Thursday, March 31, 2005

The M (minority) Games?

As the United States gets more diverse every day, the ski/snowboard industry, is one of the last arenas without much expansion of clientle...

This blog comments on this phenomenon, an article from the Denver Post and various studies by the Leisures Trends Group:
In 20 or 30 years, Hispanics and African-Americans together may no longer be a minority in the United States. Yet, less than 8 percent of the nation's skiers and snowboarders are people of color.
47 percent of potential skiers who say they are seriously interested in trying skiing or snowboarding are Black or Hispanic. More than 25 percent of skiers who have tried the sport once are minorities.
What can we as purveyors of the Outdoor Industry do? Do we NEED to do anything, or will we, and lets face it, our underlying bottom-line exist without this group?


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

New Zealand sheep - your fate is sealed.

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.

The Full Story


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

REI, the Worker's Friend

Wow, REI guys make sweet bank...seeing as most of us are members of the COOP, I thought y'all might appreciate this info:

"Acquiring this (executive salaries)information from REI itself is not easy. You find it by going to the "About REI" page (, then by clicking on "financial information" in the left menu, which takes you to a PDF document, at the end of which is a link to the 2003 consolidated financial statements, which, when clicked, takes you to a page about how often reports are compiled, with a link at the end of the text to an "overview," which takes you to a page where Chairman of the Board Bill Britt explains the co-op's philosophy about compensation, and at the end of that text there's a link to "details on REI's executive compensation," which takes you to a page of more explanation of how compensation is determined, and near the bottom of that page, there's a link to a Summary Compensation Table, which leads you to a PDF document detailing the past three years of compensation for the co-op's top executives."

Read the whole article here: Big Bucks


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Buyers comment on Reef

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.


VF Corporation to buy Reef

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?

The Full Story


Quiksilver is now a golf company

Well the rumors are true - Quiksilver is buying the Rossignol Group in a $320M stock buyout which includes all skis, snowboards, boots, bindings 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.

The Full Story


Friday, March 18, 2005

Kelty Hires New Sales Manager

Kelty taps Peter Novak as new director of sales

Outdoor industry veteran takes role as primary sales strategist
for Colorado-based leader of backpacking and camping

BOULDER, COLORADO (MARCH 16, 2005) ­ Kelty (, the "First Name
in Backpacking² and a recognized leader in outdoor adventure and lifestyle
products, this week welcomes Peter Novak as their new director of sales.

With a rich background in the specialty outdoor market, Novak will become
the primary sales strategist for one of the leading brands in the outdoor

³Peter¹s deep experience in the backpacking market as well as the outdoor
lifestyle market made him an ideal fit for the position,² said Kenny
Ballard, president of Kelty. ³We¹re pleased to have him on board with the
Kelty family.²

Previously, Novak was the vice-president of sales for Mountainsmith. While
at Mountainsmith, he was responsible for the creation and implementation of
sales strategies in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Japan, and Asia.

Prior to that, Novak oversaw the 5.11 Tactical Series by Royal Robbins, as
their national sales and marketing manager. For the 5.11 Tactical Series,
Novak was the primary agent in bringing the new product line to market.

Novak is scheduled to begin at Kelty on April 1, 2005.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Preseason ordering world

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 this will continue to be the case. I love it!!

Rumors that I cannot confirm and unconfirmed:
Vans Classics footwear are backorderd until 9/1/05. CONFIRMED
TNF will have two catalogs for Fall 2006 one for Big Box/Gart Bros and one for specialty. CONFIRMED
Quiksilver is trying to buy Rossignol: UNCONFIRMED
Ammon Watches is being sued by Vestal Watches for Copyright infringment: UNCONFIRMED

That's what I got from the front line. Stay tuned for more.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Barry Corbet Day in Jackson

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


Monday, March 14, 2005

Team USA - Got smarts?

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.

The Full Story


Friday, March 11, 2005

Bode Miller - Bring it!

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!

The Full Story


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Oakley takes off the gloves

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.

The Full Story


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Andrew McLean - what are you doing?

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.

Photo Link


Shoes Made-in-USA - a new beginning

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.

The Full Story


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Euorpe's Ironman - American's need not apply

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?

The Full Story