Show floor buzz: Greg Thomsen, NPD Group, Polartec, Outdoor Business Climate Partnership, our favorite booth, and more

Outdoor industry news from on (and off) the show floor at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2019

Keep up on the news, even among the trade show madness. Here are today's top headlines:

Have a news tip? Email us at

  • During the Industry Breakfast, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), Snowsports Industries America (SIA) and the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), announced the formation of the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership, an alliance that will provide leadership on advocacy and inspire meaningful action on climate change across the outdoor business sector. “As three associations representing outdoor retailers, brands, suppliers, and resorts across the country, we share a common desire to see progress on climate and are joining hands to amplify our impact. This kind of bold collaboration and commitment is what’s needed now if we’re going to effectively tackle this urgent issue,” said SIA President Nick Sargent.
  • Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office Director Luis Benitez introduced the Confluence of States, a bipartisan movement to bring outdoor recreation to the political table. It piggybacks the the Confluence Accords, signed by representatives from eight states with offices or task forces promoting outdoor recreation.
  • On Tuesday night, adidas Outdoor USA announced that the brand is being taken in-house by adidas global and moving its headquarters to Portland, Oregon. The transition from Agron, based in Los Angeles, will take about two years. Greg Thomsen, adidas Outdoor USA chief outdoor officer, said the U.S. brand has seen explosive growth in its eight years and the global brand wants to own that success. Agron will continue to be the accessories licensee, but will no longer be the distributor. As of now, lots of questions don't have answers, including what's next for Thomsen. "I really don't know...I know that I'm committed to helping them with the transition for the next two years," he said. "I don't do anything that I don't want to do and I've been fortunate enough to kind of do things that entertain me. I look at most of this as experiences that I enjoy doing and if I ever had to go to work and not love it, I would go climbing. I would go do something I know I love."
  • Polartec, the premium producer of innovative and sustainable textile solutions, introduced an Eco-Engineering initiative to use recycled and biodegradable materials across its entire product line. The effort joins other industry leaders and pioneers in sustainable textiles: Unifi and Intrinsic Advanced Materials. The collaboration combines a revolutionary CiCLO® technology with Unifi’s innovative yarn products to promote biodegradation of polyester and nylon, as well as applications in polyurethane, in sea water and landfill conditions. The goal is to create the world’s first fully recycled and biodegradable fleeces and breathable waterproof membranes, as well as other knits and insulation fills.
  • The NPD Group has signed an agreement with SportsOneSource, LLC (SOS) to acquire assets relating to the company’s SSI Data POS Sports and Outdoor tracking business. The transaction is expected to close on April 1, 2019. SOS will continue to collect data and service clients through March 31, 2019. “While SOS will no longer be in the sports retail data tracking business, we will continue to support the active lifestyle market with critical insight and analysis through our SGB Media publishing business," said James Hartford, CEO of SportsOneSource, LLC. "The industry will benefit as NPD and SGB Media concentrate on our respective strengths in data and media.” 
  • Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics have partnered with the Colorado Tourism Office, along with three major state-based tourism organizations to educate travelers about reducing their impacts on Colorado’s natural resources and special places. Collectively, the three organizations—the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, Colorado River Outfitters Association, and Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association—encounter more than 20 million guests every year.
  • Bern Helmets has appointed a new executive leadership team and board of advisors that is leading the company’s efforts in driving innovation, operational excellence and future growth. Timothy Leedom has been appointed as CEO. Additional key executive appointments and promotions include: Head of Global Sales Andy Hughes, General Manager Garth Rogers, Head of Global Operations and Supply Chain Nick Stearns Head of Product Creative Director Kenny Perkins, Head of E-Commerce and Digital Director Byron Linton, and Global Sales Operations Manager Chad KyteAdvisory Board members who joined the Bern team recently include Former General Manager of Nike Running Kate Delhagen and Nike, Reebok and New Balance veteran product executive John Morgan.
  • And lastly, our favorite booth today was Fjällräven. From the outside, it's just big and bright. But inside, it's thoughtful and intentional. The brand's new booth is centered around its pillars—literally. The pillar in the middle of the booth symbolizes Fjällräven's foundational pillars: sustainability, heritage, experiences, and compelling people to get outside. Each side of the booth tells a different story, from the Expedition Down Jacket to the on-site tailor to the 100 pieces used to make the Keb Trouser, the outdoor pant perfected. See for yourself at Booth #39105-UL.
Fjallraven booth at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2019


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Greg Thomsen headshot

Greg Thomsen on the future of adidas Outdoor

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Green buzz from the show floor

Wash your down, protect the rainforest Allied Feather & Down is launching an outdoor industry first: a palm oil-free home detergent that’s formulated just for down. (Palm oil is in environmentalists’ crosshairs because its cultivation causes deforestation in the tropics.) ALLIED more

Attendees swarm the lobby of the Colorado Convention Center at Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show January 2018

New dates for Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show 2019 and beyond

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award

Hickenlooper for president? Not yet, he says.

Washington, D.C. — After accepting an award from Outdoor Industry Association on Tuesday night, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper dropped a few hints to a political publication about a potential presidential run. On the first day of Capitol Summit, OIA awarded Hickenlooper with more

Hikers scale rocks in Colorado.

Colorado university introduces outdoor industry degree

Western State Colorado University joins a handful of other colleges recognizing students’ desire to get a degree that’s useful in the outdoor industry, which generates an estimated $887 billion annually. The university in Gunnison, Colorado, is offering a new two-year, online MBA more