Outdoor: Did you hear?…

Volvo SportsDesign award finalists announced, Keen names new president, La Sportiva/GoLite create running team, ROI signs on with 3point5 program, C.A.M.P. SpA president retiring after 40 years at helm, plus much, much more...
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For the week of Jan. 18-24

>> Numerous U.S. and European companies answered the call for entries for women's-specific product designs in the inaugural Volvo SportsDesign Awards. Volvo was looking for submissions in six women's product categories, including outdoor equipment, footwear, ski equipment, board equipment, fitness equipment, and accessories and components. Products were judged on quality, function and benefits for women, innovation and concept, material used as well as colors and patterns. Finalists in the outdoor equipment category include Tubbs' Elevation snowshoe, Komperdell's Airshock/Duolock poles, Dynafit's ST 5.0 ski; Camelbak's SnoAngel hydration pack and Camp's Divax ax. Finalists in the footwear category were Asolo's Fugitive, Kayland's Fire Woman, Montrail's Grommet Girl, adidas' Yoga Vario and Nike's Shox Allegria. The winners will be announced at the Volvo SportsDesign Forum on Feb. 5 at the New Munich Trade Fair center, a day before the ispo winter05 trade show opens. The Volvo SportsDesign Awards are presented by ispo and Volvo Cars, and produced by Pascher + Heinz Sports Marketing. For more details, check out www.ispo-sportsdesign.com.

>> Black Diamond Equipment team climbers took top honors at the Ouray Ice Festival Competition for the third year in a row as thousands of onlookers attended the annual festival. In the steep mixed competition, BD's Ines Papert from Germany was the only woman to reach the route's anchors, finishing with the competition’s fastest time of 19:53. BD's Will Gadd of Canada, one of two men to complete the challenging line, stuck the top in 22:47. Other BD competitors included Abby Watkins and Sean Isaac, both from Canada, and Adam Stack from the United States.

>> Jim Van Dine is moving up in the Keen Footwear ranks, taking on the position of president. Formerly the vice president and general manager of the company, Van Dine will now will oversee the day-to-day operations of the company, continue to lead the management team, and support CEO Angel Martinez as he drives the strategic direction and the creative development of the brand, both domestically and internationally. Since joining Keen as vice president of sales and marketing shortly after the company's launch in 2003, Van Dine has been a key player in the company's strong financial and operational growth, the company said in a statement. With more than 25 years of experience, Van Dine has held a variety of executive positions in marketing, sales and business development in the footwear industry, including Reebok, Deckers and Vans, as well as Zildjian musical instruments.

>> Mountain Hardwear's EV2 high-altitude tent has received Climbing Magazine's Editor's Choice award for single-wall tents. The 4-pound, 14-ounce tent received an "A" rating due to its ease of set-up and take-down, wind stability, livability, ventilation and anchoring. The EV2 design was a collaborative effort between Mountain Hardwear athlete and high-altitude mountaineer Ed Viesturs, its namesake, and Mountain Hardwear tent designer Martin Zemitis. Mountain Hardwear said Zemitis met Viesturs' challenges to create a tent which would be strong enough to endure the high wind conditions common at high altitudes, but also light enough to carry on multi-day summit attempts. The award will be featured in the March issue of Climbing.

>> La Sportiva and GoLite are joining forces to sponsor a running team for the 2005 race season and beyond. The La Sportiva/GoLite Running Team will be competing at many of the world's toughest trail and mountain races throughout the 2005 season going head-to-head with other established trail-running teams. The team will consist of an Elite Team, Pro Team, Adventure Team and Demo Team. The Elite Team will be headlined by Bernie Boettcher, Tom Borschel, Galen Burrel and Lisa Goldsmith. Other well-known athletes comprise the Adventure Team roster, which is managed by trail-running legend Buzz Burrell. The 2005 La Sportiva/GoLite team roster includes: Bernie Boettcher, Tom Borschel, Galen Burrell, Lisa Goldsmith, Dave Dunham, Lisa Isom, Travis Macy, Peter Maksimow, Bill Raitter, Mark Werner, Dan Brillon, Vicki Hunter, Bronwyn Morrissey, Brianne Lippoldt, Heidi Vosbeck, Beth Darnall, Buzz Burrell, Chris Reveley, Bill Wright and Scott Williamson.

>> Check out the new Peter Mortimer film "Parallelojams" at Winter Market, showcasing the best in crack climbing at Indian Creek, Utah -- an area where the Access Fund has done extensive work. Montrail and Timmy O'Neill will host with a freewill donation at the door benefiting the Access Fund. A free promotional DVD, provided by Lenticular Pictures, will be available at the event and at Montrail's booth (1727) at the show. The film premieres Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at Brewvies Cinema Pub, 677 South 200 West.

>> After 40 years as president of C.A.M.P. SpA, Orazio Codega is retiring and son Eddy Codega will take over as president and managing director. "The transition has been an easy one since I've already been an integral part of the team for over 10 years," said Eddy Codega. "C.A.M.P. has played a major role on the international scene and will continue to do so, but that arena has become increasingly more competitive. Research and development has always been, and will continue to be, a major focus for us, but we also are starting to pay increased attention to our distribution and marketing strategies. That's why in the U.S. market, we've decided to expand our sales team by adding three new extremely experienced sales reps and have retained the services of a seasoned PR executive to lead our marketing efforts over the next few years."

>> Arbor Snowboards is celebrating its 10th anniversary by kicking off a yearlong celebration at the SIA trade show. Co-founded by Chris Jensen and Bob Carlsen, Arbor launched the brand using an exclusive wood top-sheet technology, which improved board performance and durability, and created a different look for the industry. Since then the company has introduced targeted wood inlays, bamboo-reinforced cores, cork damping stringers and Diamondwood reinforced rails. For 2006, Arbor will add bamboo top-sheets to its line-up of environmentally friendly, natural board technologies, as well as an expanded line of apparel. It will also debut its 10th snowboard line since starting the company. www.arborsports.com

>> ROI, Retailers of the Outdoor Industry buying group, has signed onto the 3point5
Community and will utilize the Retailer Management Module.
With 26 members representing 55 storefronts, 3point5's module will allow ROI to track training data from all manufacturers from one central source. Dave Matz, president of ROI, said, "3point5 allows us to track critical product knowledge and then compare that to sales. It also allows us to have our own home page and individualized home pages for our retailers."

>> Kicking off its fourth year on the road, the Hooked Village Tour's agenda includes 30 events around the country throughout 2005 offering interactive outdoor-sport displays in a festival environment for consumers. Produced by the publishers of Hooked on the Outdoors magazine, the tour consists of a central exhibit with a specially designed truck and trailer display where outdoor enthusiasts participate in special activities like the "Fend for Yourself Challenge" push up/pull up competition sponsored by Gerber to a Merrell Footwear contest. Winners receive various prizes donated by tour sponsors, which include Spenco, Coleman, Cequent Towing Products, Gerber, Oh Boy! Oberto, Johnson Outdoors, Lowrance, W.L. Gore and Merrell. The tour is upping the ante, hoping to interact with 4 million people and exceed the 2.3 million who participated in 2004. The tour starts at the SIA trade show on Jan 25 and concludes in early December at the Tucson Marathon. Stops include the Sea Otter Classic, Wildflower Triathlon and Bele Chere Festival. For more details, check out www.ruhooked.com.

>> Tubbs Snowshoe Company has signed on to sponsor the 2005 Subaru Women's Winter Tour, an all women's tour on skis or snowshoes. Started in 1999 in Traverse City, Mich., the event began as a memorial fundraiser in honor of Madeleine Anne Thomas, a local advocate for women and children. Since then the event has expanded and the Subaru Women's Winter Tour offers women across the country to enjoy a non-competitive tour which benefits local charities for women and children. In addition to financial sponsorship, Tubbs will provide product, including snowshoes, snowshoe poles, hats, baseball caps and T-shirts, for raffles. For a full schedule, check out www.tubbssnowshoes.com.

>> Kokatat has signed on as a major sponsor of the World Canoe Freestyle Championships in Sydney, Australia. Kayakers from over 35 countries will be competing from Jan. 26-30, including Kokatat's "A" Teamers Scott Fiendel of Canada and Maurice "Mo" Kelleher of Ireland. Organized by the International Freestyle Committee, the World's Canoe Freestyle Championships events consist of speed and aerial competitions for men, women and juniors. For more information, check out www.canoefreestyle.com.au.

>> Danner's Pronghorn boot was recently selected "Best of the Best" for 2004 by Field & Stream. Each year the magazine searches the outdoor industry to find the best new gear, testing hundreds of outdoor products and awarding "Best of the Best" to the top-performing products. Danner's Pronghorn was chosen as the premier hunting boot of the year.

>> Indigo Equipment has retained three new sales reps to cover New England and the Pacific Northwest. In New England, Velocity Sales' Michael Schmidt and Bill Bruzzese will handle Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine. In the Pacific Northwest, Mike Burns will cover Northern California, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Burns was hired in conjunction with the Alta Group, which also covers Washington, Alaska and British Columbia for Indigo. Velocity Sales also represents K2 telemark skis, Garmont, Jetboil and Nikwax. The Alta Group also represents Atomic nordic and telemark skis, Petzl and Sea to Summit.

>> The National Ski and Snowboard Retailers Association (NSSRA) has created a "supporting member" class of NSSRA membership. Geared to non-retailer stakeholders in the snowsports market, supporting members will be entitled to specific membership benefits in NSSRA and invited to discussions about the challenges and issues faced by specialty ski and snowboard retailers. Supporting members will be able to submit editorial articles and comments on issues in the NSSRA newsletter; be listed as a member in all NSSRA publications; and receive the NSSRA Cost of Doing Business Survey and the Annual Research Report. Annual dues for supporting membership are $350 per year. For additional information, contact NSSRA President Thomas Doyle at 847-391-9825 or tdoyle@nssra.com.

>> Now in its third season, Atlas is expanding its Explore Winter women's workshops partnership with REI and has announced this season's event partners. Through January, more than 50 indoor workshops will be held in REI stores in 10 states. Developed by adventure athlete Cathy Sassin, the workshops are designed to educate women on the benefits of enjoying winter sports with confidence. Women learn the basics of choosing a snowshoe, selecting the right technical winter sports apparel and safe trip planning. Each participant also receives a special gift bag, partner offers and a chance to win raffle prizes. Atlas' partners for the season include W.L. Gore and Associates, Mountain Hardwear, Smartwool, National Geographic Maps, Dana Design, Montrail, Suunto, Easton, and the Women's Sports Foundation.

>> After three years as sales director, Kay Martin is leaving Moving Comfort to become the vice president of member services at the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), beginning March 1. Martin was traveling more than 200 days a year and has decided to spend more time with her family at a position close to home. Moving Comfort has initiated a search for a new sales director.

>> Mountain Khakis, makers of pants for the mountain lifestyle, has named Noah Robertson as its director of sales, overseeing sales initiatives and assisting in product management. Robertson has worked for REI, Cloudveil and most recently Mammut as national sales manager.

>> TrailHeads has added a few new faces to its sales team. Mark Charpentier has been made director of sales. Formerly national sales manager of Cannondale, he brings 19 years of sales, retail distribution and global operations experience to the company. Also on board are Action Sales' Jackson Cyr, Matt Kabza and Libby Bliss to represent the Pacific Northwest. Matthew Cox will service Northern California, and Kenneth Miner will sell in Colorado and New Mexico.

>> Gregory Mountain Products has promoted Jordan Phillips to the newly created position of assistant sales manager.

>> Omega Pacific has hired Ed Sampson as its southwest sales rep. His other accounts include Bluewater and La Sportiva. Sampson is available at 303-449-5446.

>> Mountain Hardwear has added two new reps to the fold just in time for the trade show season. Brock Selig will be handling sales in the Northwest, and is available at brock@montana.com. Jonathan Vinet is covering the Northeast territory and can be contacted at jvinet@lathropassociates.com.

>> With the New Year comes a desire for a new job and a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com found that 47 percent of retail workers are looking, motivated by a desire for higher compensation, a lighter workload and better career advancement opportunities. The "Retail Workers 2005" survey also found that 48 percent of retail workers say they do not look forward to going to work each day with more than half stating their paychecks are not providing enough incentive. Dissatisfaction with pay rose from 50 percent in August to 54 percent in this survey. Seventy-eight percent of retail workers say they did not receive a bonus in 2004 and 46 percent have not received a salary boost. Of those who did get a raise, more than one-third reported it was 3 percent or less. Workers said their workloads have increased and more than two-thirds said they had risen significantly in the last six months, with 35 percent saying they struggle to maintain a healthy work/life balance. The pressure to meet the demands of their customers, employers and families has left 48 percent feeling excessive stress on the job. Retail workers were also concerned about career advancement at their current employers, with 4-in-10 reporting challenges with moving up the company ladder and one-fourth being overlooked for a promotion. On the flip side, in another survey by CareerBuilder.com, 1-in-5 retail hiring managers said diverse candidates will make up 25 percent or more of their new hires in the first quarter 2005. They also reported difficulty in finding diverse employees, as 36 percent of retail workers don't market themselves as diverse candidates. CareerBuilder.com commissioned SurveySite for the Retail Workers 2005 survey, which was conducted from Nov. 22, 2004, to Dec. 2, 2004, with input from more than 360 retail workers.

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