JANUARY 9, 2012
The Weekly Digital Magazine for the Sporting Goods Industry
ISSUE 1202 JANUARY 9, 2012
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The Weekly Digital Magazine for the Sporting Goods Industry
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Mark Cuban for Skechers / Photo courtesy of Skechers
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NEWS 4 MARK CUBAN to Star in Skechers GOrun Super Bowl Commercial
SportsOneSource Publications SGB TEAM Business Sportsman’s Business The B.O.S.S. Report Sports Executive Weekly SGB Update Footwear Business Update Outdoor Business Update Sportsman’s Business Update Team Business Update SGB Weekly
5 6 7 8 9 10
BEACH VOLLEYBALL REBRANDED -- “Sand Volleyball” is the Name of the Game 2,900 FORTE PRO CARBON ROAD PEDALS Recalled by Performance, Inc. ATHLETA Unveils It’s First National Brand Campaign NICA Ramps up Training for High School Mountain Bike Coaches RIDDELL Introduces New Helmet Dating System PETE WORLEY to Head Deckers Asia Pacific / Joel Heath Takes Over Teva AIR JORDAN XI CONCORD’S Cause Riot Frenzy LOWE ALPINE Names Founder As Honorary President VINEYARD VINES Enters Licensing Deal with the NHL 180S to Launch Winter Apparel
7 WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE YEAR AHEAD?
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10 TRENDS FOR FALL 2012 OUTERWEAR AND APPAREL
18 JOB CLASSIFIEDS
COVER PHOTO: Utilizing Spyder's 4-way stretch, 20k/30k OSMO fabric and Primaloft® fill, the men’s Pinnacle Jacket is built from multiple materials and colors combined with studied trims and logo applications. MSRP $1000 Copyright 2012 SportsOneSource, LLC. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors to SGB WEEKLY are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. SGB WEEKLY is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles appearing in SGB WEEKLY may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. SGB WEEKLY is published weekly by SportsOneSource, LLC, 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450. Send address changes to SGB WEEKLY, 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450
WEEK 1202 | SGBweekly.com
MARK CUBAN TO STAR IN SKECHERS GORUN SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL Skechers is coming back with a Super Bowl commercial, but this time it will support its new Skechers GOrun minimalist footwear collection. A 30-second Super Bowl commercial starring NBA Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban for GOrun will air before the 2-minute warning in the first half. "Last year our Super Bowl ad was seen by over 114 million people," said Leonard Armato, president of Skechers Fitness Group, in an interview with SGB Weekly. "So on the day of the game in 2012 we have locked in the coveted spot right before the two-minute warning at the beginning of the first half. We hope to have a great audience witnessing our Super Bowl spot that will feature not only the mid-foot strike technology of Skechers GOrun but a little bit of the spirit of the 'underdog'--the spirit of the Skechers GOrun that we want people to identify with." While wishing to keep the plot line of the commercial under wraps, Armato said Mark Cuban certainly fits the definition of an underdog after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the favoritåSkechers GOrun was officially launched on November 6 when elite runner, former NYC marathon champion, and Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi ran the 2011 New York City Marathon wearing a Skechers GOrun customized racing shoe. Keflezighi, who achieved a new personal best time while finishing in 6th place, also has an 'underdog' story. Born in Eritrea in East Africa, Keflezighi’s family fled war when he was 10 and eventually settled in San Diego, where he took up running in junior high and soon became a star at UCLA. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Keflezighi shocked the world by grabbing the first American Olympic medal in the marathon since the silver medal earned by Frank Shorter in 1976. Keflezighi, who is also providing insight by testing and consulting on the design of Skechers GOrun product, will also compete in the Olympic Trials on January 14 wearing Skechers GOrun customized racing shoes. The campaign also features Danny Woodhead, who now plays a prominent role with the New England Patriots as a running back after coming out of a Division II school, Chadron State, as an undrafted free agent. 4
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"Skechers GOrun has an 'underdog' spirit to it where the unexpected can happen or inspiration can occur," explained Armato. "Our voice is really all about that inspirational coach in all of us that helps us discover the champion within." Since the launch, Skechers GOrun commercials have been airing consistently on national and local TV since mid-November, including fairly regular play on ESPN. Other components of the extensive multimedia campaign include television, print, outdoor, online and in-store spots. Skechers GOrun print ads are running in numerous publications from Runner's World and Competitor to Men's Journal and People. Kiosks featuring Keflezighi have been set up across New York City since the NYC marathon. More Skechers GOrun commercials are planned for 2012. Last year's Super Bowl ad from Skechers featured reality star Kim Kardashian for Skechers Shape-ups while its 2010 Super Bowl ad featured football legend Joe Montana, also supporting Shape-ups. Armato said the ads have helped build overall buzz for the Skechers brand. "A Super Bowl ad has a great payoff if you do it right," said Armato. "If you create a great ad people are going to talk about it before and after the Super Bowl. So there's going to be some additional media value with ‘earned’ as opposed to just ‘paid’ media. In addition, a Super Bowl ad distinguishes you as one of the leading advertisers out there. One thing that’s interesting is since Skechers began to advertise in the Super Bowl a couple years ago, the perception of the brand in the eyes of the public has risen dramatically in terms of trust and in terms of loyalty. So we believe if done properly, a Super Bowl ad can do great things for a brand." ■
BEACH VOLLEYBALL REBRANDED — "SAND VOLLEYBALL" IS THE NAME OF THE GAME Beach volleyball, which has rapidly grown from a niche sport into a popular Olympic sport, is being rebranded as "sand volleyball" at the collegiate and high school levels. The designation has been approved by both the National Collegiate Athletic Association and American Volleyball Coaches Association. According to SGMA Research, beach/sand volleyball is gaining popularity at all levels. Since 2007, the sport has added more than one million annual participants, marking a 28 percent increase in four years. At the SGMA Volleyball Council meeting in San Antonio, TX on Dececember 15, Kathy DeBoer, president of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), discussed the prospects for sand volleyball and noted the sport’s potential for further growth. "Adding sand volleyball to the emerging sports list for women was a great move by the NCAA," said DeBoer. "This is a very popular sport, and quite distinct from court volleyball. In the last two years, per SGMA reports, participation has increased almost 20 percent to more than five million players, and we are just at the beginning of the curve."
DeBoer also stated that the AVCA will be hosting the first Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championship on April 27-29, 2012 in Gulf Shores, AL. Four schools will compete to become the first national champion of the new sport. In 2012, 15 colleges and universities will compete at the Division I level, with 11 of those schools being located in the Southeast. No NCAA Champion will be crowned for at least the first year of sand volleyball competition, since a minimum number of 40 teams are needed for NCAA consideration. With the emergence of sand volleyball as a recognized collegiate sport, the NCAA has also announced that scholarships will be available – six at the Division I level and five at the Division II level. Meanwhile, David Clendenin from the NCAA announced that the NCAA has added its 89th Championship with the creation of the Division III Men’s Volleyball National Championship which will also be held in Spring 2012. Jason Pommier, Assistant Director of Sports Information for the University of Southern California, explained to SGB Weekly that one reason for re-naming the sport to sand volleyball is to ensure that Midwestern schools, and other schools in states without regular access to beaches, are not discouraged from adding the sport to their athletic programs. "Volleyball is in a great position moving into 2012," explained Neil Schwartz, director of business development for SGMA Research. "The ability for the industry to take the exposure from the Olympics and translate it into participation growth will influence the future of the game for years to come."
2,900 FORTÉ PRO CARBON ROAD PEDALS RECALLED
Performance, Inc, of Chapel Hill, N.C. is voluntarily recalling 2,900 of the 2011 Forté Pro Carbon Road Pedals it sold because they can break or crack during use, causing the rider to lose control and posing a fall hazard. Performance has received three reports of the pedals breaking but no injuries have been reported. The pedals, which were imported from Taiwan, were sold by Performance's website, catalogs and retail stores from February 2011 through October 2011 for approximately $100. WEEK 1202 | SGBweekly.com
NICA RAMPS UP TRAINING FOR HIGH SCHOOL MOUNTAIN BIKE COACHES
ATHLETA UNVEILS IT'S FIRST NATIONAL BRAND CAMPAIGN Athleta, the women's sports and active lifestyle apparel brand owned by Gap, Inc., announced the launch of its first fully integrated brand campaign, "Power to the She." The national advertisements from the new campaign, starting this spring, will be the first Athleta ads to include a narrative, highlighting the milestones and everyday moments of the Athleta customer's life and all she is capable of as an athlete and a woman:
Get born. Find a group. Find a job. Find the one. Have one. Have two. Roast a chicken. Cut bangs. Run. Breathe. Run. Relax. Run a 5K. Run a 10K. Crunch. Listen. Listen. Listen. Be loved. Look lovely. Do good. Give back. We kick asphalt. Power to the She. "We are so inspired by the women who shop our brand every day. We've created a campaign to celebrate their amazing capacity," said Tess Roering, VP of Marketing and Creative for Athleta. "Athleta customers want to do it all -- they lead extremely active and busy lives but are still able to balance family, friends, exercise, work, and everything in between. Their desire to keep reaching for more is what 'Power to the She' is all about." 6
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T he National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) expects to triple the number of high school mountain bike coaches it has licensed in 2012 by working with people who want to start independent clubs outside the six states where it has sanctioned leagues. The expansion could greatly accelerate the development of high school mountain bike leagues in the Eastern U.S. In 2011, NICA trained more than 250 people, including 127 new coaches, bringing to 500 the number it has licensed across the U.S. In 2012, NICA expects to license 1,000 coaches through its Indie Club Program, which trains coaches who want to start clubs beyond California, Colorado, Texas, Washington, Minnesota and Utah, where it has already sanctioned high school leagues. NICA’s program includes modules on cycling specific wilderness first aid training; learning how to teach “on-the-bike” skills to absolute beginners; continuing education requirements; training on how to minimize and manage risk; and background checks. Leaders’ Summits and wilderness first aid courses will take place this spring in Utah, Minnesota and Colorado, and this fall in, Northern California, Southern California, Texas, Washington, and New Mexico. The summits are open to aspiring and existing coaches in all 50 states. NICA will also be hosting two Leaders' Summit on the east coast this summer (more details to follow). NICA offers travel scholarships to highly motivated individuals who are making progress in developing new state or regional leagues. NICA was created in 2009 to promote the development of interscholastic Mountain Biking Leagues throughout the U.S. Founding sponsors include Specialized Bicycle Components, Easton Foundations, SRAM, Trek Bicycles, Clif Bar and Co., Primal Wear, Shimano, GU Sports, Kinetic, Maxxis, adidas Eyewear, CamelBak, Crank Brothers, Dirt Rag, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, Fox Racing Shox, Mellow Johnny's, Mountain Bike Action, QBP, Ritchey Designs, WTB, and Yakima.
IDDELL INTRODUCES R NEW HELMET DATING SYSTEM Riddell Sports has announced that it will be the first manufacturer to provide helmet users with an easy-to-read, initial season of use/ maximum life label. The label will be affixed to the exterior of its helmets to provide athletes with the highest level of protection possible. The initial season of use/maximum life label clearly shows a helmet's year of manufacture and maximum lifespan. The dating system is designed so athletes, coaches and parents can easily determine when to replace their equipment. The new system will be particularly useful in light of a recent rule change, as a new policy from the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA) states any football helmet 10 years and older will no longer be eligible for reconditioning and recertification. The new label will be located on the back of every new Riddell helmet and any helmet reconditioned at a Riddell facility. "It is important for schools to know the age of their helmets and recondition them each
year to best protect athletes," said Dan Arment, president of Riddell Sports. "Our new system helps coaches and parents easily determine the age of a player's helmet." This initiative is supported by Chairman Inez Tenenbaum of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which works to improve the safety of thousands of consumer products under its jurisdiction. "I applaud Riddell for stepping forward and empowering parents, players, and coaches with information that could prevent injuries
on the football field," stated Tenenbaum. "I am also very encouraged that other helmet manufacturers have responded to my call that this become an industry standard, as quickly as possible. Every parent, player, and coach should be able to look at the back of any helmet and instantly know whether that helmet might still be eligible for use." The initial season of use/maximum life label is now in effect for the upcoming 2012 football season for all new Riddell helmets and reconditioned helmets.
PETE WORLEY TO HEAD DECKERS ASIA PACIFIC, JOEL HEATH TAKES OVER TEVA
Joel Heath, President of Teva
Pete Worley, President of Deckers Asia
Deckers Outdoor Corp. said effective immediately, Pete Worley, president of the Teva brand, becomes president of Deckers Asia Pacific. Teva's Global Brand Marketing Director Joel Heath has been promoted to Teva's president. Worley, who recently marked his fifth year with the Teva brand, has led its successful turnaround and repositioning of Teva. He will relocate to Deckers’ Hong Kong office in his new role. "Pete's unique combination of footwear and lifestyle brand building expertise and strong track record of leadership makes him a perfect fit to run our growing Deckers business in the Asia Pacific region," said Angel Martinez, President and CEO, Deckers Outdoor Corporation. "In this key position, Pete will lead Deckers’ continued expansion in a critical geographic region important to all the brands in our portfolio." Heath joined Deckers as global brand marketing director for Teva in 2009, and has been instrumental in the process of repositioning the brand to appeal to a younger audience. "Joel's creativity, vision and strategic brand building strengths have been instrumental in Teva's evolution into a leadership position in the emerging action-outdoor world," added Martinez. "Joel's ability to work collaboratively with Teva's product and sales teams, combined with his previous successes in marketing and brand positioning, will bring continued success to the brand." WEEK 1202 | SGBweekly.com
LIMITED EDITION AIR JORDAN XI CONCORD'S CAUSE RIOT FRENZY
The release of Nike's limited-edition Air Jordan XI Concord sneakers at midnight on December 23, triggered mayhem at retailers across the U.S., with police being called to contain the crowds. In cities from North Carolina to Washington State, consumers pushed, fought or rushed the doors to spend $180 for the black-and-white Air Jordan XI Retro Concords - named after Michael Jordan, who carried the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s. The retro version of the Air Jordan 11 is highly sought-after because of its design and because the original was released in 1996 when Jordan and the Bulls were at the height of their dominance. Within hours of the release, hundreds of pairs were sold on eBay, some for more than $500 with dozens of buyers vying for each pair. The mayhem was reminiscent of the violence that ensued 20 years ago in many cities as the shoes, endorsed by Michael Jordan, became popular targets for thieves. It also had a decidedly Black Friday feel as huge crowds overwhelmed stores for the must-have shoes. Among the incidents, Seattle suburb police used pepper spray to stop fights in a crowd of more than 2,000 at the Westfield South Center Mall after they were told the shoes had sold out. A man was stabbed during a brawl between shoppers waiting in line at a store in Jersey City, NJ. In Atlanta, twenty police cars responded when a crowd broke down a door to enter the mall before it opened. In Taylor, MI more than 100 people forced their way into a store damaging fixtures and overturning benches. Other similar incidents took place in Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Nebraska. Riots were also reported in the Philippines. In Houston, Bishop James Dixon of Community of Faith Church, joined by community leaders said Nike should be held responsible and should change the way they release the shoes. They also called on Nike and Michael Jordan to lower the price, which retail for $200."The people who can least afford these shoes are buying these shoes," said Ben Mendez, 8
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a Latino business leader, speaking to My Fox Houston. "As a result of that there is more crime." In a column on ESPN, Jemele Hill questioned how much impact to Nike's bottom line would occur if Nike made more Air Jordans available to retailers."Would the shoe lose cachet if Nike made retro Jordans only available online in limited supply?," wrote the columnist. "Apple products are also in high demand, but new items have been released without widespread violence. Air Jordans have generated billions of dollars for Nike. Asking for some corporate responsibility and a conscience doesn't seem like too much." Brad Tuttle, a columnist for Time magazine, decried that most of those waiting in line weren't the pre-teens and teens that first created a stir with the original release of Air Jordan's in 1985. Today, the lines are dominated by men in their 20's, with many looking to sell their purchases on the Internet. Earlier this week, sellers at Amazon were asking $600 to $975 per pair, while the going price on eBay has been between $400 to $500. The shoes have a suggested retail price of $180. "Dropping $180 for something you’ll flip for a profit of $200 or more? There’s nothing crazy about that," wrote Tuttle. Writing for Green Valley News and Sun in Arizona, Corky Simpson lamented the mob mentality behind the incidents. "It’s good to see Nike doing so well, and uplifting (if that’s the word) to know that perhaps the greatest basketball player who ever lived, still inspires young people. Just the same, it’s distressing when mob rule and thug power break out, especially over something as frivolous as fancy-schmantzy basketball shoes", he stated. Hosts of 'The Five' on the Fox Network agreed it was ridiculous to blame Michael Jordan and Nike for the shopping violence surrounding Air Jordan shoes. Eric Bolling said, "Because they're desirable and people want them they're dangerous? How about crack? How about methamphetamine? How about all the litany of drugs that can really, really kill someone? It's a sneaker!" The night after the incidents broke out on December 23, Nike issued a statement condemning the violence. The statement read, "We are extremely concerned to hear of the reported crowd incidents around the launch of the Air Jordan XI Concord at some select retail locations. Consumer safety and security is of paramount importance. We encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner."
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK Just click on the video icon to see Jeff-Lowes-Metanoia film
▲ LOWE ALPINE NAMES FOUNDER HONORARY PRESIDENT Lowe Alpine, Ltd. has named mountaineer Jeff Lowe to the non-executive role as Honorary President in a move aimed at restoring the once iconic mountain brand’s luster. Jeff Lowe has not been affiliated with Lowe Alpine since 1988, when he and his brother Greg sold the company.
It has since gone through several owners and was acquired by a UK investment group led by Matt Gowar, CEO and Founder of Equip Outdoor Technologies, Ltd. Under Gowar, Equip has rolled up several outdoor brands, including the technical outerwear brand Rab. The new ownership group is investing heavily in Lowe Alpine’s design and marketing in a bid to restore the brand’s reputation as a leading provider of quality packs and apparel for outdoor recreation. "The Lowe brothers are part of the fabric of the outdoor industry,” said David Udberg, Managing Director for Lowe Alpine. “They created this legendary brand and helped shape the whole outdoor industry by putting their hearts and their souls into everything they touched. I have long awaited the opportunity to reconnect Jeff with the brand that bears his name and to recapture the heart of what the Lowe Alpine brand is.” As part of its renewed association with Jeff Lowe, Lowe Alpine has signed on as a corporate sponsor of Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia, a film that documents his legendary and unrepeated solo first ascent of Metanoia on the north face of the Eiger. A pre-release private screening of Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia will be presented at OR in the summer of 2012.
VINEYARD VINES ENTERS LICENSING DEAL WITH NHL Vineyard Vines, best known for its whimsical neckties and smiling pink whale logo, has entered into a licensing arrangement with the National Hockey League (NHL) to design and distribute a line of men's and women’s accessories that include ties, tote bags, and belts. Brothers Shep and Ian Murray, CEOs and coFounders of Vineyard Vines, announced the agreement on December 20, 2011. "We've had an incredible response from our existing team products and are thrilled about our new licensing arrangement with the NHL," said Lindsey Worster, vice president of brand communications for Vineyard Vines. "This launch came at the perfect time with hockey in full swing and the holiday gift giving season upon us." Product from all 30 NHL teams – in addition to former teams from NHL’s Vintage Hockey nostalgia collection including the New York Americans and Hartford Whalers - will be sold on vineyardvines.com, at Vineyard Vines retail stores, the NHL Powered by Reebok flagship store in New York City, and on Shop.NHL.com, the official online store of the NHL operated by e-commerce provider Fanatics. "The NHL is proud to be associated with a brand that is renowned for its product excellence," said Jim Haskins, NHL group VP of consumer products. "The NHL Vineyard Vines tie collection will present expertly crafted workmanship in neckwear with a fun fashion approach that our fans are going to love." WEEK 1202 | SGBweekly.com
180's Men's Voyager Long Sleeve Base Layer (Frost Grey/Formula One) featuring QuantumHeat. MSRP $50
180's gloves (left to right) - Men's Down Glove (Black) MSRP $65; Men's Contender Glove (Black) MSRP $75; Women's Lush Glove (Genetian Violet) MSRP $35.
180's QuantumHeat Impulse Armsleeves in Black, Genetian Violet, Orange, and Tender Shoots. MSRP $45
180S TO LAUNCH WINTER APPAREL 180s, known for its Tec Touch technology for gloves and patented Ear Warmer design, is launching performance winter apparel with the introduction of its proprietary QuantumHeat thermal performance technology. The Baltimore-based company is also unveiling its largest U.S. consumer marketing campaign and has bolstered its product, design and sales teams to support a push toward yearround product offerings. "180s is changing the way it does business," said Lester Lee, CEO of 180s. "We have always been about pushing innovation, but now we are taking that focus to another level and applying this to yearround products that address the performance needs of committed athletes. Expect to see more technology introductions that enable athletes to achieve their best. We have ramped up our product technology team, our sales team and heavily invested in technology 10
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development. Lastly, our marketing initiatives this year will be our most comprehensive effort to speak directly to consumers since the company was founded.” 180s QuantumHeat technology, which converts body heat, moisture and natural infrared rays into thermal energy, will be featured in base layers, jackets, vests, arm and leg sleeves, gloves, ear warmers, hats and socks for Fall 2012. The marketing campaign will include TV, print, and expanded online visibility, as well as experiential marketing and event sponsorships. Terry Snider was named vice president of sales, Anthony Melzi is 180s’ new national sales manager, and Sue Torralba is the team’s new marketing manager. “Our strong team is what’s behind 180s’ continued success and will be the most critical element to our future,” said Lee.
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THE SGB Question
WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE YEAR AHEAD?
> TED KUSHION, MERCHANDISE MANAGER, ATHLETIC FOOTWEAR, GAZELLE SPORTS We expect to continue to see strength in the running market. Participation at races and fun jogging events are still growing as more people commit to running as a way of improving their health and lifestyle. The biggest unknown will be the customers’ sensitivity to price increases and managing inventory. It certainly challenges us as retailers to add more value to the shopping experience as well as to be more efficient in our operations. If executed, it’s a great opportunity to see some real profit gains.
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> MIKE MAY, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, SGMA Every Olympic year, especially a summer Olympic year, is filled with optimism as people of all ages and all athletic abilities get the bug of athletic competition. That often creates a ‘trickle down’ effect which can boost sales of sports merchandise and inspire people to engage in a wide variety of athletic endeavors and fitness activities. Seeing athletes like swimmer Michael Phelps, sprinter Husain Bolt, and the U.S. women’s soccer team pursue gold medals helps inspire people. And, if swimmer Dara Torres, in her mid 40s, makes the U.S. team and wins any medal in London, the impact it could have on seniors in all sports would be revolutionary. That would drive millions of people into sporting goods stores to buy the necessary gear and accessories needed in order for them to pursue their athletic dreams and aspirations. As for Great Britain, this will be the greatest athletic year in her long and storied history. When you combine the summer Olympic Games with standard events such as the British Open golf tournament in July, Wimbledon in June, soccer’s Premier League play in the spring and fall, and rugby’s Six Nation’s Championship in the late winter/early spring, television cameras will be sending ‘live’ coverage and highlights of athletic events throughout the year from the heart of the British Commonwealth.
> RUSS HOPCUS, VP OF GLOBAL SALES, KEEN We believe 2012 will be an outstanding year for Keen and the outdoor market as a whole. Our industry has proven to be a shining star in an otherwise uncertain economic environment and we see that continuing through 2012 and into the foreseeable future. At Keen this translates to 'Recess.' In 2012 we will encourage our fans to take recess--to get outdoors, escape the daily pressures, and completely enjoy themselves. From a 10 minute walk to through hiking the AT - recess is all about recharging and taking back fun time. We continue to create product solutions that enable our fans to enjoy themselves no matter the environment. Consumers are voting for brands and retailers who provide the most value, as defined not only by price but by the overall experience. As long as Keen continues to innovate in products, branding and experience, we'll be able to keep the momentum rolling throughout our industry well into the future.
> JULIE BAXTER, VP, MOVING COMFORT Moving Comfort is optimistic about revenue for 2012. Women's fitness continues to flourish with women finding greater challenge and reward in cross training. Running is seeing record numbers of participants in 5K, 10K and half marathons with the greatest growth coming from women. On the studio side, yoga isn't slowing down while CrossFit gyms and barre studios are popping up all over. Plus, we are finding that women love the comfort and convenience of wearing their fitness apparel for everyday, not just for their workouts.
> JAMES NAHAS, JAMES NAHAS & ASSOCIATES, INC. Positive growth outlook for 2012 with sustainable growth in licensed retail and growth in high school. Increase of 12-18 percent projected, realistically 20 percent and up, depending on sell through percentages.
> BILL DAVIS, PRESIDENT, KIMMEL ATHLETIC SUPPLY CO. We feel that 2012 will be about the same as 2011. We have such a dysfunctional Congress nothing will really change until we get a change in the White House, Congress or both. No new jobs to speak of so spending well remain slow. We are projecting revenues to be flat and are watching costs and inventory levels very closely.
It’s going to be a tough year; there is still much correction to be had. > ROD ADAMS, CONSULTANT
> TODD FRANK, OWNER, THE TRAIL HEAD, MISSOULA, MT We are just ending the first year of sales declines in the last 11 years. Montana is usually late to see changes in the national economy and this time is no different. We had double digit decreases last year with weather and economy the likely culprits. We are forecasting a modest increase next year where we hope to gain back about 1/3 of the sales we lost this past year. The online component of the competitive landscape is unmistakable. We'll have multiple consumers shopping on their phones while in our store, basically working us for the best possible price, while telling us they "really like to do business with a local shop". Margins continue to decrease with this new online landscape. Vendors now have to face the reality that unless they can find a compelling way to keep us in the game, most local shops will see further decreases in sustained margins as the price-driven online market becomes more unmanageable by the vendors. They have neither the resources nor the will to affect any real change.
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> ED RING, COO, DIRECSOURCE As a leading producer of goods in the sports, fitness and outdoor marketplace, we're seeing that the brands we work with are very bullish on 2012. We saw an increase in production during the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2011 as we produced goods that are shipping for Spring 2012. Looking further ahead, the early indicators suggest that Fall 2012 is expected to be even stronger as brands appear more confident about what they are hearing from their retail partners. Direcsource, with offices in the U.S. and China, has made significant investments over the past six months in new infrastructure, data management systems and key personnel to help manage the anticipated growth.
> ROBIN BALL, OWNER, SHARP SHOOTING INDOOR RANGE & GUN SHOP The New Year looks to be heading in the right direction for our firearms and range business. The average customer is unlike those of the past. We rarely see people buying guns that will sit in their nightstand. They are buying to shoot for fun and self defense. There is more interest in training, concealed carry permits, and proficiency than in the past. With the economic climate not looking like it will change very soon, the interest is high in protecting families. We are excited about 2012. Ask me next year how that all worked out!
The industry has shown some resiliency in consumable merchandise purchases, as well as in special technologies being introduced in select areas. Overall the retail and team business has not shown any positive projections in growth for 2012. The supply chain overseas has continued to be volatile and they are raising prices so high that possible changes with regards to domestic manufacturing may be viable opportunities.
> JACK CURRYM VP SALES, BALI LEATHERS
> ANONYMOUS, REGIONAL SPORTING GOODS CHAIN The upcoming year is one of great uncertainty. How will the consumer react to the ongoing gridlock in Washington, European debt crisis, and continuing high unemployment? The upcoming elections also add another level of uncertainty, which compounds the problem. All of this negative news and commentary could scare the consumer. Our goal will be to drive business by focusing on the strong brands and new technologies that our customer has told us that they want. We will continue to put this message front and center in our store presentations and marketing messages.
> RICHARD BURROWS, INDEPENDENT REP, GOLF, MILITARY, RESORT AND OUTDOORS Business will be pretty even to this last year. Unemployment is not going to change. Business customers are still apprehensive to book much in advance. When they run low or are out, they order. It will be a typical election year. I do see some improvement in the golf industry. The industry started a 'Play it Forward' campaign this year which is beginning to take hold. People don't want to be beaten up by a tough course. They want to go out and enjoy themselves. After this tough four years people are looking more and more to just stop and have some fun. Fishing and hunting also seem to be picking up.
> TODD FALKER, FIELD SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE, SMARTWOOL AND TIMBERLAND I see the sports and outdoor retail markets continuing to segment into stores that understand value and those that focus on price. Since Smartwool is a premium brand, I know of retailers who understand the meaning of value and can drive that home to offer their premium customers a premium product. It’s the age-old 80/20 rule, that you need to find more of your top 20 percent of customers and fire your bottom 80 percent. The cream of the crop customer has disposable income and is willing to pay for understood value. I see a lot of growth in this segment coming and much less profitability to stores trying to compete only on price.
SGB WEEKLY JANUARY 9, 2012
Walk new ground.
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EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A GREAT JOB. HAVE YOU LANDED YOURS?
TRENDS FOR FALL 2012 OUTERWEAR AND APPAREL By Nancy Prichard Bouchard, Ph.D.
SGB WEEKLY JANUARY 9, 2012
Photo courtesy of Obermeyer
enured apparel manufacturers with experience reaching back to the ‘60s and ’70s report no surprise that everyone is wearing puffy down or synthetic jackets this year. “From WWI through the ‘60s, trench coats were the ticket for wet, cold weather,” one core manufacturer/alpine climber recalls. “We knew that the mountaineering and climbing apparel we made, and used, was superior for weight and performance; it just took 40 years for the rest of the world to catch on.” In a decade that is rife with bad news, there’s cheer on the horizon. While the fashion apparel market has been plagued by overproduction and fickle consumers, the outdoor category is holding its own. From proprietary waterproof/breathable soft shells, to “smart” fabrics and linings, and ultralight down that’s pre-baffled and sold in rolls, outdoor outerwear manufacturers are riding several waves: better brand recognition among mainstream consumers, outdoor going neck and neck with fashion, and, thanks in part to social media, greater appreciation of technical advantages. There’s no doubt that the industry is doing something right. Sam Orme, Action Sports & Outdoor Practice chief at D.A. Davidson & Co., says that outdoor apparel sales have been solid. He points to Black Diamond’s strong third quarter with 24 percent revenue growth—including an uptick of 13 percent in domestic sales with international sales growing an impressive 32 percent year-over-year. Outerwear is figured to play a prominent role for the company’s 2013 balance sheet. Another bellwether, VF Corporation reported 37 percent year-over-year organic growth in its Outdoor & Action Sports segment, up 44 percent internationally (29 percent excluding Timberland), with direct-to-consumer sales up 21 percent (15 percent excluding Timberland). “Outerwear is very healthy,” said a confident Jordan Wand, VP of product and marketing at Outdoor Research. “Our apparel collection is growing 65 percent from Fall 2011 to Fall 2012. Innovation and unique styles with hybrid construction have driven growth in the category.” Dennis Hochwender, Hi-Tec’s outdoor product director for North America, concured. “Outdoor is leading fashion in outerwear. The fashion industry has taken outdoor
styles and made them trendy. The outdoor industry has used those fashion trends to help drive business.” Orme, while remaining bullish, is cautious. “These are very solid numbers given the uncertainty in the economy,” he posited. “But a change in the economic environment, likely driven by headline risk from Europe, could lead to greater promotional discounting and lower revenue growth.” And what he doesn’t mention is the weather card. After a holiday season where more people surfed and biked than skied or snowboarded, Scott Kaier, spokesman for Sierra Designs, summed up the prevailing concern: “As long as it gets cold and wet, there will be demand for winter outerwear. Everyone is watching the weather.” Hochwender agreed. “Yes, Outerwear is still healthy and much needed as long as cold winter weather arrives in a timely manner,” he said. “Without snow and cold, sales will definitely be down.” He also believes that continuing economic uncertainties will drive the need for affordable, quality outerwear with technical features and versatile function. Andy Gatherings, co-founder of Salence (the word meaning peace in chaos), summed it up. “We think the consumer is going in either one of two directions. Either they are willing to pay a higher price for clothing and expect it to last for several years, or they buy inexpensive clothing that will last a season and then throw it away. There isn’t much in between—just like the economy.” Any discussion of outerwear must include the success of new shell fabrics that include technical soft shells, new waterproof/breathables, and even wool. “Knit-face 3 layer and 2.5 layer shells continue to be important,” noted Peter Kallen, Design Director at NAU. Additionally, Salence’s Gatherings has been seeing, “more natural fibers and fabrics and the expansion of how they can be incorporated into outerwear.” For instance, Salence is using a fabric that joins a natural, boiled wool fabric that has been needle punched to polyester taffeta. The technique WEEK 1202 | SGBweekly.com
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR FALL 2012
The excitement for Fall 2012 apparel and outerwear is palpable. SGB talked with more than 30 brands to find out their predictions for next season. Here are some of the most interesting insights we gathered.
• Look for historical, iconic ski fashions and collegiate • • •
letterman styling on jackets. Technologies prevalent in the outdoor industry are migrating toward the fashion industry to make garments more suited to the urban experience and aesthetic. Look for more eco-conscious outerwear and insulation, especially post-consumer recycled content. The blending of natural and synthetic fibers to make interesting new shell fabrics continues to expand. Schoeller, as well as a number of Japanese companies, are coming up with new fabrics combining wool and nylons or polyesters, and waterproof/breathable coatings. New nano-technologies are opening the floodgates for fabric innovations. Everything from memory fabrics to conductive fabrics and ultra abrasion-resistant fabrics are actively being developed. Silhouettes are becoming more fitted and slim with a greater emphasis on versatility. Women’s jackets are longer and with rises higher. Versatility does not equate to a “dumbed down” product. Companies are still striving to build product that can withstand the rigors of a niche category, while overbuilding it for other activities the user may be participating in. Colors are more European influenced. Look for “colorful” naturals like Peat, Paintbrush Red, Larimer Blue and Cilantro. Gypsy Purple, Coast (a bright, approachable blue) and Pout (a dark pink with the slightest blue cast) caught our attention, as did Volcano and Collegiate Blue (for men). Expect old-school, bold colors from the ‘80s, like purple and teal, all the way to influences from the ‘50s like tinted reds and golds. But stalwarts will continue to trend charcoal, black and brown. Look for Finger in the Nose apparel (best name for a company), making kids’ paramilitary- and urbaninspired clothing with a “hint of rock and roll attitude.” Nanogel insulations are an interesting innovation. The transition to new, more eco-friendly water-repellent finishes will likely be a key innovation going forward. Narrower seam taping and more technical bonding techniques will be used in the construction of a wider range of garmets outside of just the most technical pieces.
Photo courtesy of Obermeyer
provides an aesthetic that is bold and new but broadens the function by adding wind resistance to the warmth of the natural wool. The company is also seeing a trend toward multi-function garments that have slimmer fits and longer silhouettes, all of which are being influenced by the fashion world, reported Gatherings. For the Dale of Norway customer, the interest continues with product made with more technical yarns such as Knitshell and Dale’s water/stain repellent yarn. Throughout the line, high quality breathable liners are also used in outerwear jackets and sweaters, creating items suited for very cold conditions, yet stylish for everyday. In the shell category, a broad array of high-performance, waterproof and breathable materials—such as Polartec NeoShell, Pertex Shield, OutDry, Dry.Q Elite and Dri-Tec Laminate—are helping to wet consumer appetites for new product. Sue Parham, VP of apparel at Columbia Sportswear, said that what excites her about outerwear for the next season is seeking out technology that will make it more comfortable, lighter, and easier for consumers to have fun in the outdoors. “Everyone is focused on finding truly ultra-breathable products,” Parham said. “A market that was relatively stagnant for a few years is getting fired up. That is the pinnacle trend.” She points out that new materials allow for better designs with fabrics that are waterproof, but are also so breathable that the garments don’t require pit zips. “We see a demand for truly, ultra-breathable products with lighter, less bulky insulation,” said Parham. “For example, we combine our Hollow Core and Omni Heat to make a jacket that’s much lighter than anything in the past. Now our job is to educate consumers that less means more, especially in terms of insulation.” Manufacturers can count on technology to continue driving sales. The best example is the success of the ultralight down jacket: a warm, compressible garment that layers easily, packs well, and provides the warmth of much heavier jackets. While there are more recycled materials being used in insulation than ever before, the performance and affordability of lightweight down coats is also helping to spur sales. Snowsports Industry Association research director Kelly Davis reports that down-filled outerwear sales were up about 30 percent from 2010 to 2011. Non-down, including synthetic and wool, was up slightly more. Although the cost of high-quality down continues to rise, manufacturers report that the emergence of pre-quilted down, delivered by the roll, is allowing more factories than ever to produce down garments. New Insulations are also heating up. Ibex is launching a new “Aire”
Wool Loft insulated program that Jinesse Reynolds, VP of product for Ibex, said is creating a lot of excitement for 2012. “We’ve done a lot of testing and have confirmed wool’s outstanding performance over down and synthetic fibers for insulation,” explained Reynolds. “It retains its loft after being in a stuff sack better than both down and synthetic insulation. Ibex is using recycled nylon for the outer shell for its durability and wind-blocking properties. The prices are a little higher [than down and synthetics],” she admitted, “but you are getting a higher-performing and more durable piece.” According to Outdoor Research’s Wand, one trend to watch for Fall 2012 is the continued evolution of hybrid construction. “It lets you use the most perfect technology where you need it [as in] our Lodestar jacket, which uses two types of PolarTec Power Shield; the Acetylene jacket, which melds PrimaLoft® in the front of the body with Radiant grid fleece on the back and sleeves; and the Mentor, which maps different weights of Gore-Tex® fabric.” Cocona-based shells and insulation are also taking center stage. For next season, expect trend leaders like Obermeyer, Nau and Isis to turn “Cocona” into a household word. Robert Yturri, VP of Product & Brand for Obermeyer, argued that not only does Cocona perform at the highest level for epic mountain conditions, but it also is in line with Klaus Obermeyer’s emphasis on environmentally sound business practices. “Our industry is waking up [to the fact] that we have choices to make, that we are responsible for what we do,” said Yturri. “We were handcuffed for a long time, but now you can make high-performance but responsible fabrics that work better than anything on the market. Our philosophy at Obermeyer is that if everyone tries harder it will be better for the environment.” He indicated that fair value is also keeping Obermeyer’s business strong. “Across the board, our competition is 10 to 15 percent higher this year,” said Yturri. “We have gone up slightly on high-end pieces, but are trying to hold prices. If we can pull it off, we’d like to pass any savings we can on to the consumer. I think people are willing to pay a bit more, just because they are seeing the cost of everything else go up.” Patagonia’s Johnson agreed that hybrid styles will help drive Fall 2012 sales, as will garments’ versatility to perform in multiple environments, as well as women’s technical pieces. Patagonia has seen continued growth in its Fall 2011 expansion of the Gore-Tex® hardshell collection and the updated H2No line. “People continue to remain committed to their outdoor recreation activities, regardless of the economic situation,” he added. Robin Mavis, softgoods category merchandising manager for Ride, credits quality fabrics and features, along with targeted price points and sales programs, to growth in sales. “We have been gaining market share and according to the latest SIA sell-through data, we are quickly moving up the ladder for snowboard-specific outerwear—something we attribute to very cool, versatile fabrics and solid price points.” She sees strength in soft shell pieces, especially those that make a fluid transition from slope to lifestyle. Peter Kallen, Design Director of NAU, points to down-insulated
slope jackets, Cocona insulated layers, and texture and patterns, as the trends to watch—along with a strong emphasis on sustainability. “We continue to be the pioneers in sustainability within the outerwear and sportswear market. All of our products have a sustainable story,” noted Kallen. “I think this, combined with our attention to detail and quest for better and more innovative manufacturing, makes our product shine. The key is using technology properly and not over-teching a style.” Many companies are re-evaluating their lines, with the notion that simpler is better. This was Spyder’s mantra for 2012. Said J. J. Collier, VP of design and merchandising: “We really focused on simplifying planning, timing, and product design. This served several purposes: to make a pure statement in the market; to simplify raw materials commitments and forecasting; to reduce operating costs amidst a globally challenged supply chain; and to guarantee that we aced the execution of our designs. The result is a captivating product line that is tight, considered and devoid of wasted time and resources.”
Photo courtesy of Spyder
He added, “The snowsports industry has seen an overall rise in sales over the past few seasons in spite of the economic situation, and Spyder has been no exception.” Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, and one of the early adopters of technical climbing outerwear and light, packable insulation, has also been a leader in simplification. “Why buy two pieces of gear when one will do the work of both?” he asked. “Making products as versatile as possible derives from our origins as mountain climbers who had to haul our gear up a mountain on our backs, not in the trunk of an SUV. To carry as little as possible in the mountains is a spiritual tenet of many outdoor enthusiasts, as well as a practical consideration.” Although it has taken more than 50 years for the world to recognize that alpine climbers have something to offer the trench coat world, it looks like the learning curve is much shorter for simplicity and common sense. ■ WEEK 1202 | SGBweekly.com
THE FABRIC AND FIBER tech prim• er Photo courtesy of Obermeyer
ac•tive shell - W.L. Gore adds to its family of waterproof/ breathable fabrics with the very lightweight Active Shell. The fabric, while extremely durable, is also light by design, allowing it to be used as a layering piece underneath outerwear, or alone as an outer layer. ar•mor pla•ting - the gluing of a high-strength, highly textured fabric to the backside of Spyder’s ultra-breathable OSMO fabric. OSMO fabric is light, strong, and high-stretch, and gluing the heavy materials to the backside renders a subtle texture on the surface of the shell. This process creates a brand new ballistic kick patch solution that’s not a second, dye-to-match fabric nor the usual black blob of heavy fabric at the cuff. Armor Plating is subtle and is only discernable upon close inspection of the fabric. Armor Plating will be used in the Pinnacle, Monterosa, Alps and Bromont jackets, and the Davos and Bormio pants. co•co•na - Due to its environmentally friendly properties, Cocona is important for Fall 2012 both for shells and insulation. Obermeyer uses Cocona in its Amplified Breathability shell garments, while Sierra Designs incorporates Cocona’s 3.5-layer waterproof/breathable fabric in its men’s Prima Fusion jacket and women’s Mantra Fusion jacket. NAU is also utilizing new Cocona insulation. Derived from coconut husks, Cocona’s activated carbon
SGB WEEKLY JANUARY 9, 2012
particles offer a broad surface area that helps to wick moisture away from the body toward the outside of a garment. The key to Cocona’s performance is the use of activated carbon particles printed onto a polyester layer which is laminated to the inside of a waterproof PU film. The PU film is then laminated to a DWR-treated outer polyester shell. The result is excellent weather protection from the outside and outstanding moisture management from the inside. down - Look for both increased availability and value in down jackets. For 2012, Hi-Tec is the sole user of a new technology called Color-Tec, which is essentially a triple-filtered, 700-fill power down dyed in rich colors and showcased underneath a transparent shell. The dye coats each down pod, adding to the loft of the garment without destroying the down’s natural oils. A transparent shell fabric made from featherweight nylon mini-ripstop fabric with a silicon coating is used to show off four solid and two multi-colors, showcasing what down really looks like. e•Vent light•weight - Ideal for lightweight rainwear and apparel for high-energy activities that create a lot of heat and sweat, the new eVent 3-layer laminate matches 15- and 20-denier ripstop or dobby weave face fabrics with the eVent membrane. Rab and Crux are two brands that are using the eVent Lightweight.
Flash•Dry - Exclusive to The North Face, FlashDry™ is a particle technology taken from outerwear to baselayers and gloves. FlashDry™ is a naturally derived fabric additive that improves a body’s ability to regulate temperature by drastically improving drying time. Microporous FlashDry™ particles are incorporated into the fibers of fabrics, increasing fiber surface area for significantly improved evaporation and drying performance. N80p-X - Five years in the making and developed in partnership between Arc’teryx and W.L. Gore, N80p-X is a new outerwear face fabric. Woven from an 80 denier, false twist, textured high-tenacity nylon yarn, the plain weave construction of N80p-X is evenly balanced and extremely tight in both the warp and weft directions. The result is a durable, flat surface that is inherently water repellent, snow shedding and engineered for longevity. N80p-X face fabric will be used across the Arc’teryx line in 2012. Om•ni-Wind - Columbia Sportswear continues its Omni technology quest with Omni-Wind Block, a windproof membrane that is also waterproof, lightweight and ultra-breathable. It’s made with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, resulting in a strong, pliable fabric in two different grades depending on the user’s preference for breathability. Omni-Wind Block will be used in the Triteca softshell, the Key Three softshell, and the Stata D fleece jacket. The technology will also be available in gloves, hats and other apparel and accessories.
Arc 'Teryx Alpha SV Jacket. Manufactured with a new N80p-X Gore-Tex® ProShell 3L face fabric that has been five years in development, the Alpha SV Jacket is exceptionally durable, supple and with a reduced chest circumference for efficient arm motion.
Pow•er Shield High•Loft - Take an exceptionally weatherproof and breathable nylon soft shell, add a high-loft fleece on the inside for warmth without excessive bulk, and you have Polartec’s Power Shield High Loft. In areas on garments that are more exposed to weather (such as shoulders, hood, knees and seat), companies are combining Power Shield Pro, a soft shell fabric with a laminate for added weather protection. Smart•Loft PhD - SmartWool's new proprietary Merino wool insulation offers an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio, along with high compressiblity in next-to-skin insulation layers and outerwear. SmartLoft PhD also has the benefit of staying warm when wet due to the natural properties of wool. Garments featuring this new insulation include the women’s and men’s PhD SmartLoft Divide, SmartLoft Divide, and Full Zip jackets.
SmartWool Smart Loft PhD
WEEK 1202 | SGBweekly.com
FALL 2012 OUTERWEAR
1. Ibex Aire WI Hoody is a lightweight, semifitted jacket with 70 g/m2 wool insulation in hood and sleeves and 100 g/m2 wool insulation in chest and back. The shell is 100% recycled ripstop nylon. Features include seven-inch hand warmer pocket, six-inch chest pocket, adjustable hem and cord lock, elastic cuffs, adjustable hood, cord lock and interior mesh picket that doubles as a stuff sack. MSRP $325 2. Exemplifying Obermeyer’s Amplified Breathability™ technology, the Ketchikan Jacket features a Cocona® system used in all components: the outer shell, insulation and lining. MSRP $525
SGB WEEKLY JANUARY 9, 2012
3. Sierra Designs has incorporated Cocona’s 3.5-layer waterproof/breathable fabric into the Fall 2012 men’s Prima Fusion jacket and women’s Mantra Fusion jacket. Cocona’s 3.5-layer fabric excels at keeping the wearer dry from inside and out thanks to a 10,000/16,000 waterproof/breathable rating. MSRP n/a
fashionably trendy making it ideal for resort wear. Designed with a heavier double knit using a water repellent yarn and a full breathable windproof liner. A detachable fully lined hood, leather details, Merino lined neck and numerous other details are featured. For men and women. MSRP $795
4. Patagonia's best-selling Nano Puff Jacket and iconic R2 fleece are combined in one jacket for high-output activity. MSRP $249
6. Patagonia's Light Flyer Jacket is built with Gore-Tex® Active Shell product technology and this highly breathable/ waterproof shell weighs in at only 9.1-ounces. This is Patagonia’s lightestweight, most breathable/waterproof running shell ever offered. MSRP $279
5. The Nordpolen (North Pole), Dale of Norway’s new premium jacket, designed to withstand harsh winter conditions, yet
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Apparel Sales Rep II – Minneapolis or Madison Columbia Sportswear
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The Sales Rep is responsible for selling company products through retailers in assigned territory. As a member of the sales team, manage all sales functions for assigned territory’s to ensure the business grows according to sales projections. This includes account financial planning, assortment planning, developing and implementing sales plans, coordinating…
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Seeking experienced independant sales rep to join established agency in the Northwest representing Teva Footwear and Sherpani in both Idaho and Montana. Mature territory with solid base of retailers. Footwear sales experience and territory knowledge required…
BSN Sports Sport Supply Group
Primary responsibilities include understanding the hearts and minds of 15 yr old hockey-crazed kids and what is meaningful to them both on and off the ice; help provide market awareness and trends to support product direction; must have a great sense of what trends to capitalize on as well as recognize opportunities to set new trends; be fully engaged with our social media, Frequent trips to retail and the rinks…
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