Vibram is expanding its operations in the United States in order to boost brand penetration, increase its visibility and explore new product categories. Tony Post, president and CEO of Vibram USA, chatted with SNEWS® recently to talk about the new energy -- dare we say, soul? First, the company has a new headquarters located in Concord, Mass. Next, Vibram has also put together a team of veteran designers and will be launching a national marketing initiative for the holiday season. Post also acknowledged to us that Vibram had allowed other companies steal some of its dominance by being quiet, but that's about to change. "We now see an excellent opportunity to leverage Vibram's expertise among the broad range of new consumers in such emerging outdoor segments as mountain running, free climbing, snowboarding, kayaking, mountain biking and even motocross," said Post. Though much of Vibram's work and effort has been focused on providing exclusive designs and engineering for its clients, beginning this summer Vibram will offer U.S. footwear brands another option by extending its successful "open mold" program to showcase concepts in several new segments. On the marketing front, Vibram will co-sponsor the Mountaintop TV Series for holiday 2002, which focuses on a range of winter outdoor activities, such as free skiing, snowboarding, and ice-climbing. The Mountaintop Series reaches hundreds of thousands of resort visitors throughout North America. The series also runs in major markets including Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia and many more. In addition, the series will be carried by United Airlines as part of its in-flight programming beginning in late Fall. "The series reaches millions of young active consumers who will recognize the Vibram name and associate it not only with action and adventure, but also with traction, grip and durability," said Post. Concurrently, Vibram is launching a retail component to compliment the Mountaintop promotion called "Get a Grip on Winter with Vibram." Reaching 200 specialty stores. The promotion enables retailers to give consumers a DVD copy of the MountainTop program with the purchase of any Vibram soled product. In addition to DVDs, each participating dealer will receive Vibram point of purchase material and selling information. For further information visit www.vibram.com.