Outdoor: Did you hear?…BIC adds distribution of surf, plus Quicksilver, Patagonia, National Orienteering Day, Lowa, and more

BIC adds distribution of surf line, Forbes ranks familiar industry names, Water Girl is combining efforts with Patagonia's Ocean Division, September 17 is National Orienteering Day, and much, much more...

For the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 6

>> BIC Sport North America plans to distribute the BIC Surf product line in North America, including the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, starting Sept. 1. The company said this is another step in the transition of the distribution of BIC Sport products that began when BIC Sport established distribution operations through BIC Sport North America in January 2003. The BIC Surf line joins the existing product portfolio supported by BIC Sport North America, including BIC Kayaks, BIC and TIGA Windsurfing, and Gaastra and Fiberspar Windsurfing. Pete Pan, who has been involved in the sales and promotion of BIC Surf for over eight years, has been named the East Coast territory manager for BIC Surf, effective immediately.  Chris Decerbo has also been promoted to North American director of sales for all BIC Sport product categories.  Operations continue at BIC Sport North America headquarters in West Wareham, Mass., with additional outside warehouses in Florida, California, Hawaii and Canada to serve dealers. For more information, contact BIC Sport North America at 508-291-2770 or info@bicsportna.com.

>> Forbes' recent ranking of the 100 best mid-cap stocks has many familiar names to the outdoor industry. The list includes Quiksilver (new owners of the Rossignol Group) at No. 19, Timberland at No. 50, Oakley at No. 63, and Wolverine World Wide (parent of Merrell, among others) at No. 73. Forbes' definition of mid-cap is "a company with a market capitalization between $1 billion and $4 billion." At the moment, it said 1,000 U.S. companies fit that bill.

>> Patagonia's sister company Water Girl USA has officially combined efforts with Patagonia's Ocean Division. The Ocean Division is a non-gender-specific line launched last year with the signing of professional surfers Dan, Keith and Chris Malloy, and Gerry Lopez. The first collection will debut in spring 2006. Moving forward, WaterGirl and the Ocean Division work together to provide a fully-fledged line of watersports apparel for men and women. Water Girl will parallel design efforts with the Ocean Division in the creation of a full offering of swimwear, sportswear and water-specific clothing for female ocean athletes. With this move, Water Girl also adds Mary Osborne of Ventura, Calif. and Belinda Baggs of Noosa, Australia, to the Patagonia Ocean Team. Both professional surfers, they'll promote the two lines, and Baggs will also assist with product development.

>> Mark your calendar: Sept.17 is National Orienteering Day, and the weekend of Sept. 17-18 is going to be chockfull of activities. In its fifth year, organizers say that more than 30 states are hosting events that feature newcomer instruction, a variety of courses from beginner through seasoned adventure racer complexity, a souvenir topographic map, and a chance to take home an orienteering compass, USGS map CD, or other sponsor prizes. For more info, visit www.us.orienteering.org/NOD.html.

>> Thorlo's recently updated website -- www.thorlo.com -- now includes a free news section called "Your News Now" that provides sports, health, entertainment, lifestyle, science, finance, industry and world headlines, and weather updates. It's filled with content from more than 7,000 news sources, offering both basic and advanced search capabilities allowing users to create customized news pages. The site also features the "Love Your Feet" section and offers an easy-to-read magazine format targeted to consumers who want to read about their favorite sports activities and hobbies.

>> Eagle Creek has promoted Kevin Carr to director of sales to, the company said, bolster its sales infrastructure to manage growth projections. Carr has been with the company for nine years and served most recently as its director of international sales. He has assumed new key account responsibilities including managing U.S. outdoor and luggage retail channel sales, as well as Canada and international licensees (except Europe). Eagle Creek added that it has restructured its sales team so that both its domestic and international sales staff team up to be one cohesive unit with global perspective.

>> Life is Good has moved to a new location and changed its contact information: 15 Hudson Park Dr., Hudson, NH 03051; 603-594-6100, 800-606-4604; fax 603-579-4714.  

>> Saucony has promoted Sharon A. Barbano to senior director of public relations for the Saucony brands, including Saucony, Saucony Originals, Hind and Spot-bilt. In 2004, Barbano was tapped by Saucony's executive management to build and manage its public relations. As director, Barbano has helped both the Saucony and Hind brands accrue numerous product awards, including Health magazine's "Best of Fitness 2005" award and numerous editor's awards from Runner's World, among others.

>> On the Horizon Communications has signed on VAS Entertainment, a San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based, distributor of action sports, fitness and health and wellness DVD's. It will assist in increasing VAS Entertainment's visibility in numerous markets and at industry trade shows such as Action Sports Retailer, Interbike, Surf Expo, Outdoor Retailer and others. Originally named Video Action Sports, the company distributes more than 2,500 titles of DVD's from 800 producers. VAS Entertainment was acquired by Uplift Equity, a New York investment firm, in July.

>> Lowa has hired two new rep agencies. The Flamand Sports Group will manage the company's Southeast territory and John Wilmers will take over the Great Lakes territory. Phil Flamand and associates Lisa Flamand, Billy Turner, Jason Zombron, and Scott Perkins will oversee Lowa's sales and marketing efforts in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. In addition to Lowa, Flamand reps for Kelty, Thule and Timbuk2. Wilmers' territory includes Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana and he also reps for Arc'Teryx and Western Mountaineering.

>> What would your yogi think? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that yoga apparel is making a segue way from the studio to the street. The $1 billion yoga clothing industry is getting an added kick as the clothes find broader appeal -- and morph into sexier styles, it said. To read more, click here.


Patagonia exits paddlesports business

Patagonia is out of the paddlesports business effective immediately. Retailers who recently received closeout lists of Lotus and other Patagonia paddlesports gear are rapidly picking the meat off the bones, SNEWS® was told. It marks the end of a paddlesports business that was ...read more