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Specialty Brands KARHU and CRAFT Launch with

Today, two leading specialty brands, KARHU and CRAFT, announce their launch with, an interactive retail-training program for sales associates.

Specialty Brands KARHU and CRAFT Launch with to Support Growing Retail Distribution
Sales Associates Can Win a Trip to Helsinki, Finland

Beverly, MA (June 3, 2009) – Today, two leading specialty brands, KARHU and CRAFT, announce their launch with, an interactive retail-training program for sales associates. Focused on specialty retailers in the U.S. and Canada, the KARHU and CRAFT training program will use an entertaining and
informative approach to arm sales associates with the tools they need to confidently sell KARHU footwear and CRAFT performance apparel. As extra incentive forassociates to pass the training courses, the brands will be giving away a trip to the home of KARHU: Helsinki, Finland.

“KARHU is coming into a crowded market of ‘me-too’ products. Our focus is to promote how running shoes collaborate with the body. It’s imperative that sales people truly understand our products and the significant physical benefit to runners,” said Jay Duke, president, KARHU. “When we’ve had the chance to work
closely with folks on the floor, we’ve seen tremendous results. Working with allows us to expand the base of trained and motivated sales associates in a dramatic fashion.”

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is geared to simultaneously help sports retail stores and the brands they sell. The site is accessible for free by all retail employees throughout North America and promotes game-like programs to engage, excite and educate clerks on brands retailers may or may not carry. “KARHU and CRAFT are leading specialty brands that retailers want to learn more about,” said Duncan Robins,’s CEO. “We provide them with an engaging online training tool that rewards users with great brand discounts and prizes for their participation. In turn, KARHU and CRAFT are providing retailers with specialized training that creates confidence in the clerk resulting in sell through success. The trip to Finland is one of the biggest prizes ever offered and we are excited to see the response from participants.”

To qualify for the contest, retail clerks must complete the edu-games program for KARHU and CRAFT. The winner of the raffle and a friend will be KARHU’s guests in the capital city of Finland, tour Finland’s famed national sports museum and be VIP guests at the Helsinki Marathon. A winner will be picked mid-July, 2009. For more information and to see the online training tool visit:

KARHU and CRAFT Picking Up Speed
Unlike other brands that in light of the economic downturn have pulled back from marketing and product initiatives, KARHU and CRAFT continue to move forward. After receiving the coveted “Best Debut” award from Runner’s World magazine, KARHU drew a strong following from grassroots initiatives including ‘Explorer Days’; in-store events that encourage consumers to visit local retailers to learn about their signature Fulcrum technology and Natural Ride and Feelâ„¢.

Similarly CRAFT, whose apparel will be worn by 2008 Tour de France champions Team SAXO BANK, has joined KARHU in its mission to encourage exploration and expand awareness. CRAFT has succeeded in reaching endurance athletes and providing clothing to optimize the body’s core temperature. Now, with a
successful quarter behind them, KARHU and CRAFT look forward to growing their brand awareness through programs such as

“KARHU and CRAFT have always made high-quality, performance fitness gear,” said Duke. “Our Fulcrum technology and highly technical fabrics set us apart from the rest of the market. However, most people aren’t familiar with how these developments work, or where the companies come from. By partnering with we are investing in the education of our products, and know that the knowledge and confidence gained through the program will help translate to sell through.”

Born in 1916, KARHU is Finland’s legendary running brand. Meaning “bear” in Finnish, KARHU has an authentic heritage in running and a deep connection to the outdoors. KARHU follows the Finnish principles of design simplicity and running purity in providing technical running and outdoor gear for nearly 100 years. KARHU shoes have been worn on the feet of
some of the greatest Finnish runners, including Boston Marathon champion Olavi Suomalainen, and Paavo Nurmi, giving rise to the Flying Finns. Engineering innovative product that promotes a “Natural Ride and Feel”™ through the patented Fulcrum™ technology, KARHU footwear products are sold globally by specialty retailers. KARHU is owned by KARHU
Holding B.V. and designs, markets and distributes KARHU branded products. For more information about KARHU, visit

KARHU North America L.L.C. is the North American licensee for CRAFT Performance Apparel. CRAFT is a registered trademark of New Wave Group AB. For more information about CRAFT visit

About is an online campus that represents over 149,000 registered pros and sales professionals, 120 manufacturers and over 16,900 retailers in an increasing number of industries, including Outdoor, Snow, Bike, Action Sports, Golf, Tennis and Hunt/Fish. offers a fun and secure place for retail sales professionals to train, access information and interact within their industry.