Outdoor: Did you hear?…

BCM launches branded apparel line, Black Diamond recalls 1,000 Soliras headlamp batteries, Outdoor Retailer negotiates reduced rates with GES, ispo announces new trade show in Russia, plus much more...
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For the week of Nov. 9-15

>> Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a volunteer-led recreational mentoring program for at-risk teens, has launched a branded apparel line with the help of Malden Mills, Mountain Hardwear and Northern Mountain Supply, an Arcata, Calif.-based, retailer. On Nov. 1, 800 pieces of customized BCM apparel, including co-branded Mountain Hardwear Ozone Zip-T-shirts and a Micro Dome fleece hat, went on sale through Northern Mountain Supply's retail and Internet presence. BCM Executive Director Mark Godley told SNEWS® that thanks to the fact that Malden Mills, Mountain Hardwear and Northern Mountain Supply donated their expertise, time and covered the majority of expenses sales from the branded apparel line should yield enough funds to underwrite over 75 at-risk teens participating in BCM's outdoor recreational mentoring program during summer 2005. BCM custom apparel can be purchased through Northern Mountain Supply at www.northernmountain.com/bcm.asp.

>> Black Diamond Equipment, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling approximately 1,000 Soliras Headlamp Lithium Ion batteries. According to Peter Metcalf, BD's CEO, Black Diamond was notified by the Chinese manufacturer of the batteries that under high-current draw conditions the battery may overheat, posing a burn or fire hazard to users. While none of BD's headlamps fall within the high-current draw conditions, BD felt that it would be prudent to enter into the voluntary recall along with other OEM manufacturers, including Apple computers. No injuries have been reported as a result of the use of the batteries. The recalled batteries have the following dates, which can be found on the battery label: 0703, 0803, 0903, 1003, 1103, 1203, 0104, 0204, 0304, 0404 and 0504. The black headlamp has the words and symbol for the company on the light. The affected headlamps were sold through authorized Black Diamond retailers from March to May 2004 for about $150. Consumers are advised to stop using the headlamps immediately and return the battery to the nearest authorized Black Diamond dealer for a free replacement. For more information, click here.

>> Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is beginning a significant expansion of its national distribution center located in Sumner, Wash., near the co-op's Seattle area-based corporate headquarters. The construction, scheduled to begin this month, will add approximately 144,000 square feet of floor space to the existing 375,000-square-foot facility, and provide additional parking. REI has also announced it will be upgrading all of the systems and equipment in the distribution facility. The expansion and upgrades are needed, REI said, to increase inventory storage capacity, improve efficiency, and provide increased availability of in-stock levels for store, online and mail-order operations. REI opened its Sumner distribution center (1700 45th Street East) in January 1992 on a 30-acre site with expansion possibilities in mind. Since opening its doors, REI's distribution center has gone from supporting a network of 24 retail stores in 1992, to 76 stores in 24 states by the end of this year. The expansion and upgrade of the facility will support the co-op's recent growth, which is expected to reach 84 stores in 25 states in 2005. REI's distribution center employs between 350 and 560 full- and part-time employees, depending on the retail season. In addition to inbound, outbound and warehouse operations, the REI-owned distribution facility also accommodates REI's call center and customer service staff.

>> Outdoor Retailer has negotiated reduced rates from GES for exhibitors for upcoming shows. The following GES rate reductions will go into effect for all 2005 Outdoor Retailer trade shows (percentage discounts from 2004 published rates): material handling/drayage -- 17 percent to 22 percent reduction; GES labor -- 15 percent reduction; marshalling yard and weight certificate fees eliminated; select GES furnishings -- 15 percent reduction; 200-pound minimum reduced to 100-pound minimum; standard booth carpet -- 15 percent reduction; and the discount rate deadline extended.

>> When CBS's Emmy award-winning The Amazing Race airs on Nov. 16 (9 to 11 p.m. ET/PT), viewers will get a chance to see (albeit on a small TV screen) the extreme, yet stunning terrain of Iceland. The fact that the show is launching its sixth season in Iceland is also good news to 66ºNORTH, as each of the 11 teams will be outfitted in its branded gear. 66ºNORTH, pinpointing Iceland on the Arctic Circle, was born 78 years ago in Sugandafjörd to outfit commercial fisherman and now is one of Iceland's most respected outdoor technical brands. Distribution into the United States began last year. For more information on the brand, go to www.66northus.com.

>> SnowSports Industries America's (SIA) Winter Feels Good campaign has gone presidential and is now working with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports to encourage Americans to participate in outdoor winter activities. Children and adults can earn President's Challenge awards by combining snow sports, such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and snowboarding, with other activities. The President's Challenge awards are used by school systems and recreation programs throughout the country to encourage regular physical activity for individuals and groups. To earn an award, youth 18 and younger need to participate in physical activity for 60 minutes a day, five days a week for six weeks; adults need to participate for 30 minutes a day, five days a week for six weeks. Full details are available and progress can be tracked online at www.presidentschallenge.org.

>> RUSSIA -- Management of the Munich, Germany-based, sporting goods show ispo has announced a new ispo show in Russia, with the first to be Sept. 14-17, 2005, in Moscow. This will be the second new show for the management group, Messe Muenchen (www.messe-muenchen.com), with its first ispo China show scheduled for March 2005. The show, to be managed on site by Sport Communication Group in Moscow that previously held the In-Sports show, will be designed to serve the entire Eastern European and Central Asian countries, including Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and others. The 2003 sporting goods market in Russia was worth about USD $1.7 billion, according to the Russian Association of Sports Industry Enterprises (RASIE). Experts estimate the market potential to be about USD $5 billion, partly because of growing interest in active lifestyles and an increasingly more efficient infrastructure. With the exception of a couple of recessionary years, the market has grown about 20 percent to 35 percent annually. The In-Sports national show will merge with ispo Russia as of 2006, under the long-term agreement announced Nov. 15. The show will be held at the Crocus Center in Moscow. For more information, go to www.ispo.com.

>> Rabbit Mountain is assuming distribution responsibilities for Mountainsmith products in Mexico, Central America and South America, effective immediately. "The agenda for Rabbit Mountain is to establish Mountainsmith as a leading outdoor brand in the market," Geoff O'Keeffe, president of Mountainsmith, said. Rabbit Mountain will be responsible for advertising, marketing, providing dealer support programs, and maintaining the integrity of the Mountainsmith brand. Since 1995, Rabbit Mountain has sold equipment, accessories and apparel for mountain and outdoor activities throughout Latin America. The company is headed by founder Edward Gerety.

>> adidas International Marketing B.V., the marketing entity of the adidas-Salomon Group, has signed a long-term license agreement with Fossil Inc. to produce and distribute adidas watches and timing products. Financial terms are being kept confidential. Starting Jan. 1, 2006, the agreement gives adidas a partner in watch making and Fossil adds a sports performance component to its business.

>> Apogée Skiwear, a Canadian active outdoor apparel industry, is laying down roots in the United States, establishing a U.S. sales and marketing presence led by Barry Levinson. He is currently developing a national sales force for Apogée USA, with a line launch scheduled for the 2005 SIA Trade Show in Las Vegas. "Barry's strong sales management, skiing and marketing background, coupled with his successful history in developing new skiwear collections on a global basis, will prove invaluable as we focus on building our business across America, and particularly in the specialty retail, race and team markets," commented Pierre Rainville, president of Apogée Canada. Sold to specialty dealers, the Apogée collection is technical outerwear and accessories for men, woman and children in the ski, snowboard, freeride and race markets. It will also be establishing a web-based direct sales component featuring its ski racing suits, training gear, pro outerwear and accessories. For more information, contact Levinson at barrylevinson@mac.com or 970-376-0808. www.apogeeskiwear.com

>> Nikwax North America has hired Kristin Carpenter Public Relations as its PR agency. KCPR also handles La Sportiva, K2 Bike, Prana, Osprey and White Sierra.

>> As of Nov. 1, David Nacke took over as national sales manager of Royal Robbins. Previously, he was principal representative with Sunbelt Sports in Tempe, Ariz., representing Merrell, Acorn and Gramicci. He has also worked as a rep for TSA Sport Sales, Adidas America, Peters-Fate Enterprises and Ski West Sports. In other company news, Tim Richards has taken over the sales territory of Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii, succeeding Sandee Foley as of Nov. 4.

>> Chris Cohen has been named national sales manager for New Balance's Dunham and Aravon brands. He will drive and manage both Dunham and Aravon's U.S. sales teams, as well as oversee the brands' distribution strategies and the development and implementation of retail focused promotions and advertising. Cohen has 17 years of experience in the outdoor, alpine and athletic business, most recently as eastern sales director of Hi-Tec Sports. He began his career in footwear with The Timberland Company in 1989. He will be based in New Balance's Boston headquarters.

>> Thule has hired Earley & Associates of Watkinsville, Ga., to handle its sales in the Southeast. The rep group will service bicycle retailers in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. It also represents DeFeet, Veltec, Tifosi Optics and Louis Garneau. Earley & Associates is available at 706-769-7301. In other news, Tri-Marketing Group, which has been representing Thule for three years, has added Marc Fuentes and Scott Robertson to its agency. Fuentes will be responsible for servicing the Greater Houston area and Southern Louisiana, while Robertson will be responsible for Oklahoma and Arkansas. Tri-Marketing Group also represents Scott Bicycles, Camelbak, Bell Sports, Sugoi, Clif Bar and Mountainsmith. Tri-Marketing is available at 972-517-2857.

>> National Geographic Adventure magazine has named Andrew Berg senior editor and promoted Brad Wieners to executive editor and Jose Fernandez to art director. Berg will be responsible for the front-of-the-book editorial, as well as developing and editing features and feature packages. Berg was previously editor-in-chief of Detour Magazine and a contributing editor for Variety's V Life and for Gruner + Jahr's Stern Magazine in Hamburg, Germany. Wieners has served as senior features editor of the magazine since August. He was executive editor of CIO Insight magazine, and senior editor at Outside and Wired magazines. Fernandez has been NGA's deputy art director since January, and has worked with Men's Health, TV Guide, Yahoo and Entertainment Weekly.

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