Thursday, May 31, 2007

Leaders in CSR

Nike just released their latest CSR report and I've been going through the 100+ page document all morning. They are really ramping up their efforts on nearly every front.

Most impressive is the transparency they are offering. There are basically no closed doors in their sustainability effort.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

April was busy...

I just did a quick word count for April.

I ended up having 25,091 words published in the various newsletters and magazines we own.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nau are we walking the walk?

Is someone finally addressing the issue of the U.S. becoming a "disposable society" and designing a business plan around buying less?

"What Galbraith came up with was a line of durable yet stylish clothing, in a palette of muted colors, that can last for 10 years. The idea was to encourage shoppers to buy a few pieces that didn't follow the latest trends but were well enough designed and tailored to be a mainstay in a wardrobe year after year."


Outside-The Stereotypes

Okay, so it may be a little cheesy, but you've gotta give Coleman some recognition for launching a nation-wide TV media campaign promoting outdoor recreation.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Powers That Be...

In the most recent issue of The Economist, Chevron paid a pretty penny for a two page spread promoting their new website,

The headline reads, "There are 193 countries in the world. None of them are energy independent."

It goes on to claim, "...even regions with plenty of raw resources import some form of energy. Saudi Arabia, for example, the world's largest oil exporter, imports refined petroleum products like gasoline.
"So if energy independence is an unrealistic goal, how does everyone get the fuel they need..."

To me, this is a massive jump in logic. They are setting this ad up as an if-then statement, but they fail to connect the dots. Just because no country is energy independent today does not mean it is not a goal worth pursuing. And it certainly does not mean it is an unrealistic goal.

The ad also goes on to draw parallels between energy independence and isolationism. The decision to invest more of our government's money into R&D for domestically-produced energy like wind, solar, and even ethanol (yes, it has it's drawbacks, but it's still better than drilling) instead of subsidies for oil companies (Chevron) is not a move towards isolationism. It is a move towards improving our domestic capabilities and making them more attractive that their foreign counterparts.

In the end, I don't think this ad could ever convince anyone of Chevron's position (find more traditional fuels). It shows just how scared the company is about the fact that Capitol Hill is finally taking the term "energy independence" seriously. It really comes across as a desperate cry for help rather than a call to action.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Former CIA Director: America is Trading National Security for Cheap Oil

America is trading national security and a cooler climate for cheap oil, said James Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in his keynote speech on Tuesday at the Clean Energy Venture Summit in Austin, Texas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Quote of the Week

It looks like some more deals are in the pipeline:

"The market is absolutely crazy and everyone is for sale. I am floored at how many deals are in the market."

- Anonymous Financial Consultant

Monday, May 14, 2007

This Week in The B.O.S.S. Report



o owners sell majority stake to Liberty Media.
o Head Q1 loss expands.
o Garmin Ltd to acquire German distributor.
o Rocky Q1 earnings decline on lower margins.
o Gregory parent to be acquired by BAE systems.
o OIA looks for Board nominations.
o Big Dog Holdings gets Q1 lift from The Walking Company.
o Backpacker magazine could be on the block.
o Other Stories include Polartec, Isis, Slumberjack, Zumiez,
DSW, Giro, Oakley, Reef, and many more...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

REI Gets Foolish

"With a (very) long-term business plan, lots of room for growth, solid financials, and dominant positioning in a profitable niche, REI would be a great stock to own if it was publicly traded. In fact, it possesses some of the criteria that Fool co-founder Tom Gardner and the Motley Fool Hidden Gems team look for when they recommend stocks to subscribers."


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mountain Hardwear Trends Retreat

So, I attended the first Mountain Hardwear Trends Retreat in Boulder along with some editors from Backpacker, Climbing, Gear Trends and a ton of freelance writers. I have to say - it was an excellent event.

Whenever a writer hears "retreat sponsored by XYZ company" it usually means an endless parade of new products with "this amazing new zipper" or "this amazing new coating" or even "this really cool draw string."

This was not the case last week.

Mike Wallenfels sat down with all of the editors and basically let us know the challenges, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses of the outdoor industry.

Michelle Barnes with OIA sat down with us and did the same.

It's very refreshing to see some honesty and not just some more marketing hype and spin. On top of that the discussion that came out of the realties facing the industry was very productive. Nearly every journalist was involved, asking questions, making points, arguing pros and cons. The presentations usually evolved into open ended debates that kept everyone thinking and responding.

So, to Paige, Mike, Chris, and Val - Congrats! It was a great event.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

This Week in The B.O.S.S. Report



o Jarden to acquire K2 Inc. for $1.2 billion.
o K2 sees balanced Q1 sales drive earnings.
o Coleman Q1 profits climb on lower sales volume.
o Deckers ups 2007 guidance on strong Q1.
o Gander Mountain goes green.
o Cabela's cashes in WV development bonds.
o Columbia Q1 profits jump on strong sportswear sales.
o OR and FFR find a new director.
o Johnson Outdoors first quarter profits slip.
o Amer Sports Q1 hit by winter sports slow-down.
o Exel restructures North American operations.
o Volcom's new product lines fuel double-digit Q1 gains.
o Timberland acquires eco-friendly skate brand.
o VF Corp. leverages outdoor strength in Q1.
o Other Stories include Mountain Hardwear, Cervelo,
Omega Pacific, Coalision, Quiksilver, Smartwool,
and many more...


To say it was a big week this week would be an understatement.

The newsletter was over 8,000 words with nine major public companies reporting, and quite possibly, the biggest acquisition the outdoor industry has seen in the past decade.

Some excerpts:

“The opportunity here is on two levels. At the retail level, it's in the specialty space and in the international channels. On the specialty side, I mean, there are some specific opportunities where we really do bring things to the table for K2, and there are some specific opportunities where they bring opportunities to us.”
-Jarden CEO, Martin Franklin


Salomon sales were down 10% during the first quarter and down 8% in local currencies. Salomon made the strategic decision to exit the in-line skate business last year, and sales would have been flat this year excluding those numbers from last year’s results. In spite of the decline in sales, the division’s EBIT loss was basically flat...


Mountain Hardwear sales grew 9.9% to $17.7 million during the first quarter. Mike Wallenfels, MTH president, told BOSS that Q1 2007 was the first quarter in which sportswear shipments surpassed outerwear shipments...