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Press Releases

Outsiders Ball on a roll with fundraising, sponsors, specialty retailers

Industry’s upcoming 'party with a purpose' at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 gains momentum as it nears fundraising goals, attracts diverse founding partners and supports specialty retailers.

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Outsiders Ball, the industry event spearheaded by The Outdoor Foundation, is on a roll – gaining significant momentum in just a few months. More than 20 diverse organizations have signed on as ‘founding partners’ giving early support to this high profile industry effort. The impressive group includes influential specialty retailers, leading manufacturers, top suppliers, large corporate foundations — even not-for-profits are getting behind the effort. Thanks to this significant support, Outdoor Foundation has raised more than two-thirds of its $300,000 fundraising goal.

The Outsiders Ball will be held under the stars at Salt Lake City’s Gallivan Center on July 30th, at 6 pm — the eve of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

Outsiders Ball founding partners include: Outdoor Retailer, Outdoor Industry Association, The Conservation Fund, The North Face, Thule, Wolverine Worldwide Foundation, Chaco, Confluence Watersports, Vasque, GORE-TEX Brand, Gramicci, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Timberland, GSI Outdoor, Burton, prAna, Recreation Boating and Fishing Foundation, Big City Mountaineers, JanSport, Petzl and River Sports Outfitters.

“The response from all sectors of our industry has been absolutely incredible and a testament to the business imperative of this issue — activating a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “We are so grateful to the Outsiders Ball founding partners that have provided extraordinary energy, ideas and support. We have more to do and I hope that many other organizations, large and small, get involved in our industry’s party with a purpose.”

Specialty retailers will take center stage during the event as well as work with The Outdoor Foundation to identify the best projects that deserve support. Outsiders Ball will fund over 100 community projects and half of these will be recommended by retailers across the country. In addition, retailers will play a major role during the event itself – promoting projects in three minute pitches, encouraging attendees to kick in a few more dollars for their local nonprofits.

“The future of the outdoor industry depends on a new generation of consumers and a strong specialty retail community,” said Ed McAlister of River Sports Outfitters. “Outsiders Ball provides the perfect platform and opportunity for the entire industry to invest in its future — supporting outdoor retailers, activating young enthusiasts all while having a great time at an unprecedented, unforgettable event.”

Expecting to draw over 500 attendees, the Outsiders Ball will include interactive art, iconoclast interviews, collective conversations, great music, creative challenges, auctions, and local food and libations — along with plenty of surprises throughout the night, all in a creative outdoor urban setting. It will be a celebration of traditional outdoor with a focus on the new and emerging; a mash up of analog and digital, industry icons and breakout stars. It will also feature the inaugural “Outsider of the Year Award,” given to JanSport co-founder Skip Yowell for his tireless work getting youth outdoors.

The Outsiders Ball will rally the industry around a single cause: fighting the growing divide between young people and nature, and inspiring a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts, champions and customers. The event will kick off a multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign, aiming to raise $300,000 for community projects that are youth-led and retailer-endorsed and investing in the future of the industry.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available but filling up fast. For more information, email Individual tickets for the event are now on sale and cost $150 for individuals and $100 for retailers. For more information or to purchase, go to

The host committee for The Outsiders Ball consists of industry leaders including Chairs Beaver Theodosakis – prAna, Jennifer Mull – Backwoods and Bill Sweasy – Vasque and Red Wing. Members include Fred Clark – Thule, Joel Heath – Teva, Larry Selzer – The Conservation Fund, David Kulow – All Terrain, Steve Shuster – W.L. Gore & Associates, Frank Hugelmeyer – Outdoor Industry Association, Steve Rendle – VF Outdoor and Action Sports, David Labistour – Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Jim Zwiers – Wolverine World Wide, Sue Rechner – Confluence Watersports, Carolyn Brodsky – Sterling Rope, John Lacy – Burton, Mike Moniz – Circadence, Jay Steere – Timberland, Lisa Mathis – Big City Mountaineers, Kenji Haroutunian – Outdoor Retailer, Roanne Miller, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and Chris Goddard, CGPR.


About the Outdoor Foundation and & Outdoor Nation
Charitable arm of Outdoor Industry Association, The Outdoor Foundation is taking the lead nationally to inspire and empower a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts through its signature program Outdoor Nation. Launched in 2010, Outdoor Nation is the only national initiative that is engaging, empowering and investing in next-gen outdoor champions and outdoor projects – ensuring the future of outdoor participation. Results include:

  • Hosted 17 Millennial Summits — empowering more than 3,000 young people
  • Funded 400 projects across the c
    ountry — engaging 75,000 youth in outdoor recreation
  • Invested $2 million to inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts — and helping ensure the future success of the outdoor industry