Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Eagle Creek gets after it.....

Eagle Creek is expanding the positioning of its Clive brand into the outdoor distribution channel to capitalize on the emerging youth lifestyle category. Clive joins the spring 2006 outdoor market as a “new brand,” repositioned with an entirely new and uniquely stylized, design-oriented product line for the urban commuter, student, or traveler. Eagle Creek’s VP of sales, Michael Millenacker, has been newly appointed to oversee the Clive business...

So they buy Clive when it was just starting to get strength. Get rid of it. Now they want to bring it back as a "youth lifestyle" brand? News flash.... It was a youth lifestyle brand when you got rid of it the first time.


Quiksilver OWNS Rossignol

So will we see twintip Quiksilver skis or what? Quik owns 94% of Rossignol. Rumor has it that they will make Roxy Twin Tip skis for the girls. I would not be surprised.


I know the outdoors better than anyone! Yes that is right!

So why do I say this: here is why. The other day a neighbor of mine in Park City came by and told me about her husband who used to rep for Timberland and now was doing something special for them. A water shoe brand of sorts she said, and that was all she could tell me. I responded with, "If your husband is working with Keen please have him contact me directly." As I know Keen is the brand that is on FIRE. See below and how much I know:

Timberland to Launch Miōn Watersports Brand with Martin Keen
SportsNewsSource Posted: 7/26/2005

Everybody wants a piece of Keen, but Keen wasn’t for sale. Deckers wanted a piece and landed a new CEO in Angel Martinez. Timberland wanted a piece and went straight to the source and inked a deal for Martin Keen to design a new brand for the company.

The Timberland Company announced Tuesday the launch of a new brand under the TBL umbrella. The brand, Miōn (pronounced myown), is expected to give Timberland a solid entry into the technical watersports footwear market. With a strong heritage in apparel, it should only be a matter of time before technical apparel debuts as well.

Mr. Keen is under a long-term consulting contract to design and develop the line for Timberland. He will also receive royalties under the deal. Other terms of the agreement were not released.

The initial launch of the line, which is slated for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, will include four key styles across three genders for a total of nine styles. The range, which has a performance sandal, a performance water shoe, a guide slide and a pro thong, has four styles for men, four styles for women and one style for children.

Mr. Keen, reached for comment on a trip in China where he was finalizing the line, said the product is expected to ship in March 2006. He will be able to concentrate his energy on what he does best on the design side and Timberland will handle the the back-end and customer-facing functions.

Timberland said the design inspiration comes from Martin’s passion for sculpture and his competitive sailing background. Mr. Keen said the product is really designed as “equipment” rather than footwear. He said the product goes beyond his initial idea for Keen Footwear and its trademark toe protection to include protective “fingers”, or ribs, that wrap around the user’s foot for enhanced protection, fit, and performance. Each rib of the structure wraps itself around the foot in critical areas to ensure that the foot is held in place to have full contact with the footbed during static and dynamic conditions.

Keen said the sculptured look of the product will be the catalyst for the consumer to be drawn to the product, but the real essence of the Miōn product rests in the industry’s first customizable footbed and a unique fit system that encircles the foot in a 360 degree system that offers the user a truly customized fit as well. One-piece climbing grade spiral cord traces the Super Structure pulling it onto the foot with the precise pressure needed for each individual area of the foot. A special cord-lock maintains tension without constant readjustment. He said the customizable footbed will adjust to the user’s foot after 10 to 15 hours of wear, depending on the user’s weight.

Mr. Keen quipped that Miōn will take the “flip” out of the flip-flop.

Timberland said that material choice was of paramount priority with the collection ensuring durability and performance. What’s more, Miōn’s commitment to environmental sustainability is visible in both design and construction. The manufacturing technique employed in the Spring '06 line allows the company to generate significantly less waste vs. shoes & sandals built with traditional techniques.

The performance sandal will be offered in kids sizes as well. Retail prices will range from $80 for the slide and thong to $110 for the water shoe. The kids’ sandal will range in price from $45-$50.


Oakley outdoes themselves...again.

Looking at this the first time leaves me shaking my head but at the same time seems so obvious for Oakley. In the world of eyewear, be it athletic or urban, they are always raising the bar. It shouldn't therefore come as a surprise that Oakley is introducing the new RAZRWIRE, a Bluetooth compatible phone receiver and top of the line sunglass all rolled into one.

Oakley teamed up with Motorola to make this possible. The headset rests comfortably on either arm with an earpiece that fits comfortably into the ear, allowing the user to receive phone calls without skipping a beat or digging for the cell phone. Its mobility range is up to 30'.

Start lining up for this one. There will be limited quantities, available first at select Cingular Wireless locations. Oh yea, the price tag - a cool $294.99, allowing you to look...cool.

(image courtesy of Oakley)


Friday, July 22, 2005

Got gear? Need cash?

eBay. It's huge, sometimes too huge for some outdoor enthusiasts looking to unload their stuff. If you're an outdoor gear manufacturer, it'll inspire more of a cringe. Sure it's the "World's Online Market Place" (R) but sometimes the outdoor world would rather be part of the outdoor world rather than the entire world.

If you've found yourself feeling that way you've had been a real dilema. It seems that unless you had a huge network of bros like the folks on the TGR Message Boards that eBay was the only answer for unloading gear for those of us strapped for cash. GearTrade.com is now live and rolling. It's a gear swap website that has been around for a while but until now has been hiding in the shadows. One of the cool things they've done is to eliminate the listing fee - putting more cash in my pocket not theirs. Nice.

And since you're reading this, if you go over there and see some of my stuff, please buy it cause I'm planning a trip to Mexico to ski some big peaks and I need more $$ to pull this off.


More daylight hours to play

A nationwide chear should be roaring through cubeland. The House and the Senate agreed on an energy bill to begin daylight-saving time three weeks earlier, on the second Sunday in March, and extend it by one week to the first Sunday in November. This means but one thing for those of us outdoor freaks suffering from RAS (responsible adult syndrome) - more after work time to play in the outdoors sans headlamp!

CNN Story


I'll see your rep and raise you 4...I call!

Welcome to the Western U.S. edition of business poker...rack style. In a virtual round of business poker, Thule and Yakima have now shown their cards and are waiting for the flop. First Yakima announced a new direction for their rack company and anted up. Next Thule raised the ante and found new life with the former Yakima sales force joining the Thule ranks.

Today Yakima saw Thule's raise with the announcement of a new "core" sales force team of 4 rep companies. Former Ford Mustang Product Development guru David Fee, who has also competed in 4 Ironman's, will be leading the way. And yes, the former Thule team here in Utah has joined the Yakima sales force. Yakima calls!

Confusing? Yea, we're still trying to figure out whose wearing what jersey. Either way, the flop is coming and the river card will be the final determinant to see which auto rack company wins the game. Stay tuned


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Goat spotted

Early this morning the Goat, Backcountry.com's famed logo, was spotted in Big Cottonwood Canyon high above the canyon floor. Where will the goat be seen next?


Divorce court - Black Diamond v Scarpa

Actually, it's more of a mediation than divorce court, but BD and Scarpa have decided to part ways after 18 years of true love. Scarpa will move to Boulder because of "Boulder's access to the mountains" says new Scarpa President Andrea Parisotto. Yea, Salt doesn't have good access to the mountains. That's a valid reason to move to Boulder. Sounds like a case of [cue john wayne voice] "this town aint big enough for the two of us partner." [/cue]

Actually, word on the street is that Scarpa is heading into the sandal/hiking shoes world and BD wasn't really stoked about going there, hence the divorce. We'll be placing bets here in the office weather or not Scarpa makes it in the wide world of hiking shoes and sandals.

The Full Story


Friday, July 15, 2005

Giving a little back

In the spirit of giving a little back, and the urge to get the heck outta dodge (or the office), the online marketing team spent the day in the mountains of Salt Lake City doing some trail restoration work on a little trail that had seen better days. When all was said and more was done, there were a lot of smiles and good vibes to go around.

Dustin Robertson and Bryan Rhodes tests his new trail construction technique. Below, Reccia Jobe pitches in.


Friday, July 08, 2005

Kids Nowadays...

Volcom shares gained 41% in the first day of trading on July 6th, the second-best debut this year. The shares finally settled at the market close at $26.77 after a high of $31.20 with an opening price of $19. Almost 4.2 million shares were exchanged and the company's market value went to $625.3 million (an increase of $181 mill to the original value). This incredible gain is to be used to repay debt, upgrade their CA facilities and market their "youth against the establishment" brand. The financial district has never been so stylish.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Palmer Snowboards moves to the Rockies


Denver, Colorado, July 5, 2005:: Change is good. Change is even better when it brings you to Colorado. Palmer USA has relocated their offices to Denver, Colorado. The new Palmer USA headquarters has epic views of the mountains and is the perfect location for customer service, domestic and international operations and a new dealer showroom.

Here's what owner Jurg Kunz had to say:
"We are a snowboarding company that is owned and operated by snowboarders; it makes sense for us to be closer to the things that drive our lifestyle - the mountains and the snow"
"We have made some significant and positive changes at Palmer and moving the office to Colorado is another way to be closer to the snowboarding industry".

The new offices will hold residence for Kevin Addy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Tamara Lenherr, Director of Domestic and International Operations, Loren Brinton, In-house Sales, and Mark Rivard who will be managing the customer service department.

I can't believe they lasted that long in Minni-soda yeah,yabetcha.


Cannondale buys Sugoi.....

Cannondale Acquires Sugoi Performance Apparel
SportsNewsSource Posted: 7/7/2005

Cannondale Bicycle Corporation has reached an agreement to acquire Sugoi Performance Apparel.

The acquisition significantly expands the growing apparel and accessories offering under the Cannondale umbrella. The acquisition strengthens it’s presence in the cycling and triathlon market in addition to adding Sugoi’s strong presence in the running segment. The company will capitalize on the significant heritage and strong consumer base of both brands in order to offer distribution of all products on a global basis.

“This is a natural extension for us to join forces with a company that has a similarly rich culture and a heritage of proven innovation and performance,” said Matt Mannelly, President of the Cannondale Brand. “ It is consistent with our mission of offering innovative products for consumers who want to improve their performance and enhance their athletic experience.”

“We are extremely pleased to become part of a company that clearly believes in our brand strategy, our commitment to quality and the spirit of innovation,” said David Hollands, co-founder of Sugoi. “The additional resources will allow us to rapidly expand our great Sugoi products to retailers and consumers on a worldwide basis”.

Both companies are privately held and the terms of the agreement are undisclosed.

Not bad for a company like Cannondale that was in bankruptcy a few years ago.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Yakima vs Thule

Alrighty then! Yakima's former sales manager now works for Thule, thus he hired all his old Yakima reps to Thule. Now Yakima is hiring all the Thule reps. So where does this leave us? I have no idea.


Is Pearl Izumi going to make actual footwear and not just socks? I would say yes.

Ya, IP's been in the footwear biznas for a while now. Running and cycling. (Check out these rad kicks. ) And in addition to socks, they make some pretty sweet clothing too. Just sayin', check it out.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I wonder???

Director of Footwear Development -- Pearl Izumi
Pearl Izumi Posted: 7/1/2005
Source: SportsJobSource
Pearl Izumi, a leader in the performance apparel and footwear industry, is seeking a Director of Footwear Development to oversee our product development operations in the U.S. and China. This leader will have a proven record managing and leading a cross cultural team, creating and implementing effective development and commercialization processes, and a complete in depth understanding of the product development, testing, and commercialization life cycle within the performance footwear industry.

Is Pearl Izumi going to make actual footwear and not just socks? I would say yes.


Horny Toad rep team of the year The Jen's

Our rocky mountain rep team has won the rep of the year from Horny Toad. Jen Mastro and Jen Cordray took the honors. Jen has recently placed in our top 5 reps here at backcountry.com. She is a hardworking rep and couldn't agree more with the award. Congrats Jen and Jen.

Just to throw in a little dirt- here is a small bit of info regarding their sales meeting:

'>Mastro and Cordray are the Rocky Mountain reps for Horny Toad. In addition to leading the charge in the rep force, Mastro led the 1 a.m. initiative to move a 350-pound cement deer lawn ornament into the bed of Seabury. Unfortunately, the deer was placed in the wrong bed.'

The new sales manager was quoted as saying "We have a new sales target for 2006," said John Bales, Horny Toad national sales manager. "It's to exceed our bar tab from the sales meeting."

Life is an adventure over at Horny Toad eh?


Friday, July 01, 2005

Looking to buy some bonds?

Quiksilver's got some bonds up for grabs, $350M worth to be exact. But alas, it's going to be a private offering for qualified and institutional buyers. Admit it, you were stoked there for a minute weren't you?

The intent of this offering is to partially fund the Rossignol deal and to repay some debts with the wad of cash they'll soon have. That will be some wad indeed.