>> Timberland retail employees and customers from around the world are kicking off a global 2003 Earth Day community service initiative April 22. More than 100 service projects will take place across the globe from Maine to Munich, from Tokyo to Toronto. Projects will represent a wide diversity of environmental impact including trail and park cleanups, landscaping, reforestation and restoration. Seventy-six projects will take place in the United States in communities surrounding Timberland's specialty retail and outlet stores, including two major hub events near the world headquarters in Stratham, N.H. Earth Day also marks the launch of Timberland's Organic Cotton Collection. One item, the collectible 100-percent Organic Cotton Timberland Earth Day T-shirt, will be given to employees and community members who participate in service. The T-shirt is emblazoned with Timberland's Earth Day 2003 theme -- "Earth, Water, Fire, Air, You. The Key Element is You." For those who are unable to serve but still want to make a difference, the specially designed T-shirts are available for purchase in U.S. Timberland specialty retail stores. Five dollars from each shirt purchase goes to benefit the Student Conservation Association.
>> The domain name of EagleMtnResort.com was up for auction on eBay. The website has been in operation since 1996 for a cross-country ski resort on Eagle Mountain near Nevada City and Lake Tahoe, Calif. A forest fire forced the business to shut down. The auction ended April 20, 2003. SNEWS View: Weird! Why would anyone want to pay money for such a specific domain name? We can't recall the last time we suddenly had the urge to perform a search for Eagle Mountain either, but we suppose some folks might. Didn't look like they got too many bids either -- a total of one for $1,000.
>> ispo is moving trade show dates for winter 2004 -- by one day. Responding to a reported majority of retailers asking for the show to start on Sunday so they could still serve customers in shops on Saturday, ispo has announced that the winter 2004 show will take place from Sunday, Feb. 1, to Wednesday, Feb. 4. SNEWS View: Terrific, but little good that does the U.S. contingent, or any other international attendee who needs to make a game effort to also show up at SIA (Jan. 26 to 29) and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (Jan. 30 to Feb. 2). A better move would have been to actually push the ispo trade show back by one week -- Feb. 8 to 11. We've been told that's too late for the European market -- as if one week will really make a difference?
>> Woods Canada Limited has launched the company's updated website at www.woodscanada.com . The design of the new site is focused on making specific information available quickly and efficiently without waiting for numerous graphic downloads of unimportant information. The new site features all of the current product offerings available for 2003, as well as revisions of site features. The site is available in English and French.
>> Vasque and its ad agency Colle+McVoy have launched a new consumer advertising campaign that the company says "is an interesting departure from traditional outdoor footwear advertising. By contrast, the Vasque ads focus on the outdoor enthusiasts' inner challenges rather than beautiful scenics or big boot images. The brand promises to help enthusiasts push their own limits." The ad campaign features topographic maps in the shapes of key body parts. The Velocity trail running ad focuses on the lungs instead of the requisite photograph of a runner. The cross trail ad highlights the heart and asks, "What's in Your Blood?" The mountaineering ad foregoes a majestic peak shot for a classic McKinley route on a spine and invites introspection with the headline, "Where Are Your Limits?" The company says it is running the ads in "hard-core niche publications like Trail Runner, Climbing, Rock & Ice and Alpinist throughout 2003."
>> Trips for Kids, a national non-profit organization which provides mountain bike outings and environmental education for youth, has received a $40,000 grant from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) to support the organization's efforts to engage young people in outdoor recreation and stewardship. The grant included a $20,000 check and 50 REI brand Novara mountain bikes, valued at an additional $20,000, to seed 10 new chapters nationally. For more information, visit the Trips for Kids website, www.tripsforkids.org.
>> Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) presented its "Friend of the Outdoor Industry" award to Congressman Dave Obey to honor his "strong leadership in championing federal investments in outdoor recreation and protection of parks and wild areas under the Conservation Trust Fund." OIA presented the award during its annual visit to Washington, D.C., earlier this month when industry leaders met with national legislators to engage in conversation about policy and its effect on the outdoor recreation industry. In 2000, Rep. Obey was one of the architects of the Conservation Trust Fund (also known as CARA-lite, or the Conservation Spending Category). The six-year, $12 billion deal gave a significant boost to recreation programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Urban Park Recreation and Recovery Program, a backlog maintenance account and promised increased dollars for these vital programs through 2006. Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., was also recognized with the 2003 award for her local recreation and conservation efforts. Last year the award was presented to Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., and in 2001 the honors went to Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Senator Mike DeWine, R-Ohio.
>> Mountainsmith has announced the company is partnering with Vail Resorts, Inc., becoming the official pack and luggage supplier for their resorts, which include Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly. Under the three-year agreement, resort personnel who are in direct contact with consumers, such as hiking center guides, will be outfitted with Mountainsmith fanny, lumbar and daypacks as well as luggage. Mountainsmith will also organize national retailer cross-promotions with Vail Resorts that will involve giveaways and resort packages. Both the Vail and Mountainsmith websites will be hyperlinked.
>> Timberland (NYSE:TBL) reported record first quarter revenues of $271 million, up 20.1 percent from $225.7 million reported last year during the same quarter. First quarter profits also set a record. Domestic revenue increased 9.8 percent to $136.8 million and international revenue skyrocketed 32.8 percent to $134.2 million. Worldwide footwear revenue was reported to be 19.1 percent higher this quarter at $193.7 million, compared to $162.6 million last year. Net income rose 39.1 percent to 19.3 million. Timberland expects to maintain a low double-digit growth pace through the first half of this year, but tempers the excitement with predictions for mid single-digit revenue growth for the second half of the year.
>> Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) reported record revenue and earnings for the first quarter of 2003. First quarter 2003 revenue grew 8 percent to a record $191.5 million compared to the $177.3 million reported for the first quarter of 2002. Earnings per share during the first quarter of 2003 increased 20 percent, reaching a record $0.18 per share compared to the $0.15 per share reported for the same quarter last year. While the company's other brands performed very well, Merrell continues to be the bright star, with global revenue gains exceeding Wolverine's plan during the quarter. Since becoming a member of the Wolverine World Wide family, Merrell has achieved year-over-year revenue increases for 21 consecutive quarters.
>> A funny thing happened when the United Kingdom's Camtex Fabrics participated in an online survey -- counterfeiters were passing off its Cambrelle product as their own. Using the Mark Monitor Trademark monitoring system, Camtex discovered that 25 percent of its 2,500-plus worldwide customers were unknowingly using knock-off products, like Cambrela and Cambrella, or counterfeit Cambrelle in their footwear products. Camtex's Managing Director Kieran O'Hare said in a statement, "Mark Monitor is an extremely powerful Internet-based system that uses over 10 search engines including Google and Yahoo, so we knew it would yield some interesting results. However, even we were surprised at the level of substitution we uncovered. It just goes to show that even with the best intentions, shoe manufacturers can still fall foul of counterfeit components, wherever they are in the world." Since being contacted, most duped manufacturers have converted to the real Cambrelle product; however, Camtex has taken legal action against several unnamed companies for compensation, as well as damages from an unnamed European producer of nonwoven fabrics for trademark infringement. Camtex is seeking financial compensation from the company, which has been producing an imitation product. Camtex was unavailable for further comment.