Whether you beat the traffic out of town or crammed in meetings until the final bell, here’s what you missed today:
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- Have we mentioned climate?: It’s the big thing in activism, right now. And we mean big. A few hundred activists walked off their lunch this afternoon, marching in the sunshine from the Convention Center to the Colorado State Capitol. “The whole point of having this rally during Outdoor Retailer is to disrupt the business as usual,” said athlete and march leader Caroline Gleich.
- Rooftop real estate: Last night, Yakima walked away with the coveted Product of the Year distinction at the Innovation Awards for the brand’s CBX SOLAR rooftop box. Anyone who has ever tried opening a scorching hot black cargo box on a sunny day understands the upgrade: The CBX SOLAR makes use of the real estate atop the box by integrating a 36-watt solar panel and pumping out a 5-volt charge through two USB ports. Joel Grabenstein from Yakima gave a shout-out to product developers: “The first time you see [an idea] come to life, there’s nothing more rewarding, so for the people in this room who live that life, we’re all very lucky, and we should take time to realize that here and there.” We think that’s gear nerd for “stop and smell the roses."
- More people outside: Sierra Designs announced today that the brand plans to donate 1 percent of its web profits and $2000 in gear per year toward increasing accessibility and participation in the outdoors. The brand is partnering with Big City Mountaineers, SheJumps, Black Girls Trekkin’ and Nature Bridge to address common barriers to outdoor recreation, such as accessibility, cost of gear and skill development. “We are thrilled to be working with community partners who are dedicated to shaping future outdoor leaders of all backgrounds and experience levels,” said Andrew Day, VP/GM of Sierra Designs.
- Flashback friday: If you were a cool kid in the 70s, you owned a CB ski jacket. Or you wanted to to. Now, the brand launched by former world downhill record holder, CB Vaughan Jr. in the late 60s is making a comeback with fun, bright ski apparel with a distinctly retro feel.
- Junkyard restorations: Inspired by the rusting hulk of a former snow cat found in a junkyard and restored by MiiR Founder and CEO Bryan Papé, the brand is now collecting returned, scratched and dented, misprinted, and warrantied items, to either refinish or transform each into a pencil holder, planter, candle, or camp cup. Aside from the coffee being served up in the latter, the booth was worth visiting for the bright orange snow cat.
- Pants for schools: Sherpa Adventure Gear has a new mission. The brand plans to donate 1 day of schooling to a Nepali child for every product sold online and in stores, up to 10 million days of school. We did the math: Based on Colorado’s education setup, that’s enough to support roughly 480 full years of education.
- Moving on up: LifeStraw promoted its 10-year managing director, Alison Hill, to CEO today, replacing owner and 20-year CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. Vestergaard Frandsen plans to remain on the board of LifeStraw’s parent company while also exploring new ventures. During Hill’s tenure as managing director, the business grew more than 80 percent in 5 years, and launched into the household market with the LifeStraw Home water filter pitcher
- Joining forces: Outdoor and lifestyle PR company CGPR is now a part of the national PR giant French/West/Vaughan. Chris Coddard, a staple of the show floor will remain at the help and CGPR will continue to operate under its own name. “We are honored to be joining FWV, an agency with impeccable credentials in our industry,” said Goddard. “With this union, we are now part of a full service agency that provides multi-faceted services that now define the changing world of public relations today.” FWV is an award winning firm with offices in Raleigh, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston and Tampa, and now features a team of more than 120 public relations and marketing experts.
- The numbers don’t lie: Breakfast on this third and final day of the 2020 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show featured a keynote presentation by Blair Taylor, speaking on behalf of Camber Outdoors about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoor industry. The presentation, which touched on similar topics as yesterday’s Inclusivity Luncheon at the Denver Athletic Club, broadcast some key stats that caught attendees’ attention:
At 8.9%, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest unemployment rate of all race/ethnicity groups in the U.S.
Two in five LGBTQ+ workers feel bullied at work, and 56% feel bullied repeatedly.
If current trends hold, it will take 257 years to close the pay gap between men and women.
Only 4.8% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women.
More than half of employed black women, say they have experienced at least some type of discrimination at work.
In 2018, 31% of workers with a disability were employed part-time, compared with 17% for those with no disability.