kimball has been hired as Hind’s new director of sales. She comes from background at the Limited brands. Also, Hind has hired Great Lakes Sport Group to represent the company’s run, cycle, fitness and triathlon apparel in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. The Great Lakes Sport Group includes Scott Parr, John Rounds, Christy Rounds and Nathan Schickel.
>> Timberland’s CEO Jeff Swartz was honored as the recipient of the Two/Ten International Footwear Foundation’s 2002 T. Kenyon Holly Memorial Award on Dec. 9 at the Two/Ten Foundation Annual Dinner and Benefit Auction. Swartz is a lifetime member and active contributor to Two/Ten’s human service program. The award being presented is Two/Ten’s highest honor for humanitarian achievement. Two/Ten is dedicated to the mission of “shoe people helping people,” and is the only industry-based foundation in the United States. Two/Ten provides in excess of $1.6 million in charitable funds and services each year to families in need.
>> Shock Doctor Inc., a manufacturer of performance footbeds for sports, has been named the official footbed of the Nissan 2003 XTerra USA Championship Series. Shock Doctor has also signed a licensing agreement with XTerra to co-brand, market and sell the company’s new carbon-reinforced footbed under the XTerra name. SNEWS View: This should provide Shock Doctor with the foot in the door it needs to garner more media attention and, as a result, gain a toe hold in more specialty stores for increased sales. The company has stated quite publicly that it intends to be “a major player in the footbed market,” and this alliance is certainly a first, though decidedly niche step.
>> Hooked on the Outdoors has a fan in Afghanistan. The magazine received a letter from Wayne A. Roth, a U.S. Army soldier stationed there that it says it will publish in the magazine’s January issue. According to the letter, a friend sent Roth a copy of Hooked on the Outdoors and he enjoyed the diverse blend of outdoor coverage so much that he sent a letter asking for more. “We have little reading material to read in our spare time and your magazine was a welcome change,” said Roth in his letter. Not ones to miss a good PR opportunity, the magazine’s publishers shipped a box of current and back issues of Hooked to Roth.
>> The mountain was climbed and now the PR machine kicks in. American mountaineers Mark Newcomb and Carlos Buhler, along with team photographer Ace Kvale, have returned from their Marmot/Gore Team expedition to recount their successful first ascent of Sepu Kangri, the Great White Snow God of Tibet. In addition to Gore and Marmot, Dynafit, the company that provided the ski, boot and binding randonnee set-up, are reaping praises from team members for the performance and lightweight. For more on the climb, go to www.climbsepu.com.