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LAGUNA BEACH, CA (April 6, 2009) â€“ The Heiden/Weidman Group has joined the Sparc Retail team to develop integrated brand strategies for clients in the outdoor industry. Sparc Retail amplifies a brand’s story through the entire retail channel â€“ with web-based and mobile brand and product education, creative asset development, integrated e-commerce tools, and program support. Heiden/Weidman principals Jim Heiden and Jeff Weidman combine over 80 years of experience in the outdoor industry to compliment Sparc’s depth, creativity, and technologies.
â€œProduct is the fuel, sales associates are the air and Sparc is the ignition that lights the fire of commerceâ€ said Weidman, who recently turned over the reins at Rutabaga Paddlesports, the leading independent paddling store in the United States. â€œIt is critical for brands to connect with those influencers at retail. Sparc helps brands create those evangelists on the retail floor.â€ Prior to Rutabaga, Jeff worked as a sales representative for Yakima, Pearl Izumi, JanSport, and Cascade Designs. Weidman was a board member of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and now serves on the board of directors for Big City Mountaineers, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of urban teens through outdoor experiences.
Heiden is the founder of Teko Socks and Banana Equipment, one of the first companies to make GORE-TEXÂ® fabric clothing. â€œLet’s face it, business is tough these days. You better have a compelling story why that consumer should buy your latest products and you better be able to articulate that at retail.â€ Heiden notes. â€œBrand is your weapon, arm your soldiers!â€ Jim has served as Director of Products for Performance Bicycle, Marketing Manager for Nike, General Partner for InterSource, and V.P. for Montbell America, where he set up the company’s U.S. operations. Heiden started his career in the early 1970s as a manager at Midwest Mountaineering.