The M (minority) Games?
This blog comments on this phenomenon, an article from the Denver Post and various studies by the Leisures Trends Group:
Backcountry Adventure from Backcountry.com customers, Gear Reviews and Outdoor Industry scuttlebutt for Backcountry addicts
If you're a sheep in New Zealand, your future just got brighter, or dimmer depending on how you measure up. Smartwool, the largest purchaser of New Zealand merino wool has struck up a 7 year, $30M deal with The New Zealand Merino Company. Not only will this deal help small and large merino growers in New Zealand, it will also help New Zealand sheep breeders to produce the type of sheep that in turn will produce top quality merino wool that meets Smartwool's requirements. And you thought just any sheep would do? Now you know that your Smartwool socks are from only the best that New Zealand has to offer.
Wow, REI guys make sweet bank...seeing as most of us are members of the COOP, I thought y'all might appreciate this info:
Mark my words that you will see the continued expansion of Reef clothing with VF purchasing the brand. This is what they do they find brands that have a great brand name that is under utilized. Reef will be a monster in the next 5 years with apparel. Watch out for Vans apparel coming soon also a recent VF purchase. 0 comments
It seems that the action sports and outdoor industries are in the mood for some good old fashioned M&A. VF Corp, parent company to The North Face, has announced to buyout Reef from Swander Pace Capital and other shareholders—including company founders Fernando and Santiago Aguerre. I wonder what'll happen to all those Reef girls?
Well the rumors are true - Quiksilver is buying the Rossignol Group in a $320M stock buyout which includes all skis, snowboards, boots, bindings and...golf? Yep, Vijay Singh is now a Quiksilver athlete, in a round about sort of way. Cleveland was part of the Rossignol group and Vijay is thier most recognizable athlete. I'm sure the Quiksilver company BBQ should be really interesting this year with all those skiers and golfers walking around. Perhaps I can get back stage access. I'll keep you posted.
Kelty taps Peter Novak as new director of sales
Well it's still chaos on the frontline of preseason orders. I don't see an end until April sometime. And then I just got a call that we are heading to The North Face the first week of June. Basically there is no break in seasons from a preseason standpoint. It never ends it just keeps beginning. As we expand our brands at Backcountry.com this will continue to be the case. I love it!!
I suppose if you've ever had a tick list of couloirs and steeps that you must ski before you hang up the sticks for good, Corbet’s Couloir at Jackson Hole has to be one of those lines. I had the chance 3 years ago to launch myself into Corbet’s with waist deep powder waiting to "break" my fall. Mission accomplished; scratch one more off the list.
Little did I know of the history of Corbets name sake, Barry Corbet, or the amazing life he led. With his recent passing, Jackson Wyoming has named March 24 "Barry Corbet Day". A three-day film festival to honor this great American climbing and skiing legend will commence the same day. Proceeds raised will be donated to the Alex Lowe Foundation.
The Full Story
Ask any Olympic athlete about their college years and they'll likely tell you about a 5-10 year process of juggling training, competition and school. Or they'll just laugh and say, "Yea, right, college". Accomplishing both dreams, education and competition, just got a bit easier. The U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding have teamed up with Westminster College, a private college located in Salt Lake City, Utah to keep the athletes committed to their educational dreams while staying focused on their Olympic dreams.
So it's not really industry insider info and it's not backcountry, but I just have to say it - Bode Miller is the friggin' man! It's been a long time coming for team USA to have someone step up and dominate the Euro's. He won the Super G title with today's shared victory (he tied teammate Daron Rahlves) in the final Super G of the season. He's also closing in on the overall title. Bring it home Bode, bring it!
Seems that Oakley isn't too friendly with the competition that Orage 21 is bringing to the table. Oakley filed a cease-and-desist letter to Orage 21 concerning some apparent trademark and patent infringments. After reviewing the letter, Orage 21 basically gave Oakley the finger. Stay tuned for the Oakley vs. Orage 21 with Judge Judy coming soon.
Industry gear guru, author and Wasatch legend Andrew McLean was spotted this past month at The Canyons resort. Not that it's strange that he be hanging out at The Canyons, given it's proximity to his home and particularly with it's ample supply of backcountry stashes. The strange thing was that he spent the day "braving the elements" as it were under a snow-gun. What were you thinking? Gear testing? Yea, right.
In an industry where the bulk of manufacturing is being done oversees, particularly in China, one company has decided to go against the tide. Magnum, a division of Hi-Tec Sports USA, has just purchased a shoe manufacturing plat in Maine to bring some of it's operation against the tide - back to the USA. I guess that the "Made-in-USA" tag stills has some draw after all.
So you think you're tough and fit? Here's a race to put on your calendar for '06. And if you are an American, it's likely that you'll make the news just by entering, if they let you. The Patrouille des Glaciers (PDG) is the longest and largest one-day ski-mountaineering competition in Europe, gaining over 27,000 vert, in one day! How's this compare to races in the US? Here's a teaser:
"One of the most demanding [U.S.] backcountry events, the Elk Mountains Grand Traverse, from Crested Butte to Aspen, covers 40 miles, isn't technical in the least, gains half the vertical, allows lighter and edgeless Nordic skis-and still takes the fastest competitors an hour longer than the PDG participants to finish."Is there not an American out there that will take up the challenge?