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(Briarcliff Manor, NY) As Masterfit University prepares to hit the road with its 16th season of boot fit training clinics, it finds itself a unique, unifying force for the makers of ski boots as well as allied products.
In addition to every major alpine boot brand from A(tomic) to T(ecnica), Masterfit is supported this year by a diverse group of sponsors eager to communicate with this coveted business-to-business market of high end retailers who specialize in bootfitting. Brands like Lorpen socks, Intuition aftermarket liners, KneeBinding and Hotronic boot warmers have all aligned with Masterfit University and use the worldwide seminars as a unique networking opportunity.Â
â€œOther then trade shows, it’s the only place such a large group of manufacturers come together for a common purpose,â€ says Masterfit University Executive Director Steve Cohen. â€œSki boot fitting is the life-blood of the specialty ski retail market and bootfitting is the key skill set that separates a specialty retailer from big box, mid-size chain and internet competitors. Boots are the last absolutely-positively has to be bought at a brick-and mortar-location piece of ski gear. Retailers come to Masterfit U to get that stand-apart knowledge.â€Â
KneeBinding is a new Masterfit sponsor this year. The brand that promotes the target of its safety aspect right in its name, may seem like a strange fit for a boot clinic, but not to John Springer-Miller, CEO of KneeBinding.Â â€œWhen we looked for industry influencers that could help educate people about our product we found that the best boot fitters were already working to provide proper positioning and alignment in boots to reduce fatigue and make skiers safer. Our binding permits the kind of fore/aft stance adjustment bootfitters like so MasterFit University is a great way to communicate our safety and performance solutions to the market.â€Â
Scott Russo is vice president of sales at Dalbello, a Masterfit University sponsor since 2001. He sees Masterfit support yielding a multi-pronged benefit for his company. â€œThrough Masterfit U we have been able to present new boot design concepts and to exchange product planning ideas with the most experienced and highly skilled ski bootfitters in the world.â€
And he’s seen Masterfit U train his dealers to better sell Dalbello boots. â€œFor specialty ski shops seriously interested in elevating their level of service and expertise,â€ says Russo, â€œMFU is the industry’s best investment in employee training programs you can make.â€
Like Russo, Lorpen North American sales manager Bruce Barrows also uses his Masterfit association as a product incubation zone. â€œThe feedback we’ve received from the staff and participants at Masterfit U regarding socks has allowed us to gain a much fuller understanding of what performance boot fitters are looking for in a high end ski sock.Â MasterFit has provided us with the best practical focus group you can find for future product development ideas.â€
Masterfit University will be held this fall at four locations across the U.S. and, for the first time ever, in Europe:
Mt. Snow, VTÂ Oct. 3-4
Kitzbuhel, Austria Oct. 18-19
Denver, CO Oct. 26-27
Seattle, WA, Oct. 31-Nov. 1
Reno, NV Nov. 7-8
Registration and Curriculum www.masterfituniversity.com .
Sponsor Contact Steve Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org . (914) 944-9038. Masterfit University
Media Contact Eric Henderson email@example.com . 307.200.6001 . www.dennyink.com
Masterfit University is an industry support program of Snowsports Industries of America and is presented by Skiing Business and Ski & Skiing Magazines. It is sponsored by: Atomic, Blademaster, Black Diamond, Booster Strap, Boot Horn, Cantology, Dalbello, Daleboot, Dry Guy, Eazy-On Spray, EZ Fit, Fischer, Full Tilt, Green Mountain Orthotic Labs, Head, Hotronic, Hot Gear Bags, Instaprint, Intuition Liners, KneeBinding, Lange, Lorpen, Nordica,Â Rossignol, Salomon, Ski Kare, SkiSkootys, The Cant Co., Tecnica, Transpack,Â Zapz and Zipfit.