Outdoor: Did you hear?…Malden launches cool retail contest, plus Vibram, CDTA, BCM, Atomic, Fischer, Access Fund, Honey Stinger, Blurr and much more.

Winning retail display could net store and staff $10,000 from Malden, Hostetter back at Backpacker, Vibram honored by CDTA, Fischer and Swix team up for racing program, Howe lands at Blurr, and much, much more.
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For the week of Aug. 2-8

>> They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a stellar window display could be worth $10,000. Malden Mills is holding a window display contest during November dedicated to the Polartec brand, sub-brand fabric styles and finished garments made of Polartec fabric. Malden Mills will support retailers with training materials, logo signage, consumer brochures, and a CD with logos and images. First prize will be a check for $10,000 and a full Polartec layering system for up to 50 employees at that retail location. Second prize will be $5,000, and third prize will be $1,000. To qualify, a retailer must carry in stock at least eight large Polartec based items (jacket, pants, sweaters and vests) and two accessories (gloves and hats). Judging criteria will be based upon creativity, an accurate depiction of the Polartec brand and "impact," using the theme "technology and performance." All qualified retailers can enter by submitting a contest application by Sept. 15, and photos by Nov. 15. From the photos, Malden Mills will select the five best entries and will send judges to select the final three winners in person. The winning retail location will be announced at the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show January 2006. For an application and more details, go to www.Polartec.com/retailcontest.

>> Kristin Hostetter has come full circle and is back in the saddle as Backpacker magazine's Gear Editor. It's familiar territory for Hostetter who held the position from 1994 to 2000 when she left full-time work to start a family. During her first term as Gear Editor, she supervised all gear content, created popular editorial franchises like Backpacker's Be A Gear Tester Contest, and turned the magazine's annual Editors' Choice Awards into the most coveted -- and most copied -- honor in the outdoors industry. Hostetter also led the development of Gearfinder.com, Backpacker's online gear database. Hostetter, who has been a part of the Backpacker family for over a decade, will continue to work for the magazine from Boston, where she has served as a contributing editor to Backpacker since 2000. She begins in her now role immediately, reporting to Editor-in-Chief Jon Dorn.

>> Vibram has been named as the 2005 Corporate Award recipient by the Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA). CDTA's Corporate Award goes to a company that has committed significant time and resources to the completion and protection of the CDT. Past recipients of the award include Vasque (2004), Jansport (2003), Mitsubishi Motors (2002), Coleman (2001), Kelty (2000), and REI (1999). Such contributions offer invaluable advances in the effort to complete the congressionally designated Continental Divide Trail (CDT) stretching 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada. A fitting choice for this award, Vibram has been a charter sponsor of the Alliance since the beginning, and a key reason CDTA commemorates a 10th Anniversary this year.

>> Fischer Nordic has formed the Fischer/Swix Nordic racing program for the 2005/2006 season. To be known as FSx (acronym for Fischer – Swix – and XC), the team will be made up of three interlinked programs: the Athlete Development program, the Ambassador Program and the new Elite Team. The focus of FSx will be to support and inspire cross-country ski racing in the United States by developing and fielding a competitive team made up of America's most elite racers. The goal of the program is to provide a supportive and competitive environment for America's top developing cross-country ski racers. Early season will find the athletes zeroing in on the Olympic tryouts, with the goal to make the 2006 Olympic Team. While most of the athletes are young and 2006 is a strong possibility, 2010 is the main focus for this group. The athletes will compete in a variety of domestic races throughout the 2005/06 season including Super Tour events, major citizen races, and local events. Members of the FSx Elite Team are: David Stewart, Nathan Schultz, Kate Whitcomb, Zach Violett, Zack Simons and Colin Rodgers. The team will be managed by Fischer Race Manager Eli Brown. All team members will ski exclusively on Fischer skis, Fischer boots and bindings, and use Swix Poles, wax, tools, and clothing. They will provide feedback that Fischer and Swix can incorporate into their future product development. For more information, contact Brown at ebrown@fischerskis.com or 603-314-7110.

>> For the second year in a row, Big City Mountaineers will be raising more than $20,000 through the sale of co-branded Mountain Hardwear apparel. Thanks to Polartec®, Mountain Hardwear, Northern Mountain Supply, and National Geographic Adventure magazine all donating their expertise and covering the majority of costs, this project will yield enough funds to underwrite over 50 at-risk teens participating in BCM's outdoor recreational mentoring program during 2006 according to BCM's Executive Director, Mark Godley. BCM's custom apparel can be purchased through Northern Mountain Supply at www.northernmountain.com/bcm.asp.

>> EN-R-G Foods, Inc., manufacturer of Honey Stinger energy bar and gel products, has signed on with Planet Foods to distribute its energy gel packets in Canada starting Sept. 1. Planet Foods distributes several food products, including Ultima and Sharkies, to specialty outdoor, running and cycling accounts across Canada. "Canada has a lot of potential for Honey Stinger with its active and healthy lifestyle," said Sales Manager Adam Spector. "We chose to work with Planet Foods because of their experience in the energy food market, established customer base, and their enthusiasm."

>> Kyle Burgess has been named Lowe Alpine's new Rockies sales rep, handling Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Burgess will be assisted by his sales associate Jason LaMunyon. Based in Denver, Burgess is available at 303-753-6946 or kyle@outdoorin.com. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, LaMunyon is available at 801/577-0833 or jason@mountaingoatproducts.com.

>> Isis said that the 37 expedition members of the "Climb Against The Odds-Mt. Rainier" climb for the Breast Cancer Fund successfully completed their climb on July 24, with 18 members reaching the summit. Isis, one of the many expedition sponsors, outfitted the climbers with technical jackets, pants and layering pieces. This is the fifth time Isis has been a primary sponsor for a Breast Cancer Fund climb. From 2000-2005, ISIS has donated performance apparel for the Climb Against the Odds expeditions, which have commutatively raised over $5 million for the Breast Cancer Fund.

>> During Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, the boulderProject, the Access Fund's bouldering initiative, is hosting "CragAPalooza" on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 5:30 p.m. at the Climbing Zone in the main hall of the convention center.  Find out what the boulderProject is all about and how you can be involved. Meet the Access Fund ambassadors including Timmy O'Neil (who will enlighten and entertain), Lisa Rands (who will be signing the latest boulderProject poster), Chris Sharma, Adam Stack, Randy Leavitt, Chris Lindner, Scott Milton and many more.

>> Scarpa has hired in house staff and independent reps for the Rocky Mountain and California territories. Mike Mead and Jonathan Degenhardt will join Scarpa NA in their new Boulder offices, while Kirk Haskell and Scott Sutton will rep the Rockies and Ian Reid will cover Northern California. At Scarpa NA headquarters in Boulder, Mead will take on responsibilities as operations manager, while Degenhardt will head up customer service. Mead's previous experience ranges from his most recent role as general manager for Grivel North America, to previous work with Scarpa when Mead worked in customer service for Black Diamond Equipment. Degenhardt, likewise, brings diverse work and boot fitting experience from his time at Neptune Mountaineering, Trango and La Sportiva. Haskell and Sutton of KNS Reps will add Scarpa to their existing core line up in the Rockies including brands Ambler Mountain Works, Big Agnes, Cloudveil, G3, Jetboil Mountain Khakis and Nikwax. In Northern California, Scarpa will be handled by Reid of the Apex Group. Reid reps for K2 Telemark, Life Link USA, Gita Sporting Goods, Great Trango Holdings and is executive director for the Avalanche Ski Company which hosts outdoor winter safety/educational workshops. www.scarpanorthamerica.com.

>> AdventureLifestyle.com, the podcasting voice of the outdoor industry, launches what the company claims is the first outdoor industry podcasting site. What's podcasting you ask? It's an on-demand audio program, best described as TiVo for radio, created by professionals like CNN, NPR, Al Franken, Newt Gingridge, or anyone with a computer, a microphone and a desire to have an audience. TheAdventureLifestye.com captures interviews with top athletes, editors, CEOs, designers, or people who live the adventure lifestyle. The site will kick-off at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market with interviews from Lynn Hill, John Roskelley, and daily podcasts surrounding the show. The goal of TheAdventureLifestyle.com is to build a library of interviews, archiving the voices and thoughts of the influential individuals who have built and continue to grow the adventure lifestyle industries.

>> Blurr, the Canadian-based urban climbing apparel company, has recently added to its sales force with the intent of pursuing an aggressive distribution strategy for the U.S. market. Toby Reid, formerly of Mountain Equipment Co-op and G3, joined Blurr as sales manager in March 2005, and has since hired industry veteran Andy Howe, formerly of Patagonia and White Sierra. Howe experience in business development in the U.S. market to Blurr and, the company tell us, is quickly implementing outreach to a targeted network of U.S. specialty retailers likely to benefit financially from a long-term relationship with the company.

>> Rounding out its initiative to implement a strategic marketing plan to launch a re-vitalized Yakima, it's named Philadelphia-based advertising agency Stick and Move as its advertising firm of record. Stick and Move, founded by Jared Scott and Steve O'Connell, who helped launch the Mini in the United States, will work with Yakima to develop its new branding through a targeted, integrated marketing communications campaign. Â

>>Thor-lo has hired Greg Henderson and Rob Walker of the Northeast Trading Group as independent reps. They will cover Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Their other clients include Sporthill, Muck Boot Company, Kelty, and Timex. Kathy Welch will continue representing Thor-lo Maine and New Hampshire.

>> Dunham has hired three new faces to its outdoor performance footwear brand campaign: Heather Kananowicz as women's casual product manager, Silas Beebe as product designer II and Scott Spearman as product developer. Kananowicz will manage, grow and rejuvenate the Dunham line of women's outdoor casuals by venturing into more contemporary styling in the outdoor lifestyle area while continuing to evolve the core of the business in everyday casuals. Previously, she was brand manager for three of Timex's brands. Beebe's product design-based focus will interpret the latest fashion and consumer trend influences using innovative materials and constructions. Formerly, Beebe worked in California on footwear with Lifestyledesign and accessories with Adidas, among many other projects as a freelance designer. Spearman will be responsible for developing high quality women's product utilizing the brand's new performance and fit technologies in women's casuals. Spearman comes to Dunham with 15 years of product development experience and most recently from Nike. All three associates will be based in Boston.  

>> Redfeather Snowshoes has hired PGM Integrated for its marketing and public relations campaign. As part of its work, it'll produce a print campaign for the 2005 snowshoe line.

>> Atomic USA has promoted Rick Halling to General Manager of Atomic Outdoor - a division of Atomic that includes the Nordic ski collection and its line of Koflach mountaineering boots. Halling has worked for Atomic for nearly 18 years. Originally hired part-time in 1988 to assist with Atomic events (coincidentally developing his dependence on caffeine at the same time) Halling quickly ascended the ranks at Atomic, where he has gone onto managing nearly every aspect of the company's outdoor business.

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