The Outdoor Industry Association's funding campaign, "When Was Your First Time?" has already reached $969,800 in pledged funds, almost a third of its three-year goal of $3 million. This marks the most successful fund-raising campaign by the OIA in the association's history, and, by some accounts, the most successful to date of any outdoor industry related fund-raiser.
"We are encouraged by the generosity of the industry," said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of OIA. "Clearly, outdoor leaders appreciate the value of the research and how critical outreach is to securing the future of our industry. However, this is the beginning of a long process. We urge all companies, large and small, to participate in this important program."
The following companies have contributed to the fund-raising effort so far: CGPR, Cascade Designs, EORA, Eagle Creek, Earth Games, Gregory Mountain Products, Gaylan's, GoLite, Horny Toad, Mountain Hardwear, Moving Comfort, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Outdoor Retailer, Petzl, Primaloft, The North Face, The Whiting Group, Timberland, TyRy Inc., Watermark and W.L. Gore & Associates. In addition, several companies added donations with their OIA member renewal invoice or new membership application, totaling $16,900. Outdoor Retailer is providing matching grants to industry donations in addition to its original donation.
The contributions initially will fund a comprehensive benchmark consumer study in 2003 to better understand how, when and why participation in the outdoors is initiated, activity rates and consumer spending on outdoor gear. Research will be conducted through this summer with the results announced in the fall.