ISSUE 1225 June 18, 2012
The Weekly Digital Magazine for the Sporting Goods Industry
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Editor In Chief James Hartford email@example.com 704.987.3450
Senior Business Editor Thomas J. Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org 917.375.4699
ISSUE 1225 JUNE 18, 2012
Contributing Editors Fernando J. Delgado, Mackenzie Lobby, Charlie Lunan, Matt Powell Creative Director Teresa Hartford email@example.com 704.987.3450 (x105)
The Weekly Digital Magazine for the Sporting Goods Industry
Graphic Designer Camila Amortegui firstname.lastname@example.org 704.987.3450 (x103) Special Projects Manager Dao Huynh email@example.com 704.987.3450 (x109) President, Sports & Outdoor Paul Gagner firstname.lastname@example.org 303.997.7302 VP Business Development / East Barry Gauthier email@example.com 774.553.5312 VP Business Development / West Barry Schrimsher firstname.lastname@example.org 503.784.6267 VP Marketing / Product Development Gregg Hartley email@example.com 561.543.7789 Chief Information Officer Mark Fine firstname.lastname@example.org 561.615.0240 (x224) Advertising Sales Account Manager / Northeast Buz Keenan email@example.com 201.887.5112 Advertising Sales Account Managers / Midwest Barry Kingwill & Jim Kingwill firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 847.537.9196 Advertising Sales Account Manager / Southeast Katie O'Donohue firstname.lastname@example.org 828.244.3043 Circulation & Subscriptions Subs@sportsonesource.com SportsOneSource Publications Print Magazines: SGB, TEAM Business Digital Magazines: SGB Weekly, SGB Performance TEAM Business Newsletters: The B.O.S.S. Report, Sports Executive Weekly Weekly Updates: SGB, Footwear Business, Outdoor Business, Sportsman’s Business, TEAM Business SportsOneSource Research SportScanInfo, OIA VantagePoint, SOS Research
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OUTDOOR RETAILER'S Future Location Debated Online JUST FOR MEN UGG STORE Opens in New York City
SGS Certifies Performance Attributes of Gramicci's Natural Fabrics PANDA comes to the rescue with eco-friendly line of sunglasses SEA BAGS Debuts Boardshorts
12 CROCS CARES
FEATURES 14 OMNI-FREEZE ZERO Columbia Takes on The Heat DEPARTMENTS
18 JOBS CLASSIFIEDS
THIS PAGE Columbia Sportswear will be sending an ice cream truck across the country conducting sleeve tests demonstrating its Omni-Freeze ZERO cooling technology. Testers get free ice cream.
COVER Giving back is a strong part of Crocs’ culture, and the Crocs Cares℠ program provides a platform for Crocs employees to support organizations that benefit local and global communities alike.
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
JUNE 18, 2012 | SGBWeekly.com
OUTDOOR RETAILER'S FUTURE LOCATION DEBATED ONLINE OUTGROWING SALT LAKE PALACE? Less than a month after its launch, more than 2,100 people have logged in to the Collective Voice website, an online forum established by the Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Industry Association to discuss the future of the trade show. The website serves as a destination to learn about the event's history, discuss growth trajectory, and examine the pros and cons for a small list of potential venues that could host the show, with room to add exhibits and features that serve the business needs of the growing audience. Since the Collective Voice Forum opened in mid-May, more than 170 comments have been received. A small sampling includes: • "If you need more room, make some of the mega-booths reduce their space. Some of the booths are way too big." • "New items are what excite the retailers and the space in Salt Lake City is totally inadequate...Get over yourselves and let's make the move. Feel blessed that your industry is growing and you are part of it!!!" • "As much as I love SLC, it is ridiculous that as an exhibitor, nine months in advance I could not get a hotel room, can I sleep in my booth?"
The Collective Voice forum remains open to show stakeholders and will remain open during the survey period. Invitations to participate in the Collective Voice website were emailed to outdoor industry members who have registered for or attended the Outdoor Retailer trade shows as an exhibitor, sales rep, retailer or distributor in the last three years. "The combined results of our upcoming survey and the Collective Voice forums will absolutely steer our decision to hunker down in Salt Lake or make the move to a bigger city," said Kenji Haroutunian, vice president at Nielsen Expositions and Outdoor Retailer show director. "I encourage all stakeholders to lend their voice and thoughts to the Collective Voice site; this tool gives final decision makers the why, the comparative assessments, and further insight into the passion and cultural elements that live between each survey question."
Link on to the Collective Voice website outdoorretailer.com/collective-voice - to voice your opinion.
JUST FOR MEN UGG STORE OPENS IN NEW YORK CITY
New England Partriots Quarterback Tom Brady showed up for the opening of the first Ugg For Men flagship store in New York City. Located at 600 Madison Avenue and connected to the current UGG Australia store, the new 800 square-foot store will be the first dedicated UGG for Men location in the world housing footwear, outerwear, accessories and small leather goods, all geared towards men. Brady was hired as Ugg's mens' spokesman last fall. Said Connie Rishwain, president, UGG Australia, “UGG For Men has grown into a stand-alone line that deserves its own storefront,”. “Men requested their own dedicated space and we’re excited to give them just that.” 4 SGBWeekly.com | MAY 28, 2012
Ugg Australia president Connie Rishwain with Tom Brady
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SGS CERTIFIES PERFORMANCE ATTRIBUTES OF GRAMICCI'S NATURAL FABRICS
Gramicci has received independent testing confirming the brand's Natural Performance Technology (NPT) apparel performs as well, or better than, chemically-treated cottons or petroleum-based synthetics. SGS testing recently compared Gramicci NPT shirts (like the Ramicci NPT Men's Endurance Tee and Women's Tara V Neck) against popular market leaders' chemically-treated performance cottons and petroleum-based synthetic performance knitwear. Test results conclusively showed that Gramicci products excelled in areas of moisture absorption, breathability, dry time, comfortable body temperature maintenance and odor elimination. "A quick spin through your local retailer will tell you that we are dealing with a market that either doesn't know or doesn't believe performance wear can be natural or organic. We are the only brand making performance apparel that is truly all natural and organic," said Gramicci President Marty Weening. "Consumers don't have to settle for active wear that's been chemically treated to add performance qualities - nature has already provided us with hemp and organic cotton. Combining those materials with our proprietary weave results in, what research has now proven to be, an outstanding all natural, organic performance wear." Gramicci first introduced NPT fabrics with a modest selection of men's and women's separates in summer 2010. Since then, the NPT collections have been further refined and expanded by 160 percent. The active wear collections are geared to anyone from a high-performance sports enthusiast to a consumer looking for fashionable, sustainably produced lifestyle clothing. Unlike other popular choices in performance wear, the raw materials for Gramicci NPT garments are grown without pesticides or insecticides that poison the earth, water sources and the humans that harvest it. There is little to no shrinkage and no twisting or torqueing of side seams. All of the NPT series are dyed with Gramicci 's low-impact Bastion dye process creating Gramicci's signature "perfectly imperfect" look, and now, complete with performance that is all natural. "How great is it that we are able to make an all natural product that exceeds all expectations for comfort and performance, and at the same time do no harm to our planet in the process. This is the future of performance wear" said Weening. 6 SGBWeekly.com | JUNE 18, 2012
PANDA COMES TO THE RESCUE WITH ECO-FRIENDLY LINE OF SUNGLASSES
Panda is changing the way consumers view how accessories are produced and their social impact. Available in five styles, the eco-friendly sunglasses are handcrafted from sustainable bamboo and recycled polycarbonates, which means they're lightweight, durable, and - the best part - they float. There's a feel-good factor, too: For every pair purchased, Panda gives the gift of vision donating a pair of prescription glasses and an eye exam to a person in need. Panda officially launched earlier this year and is now tucked away in Georgetown's Paper Mill building a fashion hub of Washington, D.C.
SEA BAGS DEBUTS BOARDSHORTS
Sea Bags, the designer and maker of tote bags from recycled sails, has extended into the burgeoning board sports category. Sea Bags boardshorts blend sailcloth from Sea Bags’ sailing archive with lightweight, quick-dry nylon. The hand-picked Dacron sailcloth features classic nautical colors and vintage markings. The detail on the Velcro, lace-up fly provides a low-profile enclosure that helps eliminate surfboard chafe. As a unique nautical twist, Sea Bags board shorts feature sailing “tell-tails” on the side pockets. Sea Bags board shorts are available in two styles: Scuttlebutt (17 inch length), and Cat Head (19 inch length). Sizes range from 30- to 40-inch waists. Available colors include red, blue, black or green.
WHERE STRATEGIC DECISIONS BEGIN
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8 SGBWeekly.com | JUNE 18, 2012
rocs, Inc. looks out not only for the comfort of their fans, but also for the health and wellbeing of communities in need. Since launching the Crocs Cares program in 2007, Crocs has donated more than 3 million pairs of shoes in 40 countries, including The Democratic Republic of The Congo, Haiti, Iraq, and Malawi. The program's inspiration came about after the squishy footwear brand's original chief executive, Ron Snyder, saw commercials about children in Africa in deplorable conditions and recognized he could help. "Crocs Cares is Crocs’ philanthropic platform," said Melissa Koester, manager of Crocs Cares. "The mission is simple - to provide happy and healthy feet to children and families around the world. Through this program, Crocs has donated to developing countries, areas that have been hit by natural disaster and to families in the U.S. who need help." The program partners with five non-profits: United Nation’s Children’s Fund, Feed the Children, Global Aid Network, World Emergency Relief and Brother’s Brother Foundation. It also works with smaller mission groups that go through an application process. Only new product is donated through Crocs Cares although some gently worn shoes of any kind can be dropped off at its retail stores for donation to Soles4Souls. "Crocs shoes are 'The Perfect Shoe' to help people in developing parts of the world or those facing natural disasters," said Koester, who helped launch the program in 2007. "Crocs shoes are light, won’t absorb water, and provide basic protection that can literally save lives. The opportunity to help improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world with a program that ties so closely to the core of our business was the catalyst of this program." Crocs employees are directly involved with giving back to local communities and can join several opportunities to volunteer at Crocs Cares’ events. At retail, the Crocs Cares campaign and related events are communicated via POP. Last year, consumers could donate money at checkout to raise funds for Feed The Children’s “Americans
Feeding Americans” program. Additionally, Crocs own retail stores have branded collection bins for consumers to donate lightly worn shoes to Soles4Souls. "Crocs consumers are key to Crocs Cares' success," stated Koester. "Continuing to educate them about the program and how they can become involved will always be a priority for our team. Through traditional and social media, we are able to communicate our donation efforts. People can visit Crocs on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to learn more about recent donation efforts and how they can get involved." Asked what Crocs has learned since launching the program, Koester said Crocs discovered that a majority of the donations find their way to impoverished areas in environments below sea level and to areas that have been affected by natural disasters that tend to be natural conditions for Crocs. "The product that we’re donating makes a difference in people’s lives that live in these areas," said Koester. "Crocs shoes are perfect for the people we donate to. We’ve also learned that the relationships we have with our partners are invaluable. Working with organizations that can further our mission is key – we lean heavily on our partners to make sure that the shoes we donate are getting to the feet of the people that need them the most." ■ JUNE 18, 2012 | SGBWeekly.com
COLUMBIA TAKES ON THE HEAT 10 SGBWeekly.com | JUNE 18, 2012
Photo courtesy of Columbia
eralding a whole new category’s arrival at retail with a message around sweat-activated cooling, Columbia Sportswear Co. unveiled its Omni-Freeze ZERO technology. Culminating from four years of research, Omni-Freeze ZERO promises to move well-beyond polyester fabrics that wick moisture away with a polymer-based fabric that views sweat as a “renewable resource” and that cools upon contact. At a press event held in Sedona, NV, Columbia officials claimed it’s the first technology that feels cooler and more comfortable than wearing nothing at all. “The message is ‘wear more, get cooler,’ so this is huge because it goes against what we learned growing up,” Mick McCormick, EVP, told SGB Weekly at the event. “It’s industry changing.” Hitting retail in Spring 2013, Omni-Freeze ZERO will be integrated across a line of 40 styles that will include both men's and women's shirts, performance layers, headwear, sleeves and other accessories. The technology will also extend to Columbia’s Powerdrain footwear models to keep the shoes cool in hot weather. For the first time, Columbia’s Performance Innovation Team (PIT) will be sharing a technology with sister brand, Mountain Hardwear. Running shirts, a hiking skirt, headwear and accessories including arm coolers and bandanas will feature the technology for Mountain Hardwear. At the press presentation, McCormick noted how Columbia’s recommitment to innovation four years ago had resulted in 20 proprietary technologies between Columbia and Mountain Hardwear with 228 patent or patent families. But of the four solutions Columbia’s PIT team focuses on - warm, dry, cool and protected (from bugs, etc.), cooling people down is the biggest opportunity. “Heat is the biggest challenge for humans around the world,” stated McCormick. Illustrating the opportunity, he showed a map indicating that over 90 percent of the world’s population lives in moderate to very warm climates. Ruefully, he noted that only 10 percent live near the poles in the frigid regions that Columbia’s brands have largely focused on over the last century. “You can’t get away from heat,” said McCormick. “Heat is different from cold. When it’s cold, you can add layers. When it’s hot, you just become miserable. The earth is hot – period. And it’s getting hotter.”
“SWEAT IS NOT WASTE. IT’S THE CURRENCY OF THE ACTIVE. AND WE BELIEVE IT IS A POWERFUL AND RENEWABLE RESOURCE.” Dan Hanson, Columbia’s global marketing VP
He pointed to a USA Today article from the day before that showed that the earth had its warmest spring on record. Meanwhile, in the apparel industry, cooling options have largely remained focused on moisture-wicking polyesters that have been around since 1971. The problem for the industry, he contended, is a lack of a commitment to innovation. By comparison, a more dedicated push to delivering breakthrough technologies has long led the electronics to take a greater share of the consumers’ dollar from the apparel/footwear space. “The reason why we lose is we haven’t come up with an innovation that can change the way consumers feel,” said McCormick. “You can take Asics, Nike, Under Armour, Adidas - on down the line - ourselves - it’s all moisture wicking. You take the logo off those companies, along with ours around Mountain Hardwear, the consumer has no idea what it does and why this one costs $30 and another costs $60.” The Columbia team then introduced its Omni-Freeze ZERO technology, which will be called Cool. Q ZERO under the Mountain Hardwear brand. Distinctive blue rings, embedded and visible in the fabric of Omni-Freeze ZERO apparel and footwear, contain a special cooling polymer. When exposed to sweat or moisture, these rings actually swell (similar to goose bumps) creating an instant and prolonged cooling sensation. JUNE 18, 2012 | SGBWeekly.com
“This ring is very high-tech and one square yard of this material actually has about 40,000 rings and they absorb moisture form your body,” said Woody Blackford, VP of innovation and head of the Performance Innovation Team. “So when they do that, they swell and in the swelling they make a mechanical reaction which causes the temperatures of the rings to drop. And then they continue to be much cooler than the fabric for as much as they hold moisture, which is the perfect thing for the body because you sweat – we’ve evolved this way - and these rings come into action when you sweat. It’s truly active cooling.” Columbia recently introduced two other polyester-based cooling technologies – Omni-Freeze launched in 2009 and Omni-Freeze Ice introduced last year. Explaining the differences, Blackford noted that Ice features a chemical reaction that cools when it gets wet but it only lasts for approximately 15 minutes and then diminishes. The ZERO technology has more durability and lasts longer since it’s a mechanical reaction. “It’s similar to a phase change like when ice goes from ice to water and during the process that’s actually called latent heat absorption, that’s what’s happening with the polymers,” said Blackford. “In addition, it loves moisture so it can actually absorb quite a bit of moisture and still feel dry so it’s a much better conductor than the polyester-based material.” Finally, the ZERO has “super-good wash durability” while a chemical-driven fabric wears out after around 50 washes. For consumers, ZERO is expected to be particularly appealing because it’s “visible technology” with the blue rings designed to resemble the blue seen in freezer ice packs. Its recent successes with Omni-Heat Reflective and Omni-Wick Evap have shown visible technology helps the consumer “intuitively understand” the benefits, said Blackford. The polymer-based material also feels better next to the skin. He noted that most people still prefer wearing cotton in social occasions because most people don’t like the way polyester feels. For retailers, ZERO will help create more diverse options beyond the “sea of sameness of polyester fabric.” Blackford noted that the consumer very likely wears the same polyester shirt under a ski jacket as they do on a run. ZERO offers to clearly define offerings around cool, dry and warm, he attested. The product also was tested using thermal imaging that captures the temperature difference created by moisture and by around 100 of Columbia and Mountain Hardware athletes across the world in control labs and in the outdoors. Videos show several athletes proclaiming its ability to cool and improve evaporation at the skin level. Dan Hanson, Columbia’s global marketing VP, noted how the major athletic brands “have built empires celebrating sweat” in commercials while on the other hand have come up with solutions to wick away sweat “as quickly as possible.” He said Columbia hoped to “change that belief system” around heat and sweat. 12 SGBWeekly.com | JUNE 18, 2012
Photo courtesy of Columbia
“What if in addition to praying for snow, which we’re all accustomed to doing, we prayed for heat and when we got it we didn’t curse it?” asked Hanson rhetorically. “What if people weren’t housebound when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit? What if sweat didn’t just look cool but it felt cool?” He further noted that the heat is “not just the enemy of extreme outdoor enthusiasts” but of anyone playing or working in hot conditions. Said Hanson, “They need to know that wicking alone isn’t enough. That polyester, by whatever name you call it, is not going to cut it. Sweat is not waste. It’s the currency of the active. And we believe it is a powerful and renewable resource.” To proclaim “the days of sweating stupid are over,” Columbia is already planning an aggressive point-of-purchase program with partners around the world, including dedicated in-store shops. These will include first-hand experience of the technology using arm sleeves
and water spritzers. It’s also rolling out a guerrilla marketing campaign, including an ice cream truck rolling across the country handing out blue-colored mint-chip ice cream accompanying sleeve tests. McCormick said the company’s decision to extend Columbia’s PIT technology to Mountain Hardwear came after a period of “rebuilding and repositioning” for the sister brand over the last two years with the hiring of Topher Gaylord to lead the brand along with several other hires. Said McCormick, “Once that was in place, we began to explore how we could leverage our innovation portfolio.” He added that sharing technologies works very similar to the way Polartec’s NeoShell technology is utilized by many brands across the industry, although ZERO and Columbia’s other patented technologies are exclusive to the company’s brands. Said McCormick, “For us we get the incredible advantage of taking two great brands and bringing it to the marketplace. We both market it. Our retailers market it. And the consumer sees it at thousands more points of distribution with a very simple story being told.” McCormick also noted that while there’s some distribution overlap, Mountain Hardwear has a particularly strong focus on triathlon and high-activity runners in the spring, while the Columbia brand goes after outdoor specialty, hiking, fishing specialty and a broader consumer group. Gaylord concurred, “Our consumer is a performance-based, technical consumer and we looked at applying the technology to our high–end running apparel and that is a very different offering to how Columbia was looking to develop the product across their categories.” Gaylord added that heat is “the runners’ number one enemy” and his design team was “energized” in learning of ZERO’s potential to work for runners. McCormick said the response from its retail partners in recent weeks has been strong from both the sporting goods and outdoor channels. He told SGB Weekly, “When you think of it, there’s consumers who have six, eight or even 20 polyester shirts in their drawers and those become obsolete. As a retailer, they see this as an opportunity to have an incremental marketplace. They’re saying, ‘We need to get behind this.’” McCormick ended the presentation with a call to arms to the industry to deepen its commitment to innovation. With its own innovation pipeline set through 2016, Columbia is hoping on more break-throughs over the next few years. But he particularly waxed about the ZERO opportunity. He noted that while winter/fall has traditionally accounted for two-thirds of Columbia’s business, ZERO has the potential to make spring/summer the bulk of it. He also believes that for the first time in his 30-year apparel career, ZERO will provide an opportunity to create “retail theater” that matches those delivered by the electronics industry. “This technology is so different because the more you add, the cooler you get,” said McCormick. “For the consumer, that’s like thinking that the earth is now round versus flat. It’s a huge paradigm shift.”
Men's Freeze Degree Short Sleeve Crew features Omni-Freeze ZERO sweatactivated cooling, Omni-Wick EVAP advanced evaporation, Omni-Shade UPF 50 Sun protection and 4-way comfort stretch. MSRP $60
Men's Powerdrain Water Shoe features Omni-Freeze ZERO sweat-activated cooling lining, 3D single layer sandwich mesh and external TPU Frame Support in the upper. Also features a Techlite lightweight cushioned midsole and Omni-Grip nonmarketing Wet Grip Rubber outsole with full-length siped lugs. MSRP $90
But he also added that beyond the commercial opportunity, the technology has the opportunity to improve people’s lives. He said he visited the CEO of one of the company’s large technology providers, who, upon hearing about ZERO, immediately wanted to place an orderfor the product to cool thousands of his employees located in hot areas in the U.S. and Asia. McCormick said fireman, construction workers and others could also benefit from such cooling properties. He believes the technology provides a rare opportunity for the apparel industry to connect at an “emotional” level with consumers in improving lives. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we as an industry truly had an opportunity to change the way people live around the world,” said McCormick. “That’s our aspiration.” JUNE 18, 2012 | SGBWeekly.com
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THE RISE OF OUTDOOR “The energy at this show was tremendous and it rebooted everything for me as I head back to my store. Talking with the manufacturers I work with, their business results are up. Our sales are up. People are excited.” – Shelley O’Neill, Tooth of Time Traders
SHOW • AUGUST 2-5, 2012
Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT
DEMO • AUGUST 1, 2012 Jordanelle State Park, Heber City, UT
To exhibit or attend, go to outdoorretailer.com/SGB ––– SUMMER MARKET –––