OIA kicks off nat'l outreach initiative at Outdoor Retailer

The Outdoor Industry Association's non-profit foundation, OIF (Outdoor Industry Foundation), will be launching an industry fund-raising campaign at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market dubbed, "When Was Your First Time?"
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The Outdoor Industry Association's non-profit foundation, OIF (Outdoor Industry Foundation), will be launching an industry fund-raising campaign at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market dubbed, "When Was Your First Time."

The intent of the OIF campaign is to provide necessary funding for the initial phase of its national outreach program. Target revenues are set at $650,000 for 2003 and $3 million over the next three years.

Frank Hugelmeyer, president of OIA, told SNEWS that the money will be used initially to fund an in-depth consumer study to help the association and the industry better understand how, when and why participation in the outdoors is initiated; what the rate of participation activity really is; and how much consumers spend on outdoor gear. Results of the initial study will be released fall 2003.

Based on the results of that study, OIF will design an outreach program that is designed to increase "responsible participation in human-powered outdoor activities to the benefit of the outdoor industry."

Jay Steere, director of sports specialty at Timberland and head of the OIF Outreach Sub-Committee, added that OIF will also "establish a database of existing outreach programs so that interested consumers, young and old, will have access to the most far-reaching resources on how to experience the outdoors."

As part of the communications plan for the "When was your first time?" program, OIF will be interviewing Outdoor Retailer show attendees.

REI provided the first financial seed for this effort with a $45,000 donation in 2002. JanSport, The North Face, Cascade Designs, W.L. Gore and Timberland, along with matching funds from Outdoor Retailer, have boosted 2003 contributions for the campaign to $125,000. As part of the trade show's agreement with OIA, Outdoor Retailer has agreed to match industry contributions up to $275,000.

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