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Aventura and Ascent Douglas Presenting Sponsors for SM Project OR

Historic sponsorships take student design contest to the next level, challenging students for innovation and spot-on execution

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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – July 8, 2011 – Aventura and Ascent Douglas recently committed as presenting sponsors for Cycle 7 of Project OR, the 48-hour concept-to-prototype student design competition that runs concurrently with Outdoor Retailer Summer Market on August 4-7, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ascent Douglas, an economic development program conducted by Douglas County, Nev., to market the area as a preferred site for “Outdoor Recreation and Lifestyle” company relocations, and Aventura, manufacturer of organic and eco-friendly women’s clothing, make Project OR history as the first-ever presenting sponsors that are not raw material suppliers.

“As a lifestyle apparel company, we see Aventura as the missing link in the ‘concept to prototype’ product story that Project OR tells,” said Tom Williamson, Aventura vice president of sales. “Our involvement with Project OR is also a great way to support and encourage talented designers, bring our relatively young brand to the forefront of the marketplace, and provide extra brand buzz for our great sales team and dealer base during the show.”

In an effort to lead the way in returning manufacturing to the United States, Ascent Douglas will also sponsor a seminar, “Made in America: The New Push to Re-shore Production,” on Day 2 (Friday, August 5 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.) during Summer Market. The seminar will include a panel of distinguished experts and will provide attendees with a wide range of information about the benefits, challenges and logistics of manufacturing in the United States.

“Douglas County has a lot to offer an outdoor recreation and lifestyle manufactures and the attraction to our area has been supported through research and discussions with our community,” said Lisa Granahan, economic vitality manager for Douglas County. “We want to be the first place that recreation and lifestyle businesses think of when looking to expand, grow or bring their manufacturing back to America.”

Involvement in the competition for first-time presenting sponsors won’t stop there. Support from Aventura and Ascent Douglas will fund a surprise challenge for student competitors, unlike anything seen during prior cycles. The challenge for student designers will be introduced on Day 1 (Thursday, August 4) during the Design Brief Reveal. During the Design Brief Reveal, competitors will also hear more about the Outdoor Industry Association Eco Index™.

“Having Aventura and Ascent Douglas as Project OR presenting sponsors has resulted in an evolutionary leap for our student design contest,” said Kenji Haroutunian, vice president at Nielsen and Outdoor Retailer show director. “Without saying too much, this round will definitely be the most innovative to date, and will inspire and excite the whole industry.”

Supporting sponsors for Project OR Cycle 7 include technical fabric supplier Hyperbola and, a leading resource for outdoor and lifestyle career opportunities and industry information. After reviewing submissions from student designers around the world, Logan Garey was named the winner of the Project OR Designer Contest and will be the sixth contestant for Project OR Summer Market. Garey, a junior in the Colorado State University Apparel Design and Production program, is currently combining his passion for two wheels and fashion during an internship at Pearl Izumi.

For more information about Project OR or to read about Cycle 7 participants, please visit the Project OR event page.

For more information about Project OR sponsorship opportunities or becoming a Project OR supplier, please contact Marisa Nicholson at Click here for the sponsorship submission form.

About Ascent Douglas

Douglas County’s “Ascent Douglas County” initiative has the planned intention of stimulating economic vitality in the county and marketing it as the preferred site for company relocations within the outdoor recreation and lifestyle manufacturers’ arena. By utilizing and leveraging current marketing trends and focusing the efforts narrowly toward the target industry, the Ascent Douglas County program will effectively align itself toward its strengths while positioning itself as the leading region for business and lifestyle manufacturers. Track and join the Ascent Douglas County initiative online by subscribing to the RSS feed at, “liking” Ascent Douglas on Facebook or following on Twitter.

About Aventura

Based in Nevada surrounded by fresh air, Aventura is a women’s lifestyle apparel company. They design, make and sell comfortable clothing with an active focus while being thoughtful to balance a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Aventura is family owned since 1965, creating a supportive family-oriented culture where the little details of life (and clothing) are cherished. To learn more about Aventura, visit

About Outdoor Retailer

Outdoor Retailer (OR) brings together retailers, manufacturers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation through tradeshows, product demo events and web-based business solutions. Produced by Nielsen Expositions and based in San Juan Capistrano, California, Outdoor Retailer also provides and promotes retailer education, advocacy, responsibility and critical face-to-face business initiatives within the outdoor industry.

Now celebrating 30 years, Outdoor Retailer ( connects approximately 40,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for its Summer and Winter Market shows, and thousands more through its year-round online resources and platforms.

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Maura Lansford, SOAR Communications, 801.656.0472 x2(wk),

Chip Smith, SOAR Communications, 801.656.0472 x1(wk) / 801.597.7515(cell),