Outdoor: Did You Hear?…

Vibram, Outlast, Schrade, Bell Canoe, JanSport and Gigi de Young, Internet Retailer magazine Best of Web, BugAway in Europe, Pacific Trail infant and toddler wear, Black Diamond, ispo trade show news, Bill Morrison, Honey Stinger, and St. Moritz Watch.
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>> Tender Corporation has received an award for its "Excellence in Exporting" by the United States Department of Commerce, Commercial Service Division (USDOC). Tender Corporation manufactures and sells insect repellent and skin care products under the brand names After Bite, Ben's and Natrapel. Tender reports that its total U.S. and international sales are $8 million and growing, with distribution in more than 35 countries including the United States and Canada, Central Asia, the Middle East, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

>> St. Moritz Watch Corporation told SNEWS that attendance in its booth at the recent Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) show was double previous years, according to data stored on their lead retrieval system. An even stronger indication of dealer's confidence for the upcoming Christmas retail season was the 50 percent increase in sales order volume written during the show. Indeed, DEMA reports that this October show in Las Vegas was the best-attended trade show in the association's 26-year history.

>> Honey Stinger energy gels and Holmenkol Ski Waxes are joining adidas, Federal Cartridge and Exel ski poles as sponsors of the United States Biathlon Association national team.

>> Bill Morrison (a wild Scot whose name rolled off the tongue in a long series of rrrrrrr's when he spoke: Bill Morrrrrrison) has resigned his position from W.L. Gore in Europe. Morrison joined the company's fabric division five years ago. No word on his replacement.

>> The ispo trade show in Munich, Gemany, has rolled out a new web site -- www.ispo.com. Same address, but more functions. Plus all the different sport "communities" can be pulled up separately so they also have their own identity on the web. You can also choose one of several languages for it all. Look also for complete visitor information if you're attending the show. For the Winter show, Feb. 1-4, more than 1,500 exhibitors are signed up from more than 45 countries. Outdoor ispo will take over two halls, including an Outdoor arena for special presentations. At the ispo charity night dinner on opening night will award the 17th-annual ispo cup for retired sports champions to ski legend Alberto Tomba of Italy.

>> Black Diamond Equipment Ltd. will open two new Telemark Performance Centers in Beaver Creek, Colo., and Mad River Glen, Vt., this winter. Additionally, Black Diamond has signed on as the lead sponsor of Tele TuesDaze -- a nine-week event series at Stevens Pass, Wash. The purpose of the Black Diamond Telemark Performance Centers is to offer the current lineup of BD skis and bindings and Scarpa Telemark boots for convenient demo'ing.

>> Pacific Trail Inc. has entered into a license agreement with Amerex Group Inc. to design, develop and market a collection of licensed Pacific Trail outerwear for infants and toddlers. Pacific Trail's new infants and toddler outerwear line will include outdoor-inspired rugged casual and active styles of jackets, parkas, prams, snowsuits and snow bibs. The outerwear collection, sold primarily through department stores and national chains, will debut in the Fall 2003 season and includes a variety of boys’ and girls’ outerwear styles in sizes ranging from 3 months to 4T. SNEWS View: Ahhh, grandma bait at its finest. A natural move for Pacific Trail and it will only serve to expand the company's brand awareness.

>> Though Ex Officio's BugAway line is on hold here in the United States pending EPA review, the full product line is being launched in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe as planned, company president Rick Hemmerling told SNEWS. SNEWS View: Seems the European market once again trumps the U.S. when it comes to ease of access and logic. Since the individual ingredients in the Ex O garments are already approved, the Europeans see fit to allow production, instead of requiring a company to jump through hoops and loops. Hmmm, we suppose a consumer who really wants a BugAway garment could simply buy it from Europe now.

>> Three outdoor e-tail sites were tagged with a "Best of the Web" recognition by Internet Retailer Magazine in the upcoming December issue (www.internetretailer.com). Receiving honors were, www.BackcountryStore.com, www.altrec.com, and www.cabelas.com. According to Internet Retailer, the award recognizes sites in seven categories that are adopting interesting and innovative approaches to online retailing.

>> Bye, bye, Gigi de Young, former PR maven for JanSport. As a result of reorganization within the JanSport/Eastpak marketing department, Gigi's position was eliminated. Her last day was Nov. 15. She'd been with JanSport for five years. Kelly Schmitting-Dorn is the new media contact for the company and can be reached by email at kelly_schmitting-dorn@vfc.com

>> Bell Canoe Works is turning to Louisville, Ky.-based Windham Design Group to redesign the company's website, catalog and ads. The new look will be unveiled in the spring and will parallel the expanded accessories program, Back Waters line for sportsmen, and new whitewater canoes from Bell. Windham Design Group is directed by Tom Windham, who left Dagger Inc. after serving as that company's director of marketing for seven years. To learn more about Windham, go to www.windhamdesigns.com

>> Ambrogio Merlo has been appointed president and CEO of Vibram SpA. Marco Bramani, who had been serving as the CEO, will remain as chairman of the board of directors. Merlo, who joined Vibram in June 2002 as vice president of manufacturing at Vibram, has 20 years of business experience. During the past year, Vibram has also expanded its U.S. presence by opening an office in Concord, Mass., headed by footwear veteran Tony Post.

>> Time Magazine recently named Outlast Adaptive Comfort Bedding and the Imperial Schrade Corp.'s i_Quip survival tool as two of its "2002 Best Inventions."

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