Outdoor: Did You Hear?...

Eagle Creek is launching the Pro-Photographer Program, Suunto working with Skiing mag, Rock & Ice works with AMGA, Kelty hydration getting noticed, REI gets more kudos, Spyder donates gear, Lizard enters US, TravelChair adds reps, Hooked goes to RSN, Honey Stinger promo, ...
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>> Eagle Creek is launching the Pro-Photographer Program at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City in an effort to broaden its collection of travel images. Photographers who participate will be provided with Eagle Creek gear to use during their travels and a "gallery" on the Eagle Creek website, www.eaglecreek.com, to showcase their work. In addition to the individual galleries on its website, Eagle Creek will host special showings of program members' work at trade shows and events. Photographers interested are asked to make an appointment with Jason Cox -- jcox@eaglecreek.com -- to show their portfolios at the Eagle Creek booth, # 3521, at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

>> Talk about your free promotion. Suunto is working with Skiing magazine to create an interactive skiing club called Skiing Magazine Vertical Team. Skiers and snowboarders will be able to create personal logs of their days on snow, organized individually or by team, as well as by country, state and resort by logging on to www.skiingmag.com/verticalteam or www.suuntosports.com. With a Suunto wrist-top computer and a computer connection to the watch, graphs of the day's total vertical skied or ridden can be uploaded to the site.

>> Rock and Ice has announced that beginning with the January issue, all of the magazine's how to articles, including Guides Tip, Ask the Experts and Performance will undergo peer review by an American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) technical review committee. The AMGA committee will give its feedback on articles, make corrections and offer additional advice on ways to improve the content, according to the magazine. Articles reviewed and approved by the AMGA will bear the "AMGA Reviewed" stamp.

>> EN-R-G Foods has announced the creation of a grassroots sponsorship program that will provide athletes with the company's Honey Stinger line of honey-based energy gels and bars. Applications are being accepted from individuals, teams and event promoters seeking support in 2003. Athletes may obtain an application packet by sending an email to buzz@honeystinger.com or by calling 866-GO-HONEY. The application
deadline for individuals is Feb. 14, 2003.

>> A December report by Forrester -- www.forrester.com -- has named Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) and Sears as two of today's best multichannel retail companies. The report, "Multichannel Best Practices: Sears and REI," was written by analyst Jim Crawford. REI scored high on Forrester's multichannel retail evaluation, which measured the top 30 things a retailer must do to deliver a great multichannel experience. Ratings were particularly high for "customer experience" and "technical integration of sales channels," with services such as in-store pick-up, no-hassle return policies and 45,000 pages of online product information at REI.com. The report stated that multichannel shoppers spend two to three times as much as single-channel shoppers, and that fewer than half of the top 100 retailers today demonstrate multichannel best practices.

>> CamelBak may be the leader in hydration, but don't tell that to Kelty. The company has been feeding on a steady diet of media exposure of late, with the most recent being a 2003 Men's World Cup visit to Beaver Creek resort in Colorado. And the coverage isn't likely to stop any time soon. Under the terms of a sponsorship deal with both Vail and Beaver Creek, Kelty hydration packs will be seen. At Beaver Creek, Kelty will be outfitting the Resort Race Series staff, and will provide prizes for the yearlong Race Series. At Vail, Kelty will be the official pack for the Vail Race & Special Events Department: coordinators of all on-mountain special events, including national and international events such as the American Ski Classic, the U.S. Free Skiing Open, Smirnoff Ice Speed Cross, Boarder Classic and Revolution Spring.

>> Lizard Footwear, a sport sandal manufacturer in Italy, is expanding distribution to the United States beginning with its spring '03 line of sport sandals and winter '03 line of closed-toes shoes. Bill Taylor will lead the U.S. efforts as national sales manager, according to the company. He comes to Lizard with 15 years of sales management experience in the footwear industry, having held positions with brands such as Rockport, Deckers Outdoor and Diesel Footwear, and most recently as regional vice president/sales for Sperry Topsider. Lizard Footwear's U.S. subsidiary is located at 133 East de La Guerra, #147, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. The website is www.lizardfootwear.com.

>> TravelChair has added a strong rep force representing the company in the East. New reps are: Billy Turner for Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Missouri; Peter Burns for Metro Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; Don and Lisa Otey for New England including New York; and Marc Gmiter will be covering the eastern side of Lake Michigan including Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. In related news, it is interesting to note that TravelChair was founded in a garage -- like so many outdoor companies. Today the company is based in a Gig Harbor, Wash., in a facility that is over 20,000 square feet and has sold more than 2,525,500 chairs to date. That’s enough steel and aluminum to stretch from NYC to the Congo and back, according to the company.

>> Spyder Active Sports has agreed to donate over $36,000 worth of ski racing apparel, ski outerwear and casual apparel to Special Olympics Colorado for use in its ski racing programs for adults and children with developmental disabilities. The products will be presented to the athletes at a Special Olympics Colorado training day in the winter of 2002. Special Olympics programs are free for all athletes, and donations are an integral component to the financial strength of the organization. Spyder skiwear will be used in training and competitive events. The Special Olympics Colorado Winter Games are held annually at Copper Mountain Resort and are scheduled for Feb. 23-25, 2003. Spyder is an Official Supplier to the U.S. Alpine, U.S. Disabled, Canadian Alpine, and Canadian Freestyle Ski Teams.

>> Hooked on the Outdoors will reach out to a television audience with a series of national TV advertisements on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) and Resort Sports Network (RSN), beginning on Dec. 23, 2002. Promoting the annual January Gear Guide, the Hooked on the Outdoors commercials will be distributed to more than 45 million cable subscribers through OLN, and will blanket more than 100 resort areas through RSN’s affiliate network.

>> Black Diamond Equipment has hired two new employees. Robert Yturri will become the Soft Goods Category Manager, and Luke Cudney will take over the helm as Franklin Climbing Equipment Category Manager. Previous work experience for Yturri ranges from vice president of strategic marketing and business development with Pacific Technology Partners in California and strategic marketing and online development consulting for a number of online ventures to general manager retail sales and pro sales management for The North Face. Cudney worked at ClimbXmedia.com, a progressive website that is popular with climbers and boulderers. Cudney also worked for Garbageband Records in California and Pusher in Salt Lake City, where he was the senior production manager.

>> After three years as general manager of Kayland in North America, Reid Cooper has resigned. He tells SNEWS that he will continue to work with Kayland Italy in a smaller role as one of the directors of the company, and pursue projects in the outdoor footwear market and the marketing and public relations side of the business (as well as going surfing in Costa Rica!). If you wish to reach Reid, you can do so by email at runnig3@sympatico.ca.

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