>> A Sierra Designs "Good-bye to the West Coast" old-style, throw-down party is slated for May 9 from 3 p.m. on. The team welcomes all SD alum, suppliers and friends. It's a BYODD affair -- that's Bring Your Own Designated Driver, you understand.
>> Building on the success and feedback from the company's 2002 test run, Dagger is launching the company's 2003 Paddle with the Pros program this month, with events running through October of this year. No longer classified as a pilot program, Paddle with the Pros, which includes personal on-water instruction by Team D athletes, will take place at local venues throughout the United States, and is free to participants. The program is co-sponsored by Paddler and Kayak magazines. Team D world-class paddlers such as Tao Berman, Andrew Holcombe, Anna Levesque, Brad Ludden and Andre Spino-Smith will be on hand to meet and teach sales staff and paddling enthusiasts alike. During day one of the two-day clinic, Team D paddlers will meet with retail staff to review Dagger product and then take the group paddling in the afternoon. On day two, retailers will invite the public to a designated location to participate in complimentary paddling clinics offered by Team D. The athletes will tailor their instruction to match consumers' paddling skills. Dagger will support the program through its website, where specific program details will be available; with sfull-page ads in Paddler magazine; and through point of purchase displays at participating dealers. Each retailer is invited to initiate its own promotional program to draw interest to the clinics.
>> Vasque continues to make changes, the latest being to replace long-time reps Harrison Walls and Bob Egeland. Rick Appelsies, general manager for Vasque, told SNEWS that, "For the past 12 months, we have been rebuilding the Vasque brand. This process has encompassed all aspects of the brand: product, marketing, in-house staff, and sales representation. Our challenge is to continue building a foundation that fosters long-term, sustainable growth. Evolving the brand requires adaptation, and at times change. Although change is at times difficult, it provides new opportunities for all parties." SNEWS View: Our hat is off to Walls (30 years with Vasque) and Egeland (25-plus years with Vasque), as they've handled this difficult decision with class and dignity. Hmmm…two great reps now free to peddle another footwear line.
>> Climbing Magazine is publishing its first ever Photo Annual. The entire issue is devoted to showcasing the best photographers and most outrageous photographs in the sport, according to Climbing staff. In addition to image after image, the Photo Annual brings the reader behind the lens of five top photographers, offers a digital camera buyer’s guide, and announces the winners of the first annual Reader Photo Contest sponsored by Petzl/Charlet-Moser. The Photo Annual goes on sale May 22.
>> Walkabout International -- manufacturer of DownUnders footbeds -- recently expanded its in-house staff and outside sales force to accommodate the company's growth and to better serve its retail dealers in the snowsports, outdoor recreation, running/walking and sporting goods markets. Staffing at the company's Sunriver headquarters was beefed up with the addition of two new employees. Chris Wilde, sales coordinator, is charged with supporting outside sales representatives and distributors, and Zach Ayers, shipping and receiving manager, is working on automating the company's warehouse.
>> The Russi Mountain Works website, www.russi.us, has added features that allow dealers to place orders and manage Russi inventory online, 24 hours per day. In addition to placing immediate or preseason orders, dealers may track shipping; check product availability; view purchase history, available credit and open orders; check inventory levels; and manage warranties, returns and repairs. If a desired product is not in stock, Russi's website offers the expected in-stock date, as well as alternate product suggestions.
>> SnowSports Industries America (SIA) has entered into a partnership with Malakye.com, a dedicated Internet-based job board for the action sports industry. This partnership was created to provide SIA members with a discount program for utilization of all web services offered by the site as well as a unique recruitment tool for the snowsports industry. Features of the site include: job postings, database searches, recruiting services, email updates of new job postings, resume services including professional advice, and e-newsletters. SIA members currently using the site to find qualified candidates are: Arbor, Burton, Galleon, Nixon, O'Neill and Volcom.
>> Sierra Magazine garnered two Maggies during the April 11 awards banquet hosted in Los Angeles by the Western Publications Association to honor outstanding magazines west of the Mississippi. Sierra won for Best Public Service Series or Article and Best Signed Editorial or Essay/Consumer. Managing Editor Bob Schildgen and Art Director Martha Geering were on hand to accept the awards.
>> The Wacoal Sports Science Corp. (WSSC) has selected the advertising agency Mad Dogs & Englishmen of New York to undertake a new advertising campaign for WSSC's CW-X Performance Conditioning Wear, introduced in the United States in 2002. To learn more about Mad Dogs, click on www.maddogsandenglishmen.com.
>> Cloudveil has entered into a strategic partnership with W.L. Gore. Set to debut at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2004, the new products will incorporate Windstopper and Gore-Tex fabric technologies. SNEWS View: Hmmm. Appears to be a trend. First Lowe Alpine and now Cloudveil. Look for more such announcements in the weeks to come. Gore is on a roll.
>> Hooked on the Outdoors celebrated the birthday of its national traveling Village Tour at the 2003 Sea Otter Classic, the annual celebration of bicycle riding and racing held at the Laguna Seca recreation area, outside of Monterey, Calif. Within the last year, the Hooked on the Outdoors Village Tour has met more than one million outdoor enthusiasts and logged more than 100,000 miles with its customized 40-foot RV and virtual "village." Hooked on the Outdoors CEO Jeff Espy has stated that the goal for the 2003 Hooked on the Outdoors Village Tour is to connect with 2 million outdoor participants over the course of the year.
>> Jay Turkbas, vice president of sales and marketing for Shock Doctor footbeds, has hired seven new sales organizations. These appointments represent the final phase of solidifying the company's sales staff in the United States.
- Michael Bing of Bing Associates will handle sales efforts in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, upper Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
- Roger Jones of Roger Jones Associates takes over sales efforts in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
- Alan Newhart of ANA Sports will head up efforts in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
- Dan Sims of DS Specialty Sports, Ltd. will handle New York City, Long Island and the five New York boroughs.
- Mark Muggleton of Continental Divide Sports will oversee sales in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.
- Dave Bruland will represent the sales organization in Utah. Felicia Doobrow takes over in North and South Carolina.
- Randy Walther will head up efforts in Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.