Outdoor: Did You Hear?...

Dale Bard fights luggage, Richard Siberell injured skiing, Perception sponsors Bowermaster, Mammut Outdoor Appreciation Scholarship, TNF promotes Henry, Tecnica launches retail partner benefits, broadband use increases, Oakley adds to women's line,
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>> It's a well-known fact that many climbers are horizontally-challenged -- put them on a steep wall and they do fine, but simple things like flat ground can be trouble. Case in point, Five Ten's Dale Bard, who is well known for his Yosemite adventures that would terrify most people, managed to trip over a piece of luggage in his hotel room in Salt Lake City. The result? Broken ribs and a punctured lung. Fortunately, the injuries were not severe and Dale was seen convalescing on a couch the last day of Winter Market.

>> A nasty skiing accident kept clothing designer extraordinaire Richard Siberell (responsible for much of the Patagonia Alpine collection from the past decade and the new Arc'Teryx glove line) from attending OR. A slow-twisting fall (on a Dynafit binding) resulted in a broken tibia that required plates and screws. Apparently, the surgery went well and he's on the road to recovery -- good luck!

>> Perception Kayaks has decided to continue its sponsorship of Jon Bowermaster's "Ocean's 8" project for the next two years. The expedition, which is sponsored by National Geographic Society's Expeditions Council, explores remote coastal villages via water throughout the eight continents of the world and will take place over the next eight years. Perception will provide kayaks and a cash grant each year. In 2003, Bowermaster's team will explore the coastal villages of Chile.

>> The reality of an Outward Bound adventure will come true for one lucky dreamer thanks to a new partnership between Mammut/Climb High and Outward Bound USA. Through the newly established Mammut Outdoor Appreciation Scholarship, one college-age student will be able to participate in any Classic Outward Bound USA course each year. Classic courses range anywhere from 21 to 39 days. In addition to covering the full cost of tuition, Mammut/Climb High will outfit the recipient in Mammut technical clothing, as well as cover roundtrip airfare to and from the course. Full details of the Mammut Outdoor Appreciation Scholarship and an online application can be found by logging onto www.climbhigh.com.

>> The North Face has promoted Renee Henry to national sales director for footwear and equipment. Henry is now responsible for driving both The North Face footwear and equipment wholesale sales efforts. As The North Face's first product-specific national sales director, Henry reports to Steve Rendle, vice president of North American sales.

>> Tecnica has told SNEWS it is launching a new program that will benefit the company's retail partners by offering an at-once product availability program for the top 10 selling models and has invested in having backup inventory on hand for those key items from its spring line. Retailers that placed preseason orders will have priority in the Tecnica system to capture this inventory. Tecnica also announced it has formed a web partnership with two retailers which will allow consumers to buy Tecnica product online. The Tannery, an East Coast retailer in Boston, and Mountain Gear, a catalog/retailer out of Spokane, Wash., will be selling Tecnica for the spring 2003 season. SNEWS View: Tecnica does not sell direct to consumers so the company felt it needed to partner with key retailers to ensure consumers who were not near a Tecnica retailer could buy Tecnica product. On that level, partnering to improve product distribution to consumers makes sense, but one does wonder how Tecnica will work to protect its established dealer base. Will the company "block" online sales to these retailers from zip codes that exist near current Tecnica dealers? One retailer commented to SNEWS that, Tecnica partnering with Mountain Gear is curious as it subtly appears to promote one retailer over another. To that end, we wonder if Tecnica offered the same deal to other key Tecnica accounts that also sell online, and if not, why not?

>> Keith Reis has departed Mountainsmith to open his own sales agency in Broomfield, Colo. His agency, Sanitas Sales Group, is currently handling four lines -- Wyoming Wear, Pac-Safe, Wickers and The Travel Chair. Reis can be reached at 580 Burbank St., Ste. 150, Broomfield, CO 80020, or on his mobile phone at 303-204-3100.

>> Cercone Brown and Paul Silverman have won the Sperry Top-Sider account, with a 2003 spending target of $2.5 million. Creative is set to launch in May and will be designed to help the company reposition the classic boating shoe brand as essential equipment for those who love the water and appeal to a younger consumer and broader audience.

>> More than 33.6 million Internet users accessed the web via broadband in December 2002, nearly a 60 percent year-over-year increase, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. At the same time, numbers of those logging on to the Internet through dial-up access declined 10 percent to 74.4 million. Nielsen also found that all age groups are adopting cable, DSL, ISDN or other high-speed web connections. Surfers ages 55 to 64 represented the fastest-growing segment; nearly 3 million logged on to the Net through broadband in December, a 78 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. More than 3.1 million 50- to 54-year-olds and 1.3 million 65- to 99-year-olds used faster connections in December, up 75 percent and 67 percent, respectively. The youngest online users also reported high growth rates in high-speed access. Broadband usage among teenagers ages 12 to 17 rose 66 percent to nearly 4.2 million, and among kids ages 2 to 11 went up 62 percent to 3 million last month.

>> Oakley Inc. (NYSE:OO) has announced plans to add to and diversify the company's line of women's apparel. The initiative calls for expansion of the current product line, plus a focused drive to enter new sales markets within the category. According to Oakley, the women's apparel line accounted for approximately 12 percent of total global apparel sales in 2002 and is considered by the company a key area for future growth. Based on information compiled from warranty registration cards submitted by women who have made Oakley purchases, 25 percent play golf, 23 percent ski, 20 percent mountain bike, 11 percent snowboard and 5 percent surf. The company believes that confirms their target audience for the product expansion and, as a result, is designing products accordingly.

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