Outdoor: Did you hear?… Friends of Joshua Tree, plus ispo BrandNew, Backpackers Pantry, Mountain Khakis, REI, Dicks, and more

Friends of Joshua Tree host Climb Smart gathering, Dick's gets hand from state to finish headquarters, ispo BrandNew Award entries welcome, Spyder renews U.S. ski and snowboard sponsorship, Save our Wild Salmon Coalition raises funds by climbing, and much, much more...
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For the week of July 26-Aug. 1

>> Here's your chance to celebrate climbing and have a helluva lot of fun. Friends of Joshua Tree is hosting the ninth annual Climb Smart gathering -- the largest gathering of Southern California's climbing community, featuring clinics, gear raffles, food and top-notch entertainment. Held at the Indian Cove group campgrounds Sept. 30-Oct. 2, this year's event features climbing legend Ron Kauk, along with rock stars Brittany Griffith and Eric Decaria bringing their skills and multimedia presentations. The event's revised format includes an open top-rope circuit for those who just want to crank all day, then party. Joshua Tree Search and Rescue is a primary beneficiary of the event, as well as The Access Fund, which is a supporter of Climb Smart 2005. Presenting sponsors include Adventure 16, Patagonia, Black Diamond and Wilderness Outings. The cost of Climb Smart 2005 is $70 for the full weekend experience for those who register by Sept. 12. Camping space is included but is limited to the first 100 registrants. For more information visit www.friendsofjosh.org.

>> The state of Pennsylvania is lending a financial hand to Dick's Sporting Goods to finish its Pittsburgh-area headquarters. Having outgrown its 200,000-square-foot facility, Dick's is spending $64 million to expand and the state is pitching in $10.85 million in state funding. State officials said the money will help create 700 jobs and retain 1,263 others at the company's Findlay Township base. The money comes from the Governor's Action Team, an entity within Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development, charged with attracting and retaining companies to the commonwealth. The package includes a $2 million opportunity grant; $2.1 million in job creation tax credits; $500,000 in customized training grants; $1.25 million in infrastructure development program grants; and $5 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Dick's is also planning to build a four-story, 940-space parking facility on-site.

>> Backcountry Magazine is launching a book division with the "Biff America Anthology" as its first rollout on Nov. 1. Backcountry Publisher Jon Howard said expanding the magazine's mission to publishing books was a natural step: "We've got talented writers, an editorial staff, design, photography, and a proven distribution network all in house at Backcountry." The anthology is a collection of writings by Jeffrey Bergeron under the alias Biff America, a popular column in Backcountry for over a decade. Bergeron is also a host on Resort Sports Network and KOA radio. Backcountry Magazine Books is also publishing a 12-month 2006 calendar loaded with photos capturing the timeless moments that define the backcountry experience. For more information, visit www.backcountrymagazine.com.

>> Have guitar will climb… Alaskan climber Vern Tejas recently completed climbing to the highest point on each of the seven continents with his Traveler Guitar in hand. Tejas' Traveler Guitar model of choice is the Pro Series, which features a detachable lap rest and is the smallest full-scale electric acoustic guitar on the market. "I've become quite fond of playing the Pro Series while trekking. I love the portability and durability, and you should see locals light up when they know you have a guitar strapped to your pack," Tejas said.

>> Backpacker's Pantry has been hard at work in the kitchen and said it's whipped up the industry's first-ever cold-water meal. The new cold pasta salad with vegetables contains spiral pasta with vegetables, cheese, and herbs and spices. The best part is you can add the cold water to the pouch and keep on trekking until you're ready to eat. Backpacker's Pantry added that the all-natural vitamin supplement is designed to provide the daily allowance of vitamins and minerals.

>> REI plans to open a new 30,500-square-foot store in Mountain View, Calif., in spring 2006. The two-story store is part of a new retail development, called Charleston Plaza, being constructed at the site of a former industrial park, across the highway from the headquarters of Google and Intuit. REI plans to employ about 55 full- and part-time staff.

>> Pant-maker Mountain Khakis caught the eye of The Charlotte Business Journal and was featured in a recent write-up. The Journal said the three investors launched Mountain Khakis with just $2 million -- half in equity financing and the other half in mezzanine money -- in January and expect to post revenues of $1 million this year. They project revenues of $4 million in 2006. Debuting at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the company walked in with three retail customers and by show's end had booked 100 more in 37 states.

>> Greg Williams has joined the Backbone Media PR team to work closely with Polartec and to support a burgeoning media buying division. Formerly the advertising director at Climbing magazine, Williams also served as admission director at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, and founded the Philadelphia Rock Gym. He's available at Greg@backbonemedia.net.

>> Spyder Active Sports and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association are renewing their current partnership through the 2011 season. Worth $7 million in cash and product, the partnership extends USSA's longstanding relationship with Spyder and makes it the first partner to extend its sponsorship through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. As the "Official Sponsor of the U.S. Alpine Ski Team" and the "Official Outerwear Supplier to the U.S. Alpine Ski Team and U.S. Disabled Ski Team," Spyder provides team athletes, staff and sponsors with official licensed product including speed suits, outerwear, turtlenecks, hats and pants. In return, Spyder the sponsorship gives it a high-profile platform to highlight its product portfolio to key audiences.

>> Climbers and good causes seem to go hand-in-hand nowadays. Case in point: 26 salmon advocates raised awareness of the work of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition (www.wildsalmon.org) by climbing Mount Rainier this weekend. The Summit for Salmon benefit climb also provided funds for SOS, a coalition of commercial fishing, sportfishing, conservation and taxpayer groups dedicated to the restoration of salmon to self-sustaining, harvestable populations. Each climber raised at least $2,000, and major sponsors of this year's climb included Sage, Kelty and Patagonia. In addition, employees from Sage and Patagonia were among the Summit for Salmon climbers attempting the summit, led by Rainier Mountaineering Inc. guides. If you're interested in being apart of the 2006 Summit for Salmon climbing team, contact Darcie Larson at 206-286-4455, ext. 10.

>> ISIS For Women has hired on Cynthia Kelly as its independent sales rep for the Southeast territory. She'll cover Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. She currently represents Tsumani, Sportif, Alf Wear, Alps Sportswear. She's available at redsergal@earthlink.net or 864-834-5006.

>> Online registration for the annual Industrial Fabrics Association International's Expo 2005 is now open at www.ifaiexpo.info. The event, Oct. 27-29, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, will feature two symposiums, more than 450 exhibiting companies and over 90 educational sessions.

>> DeFeet has signed on with Santrio to use its new web-based order management software product. Santrio's software manages orders, tracks commissions and shares leads, enabling managers, reps and customer service to increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction.

>> Now that the summer ispo trade show has ended, ispo BrandNew is shifting forward and seeking applicants for next winter's competition. Applying companies must meet the following criteria: the brand or company must be four years old or younger; never have exhibited at ispo before; and present innovative products, designs or marketing. A jury of sports industry managers and editors of sports trade magazines will judge the competition and decide the winners. Past recipients have exhibited at ispo and received international media recognition. Entries are due Nov. 4, and can be submitted online at www.ispo-brandnew.com or mailed to: ispo BrandNew Awards, c/o Pascher + Heinz GmbH SportsMarketing Sigmund-Riefler-Bogen 2, D-81829, Munich, Germany.

>> If you can look for love online, why not a workout partner? Two websites are capitalizing on the fast-growing trend of special interest websites that connect shared passions with the public's love of the Internet for specialty networking, online dating and information exchange. Launched in early 2003, www.sportsfanmatch.com and www.fitnessfansmatch.com are tailored to the growing number of singles of all ages, sports aficionados, families and millions of others who take sports, physical fitness and fitness training seriously. Users can create a member profile with several options including posting a picture and their specific sports or fitness interest. Once signed on, both sites offer members a variety of networking and information options, including general sports/fitness networking to find a local workout partner. Other site features include articles and "ask the expert" advice on fitness, nutrition, training, relationships and much more. There are also audio and video chatting options, the ability to create personal blogs, horoscopes and -- for parents -- finding local sports activity options for their kids. Each site offers a free three-day trial membership. A full-access, one-month individual membership -- which allows access to both websites -- is $21.95.

>> Columbia Sportswear Company named Brad Gebhard as vice president of footwear, starting in October. In his new role, Gebhard will be responsible for the global strategic vision for the company's footwear division and will provide direction for the footwear design and merchandise functions. Columbia said throughout his career, Gebhard has held key positions all relating to the footwear and apparel industry. Most recently, he was director of outdoor for adidas-Salomon AG. Also, the company appointed Mark Koppes as general merchandise manager men's apparel, starting in August. Columbia said the newly created position is part of a corporate apparel initiative that has expanded the segment to be gender driven instead of product category focused. Koppes will handle the general management and global leadership for the men's apparel division, including developing and executing the brand's global, strategic merchandising plan; managing the men's merchandising strategy from prototype concepts through delivery of final product lines; and managing product interactions with key retail channels. Koppes joins Columbia after a 16-year career at Nike.

>> The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index dipped in July to 103.2, down from 106.2 in June. The group said the decline is not a cause for concern and that the overall state of the economy remains healthy and consumers' outlook suggests no storm clouds on the short-term horizon. Even the steady upward tick of fuel prices at the pump has done relatively little to dampen consumers' spirits. It did say, however, while there is little to suggest a downturn in activity, there is also little to suggest a pickup. Consumers' outlook for the next six months was marginally less favorable than in June. Those anticipating business conditions to improve declined to 17.6 percent from 19.5 percent. Consumers expecting business conditions to worsen edged up to 9.6 percent from 9.0 percent. The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households, and is conducted monthly by TNS NFO.

>> Kids' obesity may be on the rise, but you can't blame it all on TV ads. A recent Federal Trade Commission report said the amount of food advertising children see on TV has decreased substantially since 1977. Comparing FTC research in 1977 to Nielsen Media data from 2004, it found that the number of food and fast-food commercials children see, in addition to how many minutes of commercials they are exposed to, is down 33 percent. According to the research, each child aged 2 to 11 saw 2,724 commercials for food or fast food in 2004 vs. 4,100 in 1977. The number of minutes of commercial time was also down, the study said. Children today saw fewer commercials for all products too, according to the study, but the drop in food and fast food was steeper than the decrease in overall products.

>> What motivates senior execs and managers to go to work everyday? Challenge (78 percent), pride in their job (69 percent), responsibility (66 percent) and compensation (65 percent) are the top four motivations, according to a study from NFI Research. Significant differences were found between senior executives and managers regarding their No. 1 motivation. For senior executives, it was challenge (85 percent) compared to 71 percent of managers. Seventy-four percent of managers said compensation was their motivating factor. As the company size increases so does the motivation of compensation: 60 percent in small businesses (1-500 employees), 64 percent in medium (500-9,999), and 77 percent in large (10,000+). Senior executives and managers overwhelmingly (84 percent) say they think compensation is a motivation for their subordinates. People they work with (61 percent) and pride in their job (56 percent) finish the top motivations senior executives and managers think motivate their subordinates. NFI Research (www.nfiresearch.com) is a U.S.-based research firm that identifies and analyzes trends and attitudes in business and organizational management.

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