OIA Board Members Urge Paddlesports Industry to Cooperate

At the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show last week, Canoe & Kayak Magazine announced the 2010 launch of a new paddlesports-specific tradeshow in Minneapolis. A group of current and past OIA board members recently sent an open letter to the paddlesports industry addressing this new show. The letter urges the paddlesport industry to cooperate and says, “We cannot stand idle as the industry faces a critical decision regarding its future health and wellness.”  At ORSM, there was also an impromptu meeting in conjunction with the Canoe & Kayak announcement where many members of the industry, both retailers and manufacturers, voiced “concerns about the need for another trade show, the fragmentation of the industry, and the perceived deficiencies of Outdoor Retailer.”

The OIA letter stated “Historically, the responsibility of advising Nielsen on behalf of specific paddlesports companies was left to TAPS and PIA. As we all know, these organizations are not in the position to speak with a unified voice on behalf of our entire community. As your elected representatives on the OIA board of directors, we believe that the time has come to unify our fragmented industry and coordinate the more than one hundred OIA paddle industry members so we have a clear and influential voice.”

The letter further laid out several proactive initiatives for the industry to undertake as a whole, including: Advocate for a unified national tradeshow with appropriate dates that work for everyone; Address rising exhibit fees, especially for companies that require large equipment footprints and Recruit back the missing paddle retailers and manufacturers, among others.  The letter was signed by several paddlesports retailers and manufacturers, including Sutton Bacon, CEO, Nantahala Outdoor Center; Darren Bush, president, Rutabaga Paddlesports; Norman Cavallaro, president, North Cove Outfitters; Paul Fish, president & CEO, Mountain Gear; Ed McAlister, owner, River Sports Outfitters; Will Manzer, president & CEO, Eastern Mountain Sports; Sue Rechner, president & CEO, Confluence Watersports; and Brian Unmacht, executive vice president, REI.

About The Author

OIA Board Members Urge Paddlesports Industry to Cooperate





At the Outdoor Retailer summer market show last week, Canoe & Kayak Magazine announced the 2010 launch of a new paddlesports-specific tradeshow in Minneapolis. A group of current and past OIA board members recently sent an open letter to the paddlesports industry addressing this new show. The letter urges the paddlesport industry to cooperate and says, 'We cannot stand idle as the industry faces a critical decision regarding its future health and wellness…'

 

At ORSM, there was an impromptu meeting in conjunction with the Canoe & Kayak announcement where many members of the industry, both retailers and manufacturers, voiced “concerns about the need for another trade show, the fragmentation of the industry, and the perceived deficiencies of Outdoor Retailer.”

 

The OIA letter stated “Historically, the responsibility of advising Nielsen on behalf of specific paddlesports companies was left to TAPS and PIA. As we all know, these organizations are not in the position to speak with a unified voice on behalf of our entire community. As your elected representatives on the OIA board of directors, we believe that the time has come to unify our fragmented industry and coordinate the more than one hundred OIA paddle industry members so we have a clear and influential voice.”

 

The letter further layed out several proactive initiatives for the industry to undertake as a whole, including: 


  • Advocate for a unified national tradeshow with appropriate dates that work for everyone.
  • Address rising exhibit fees, especially for companies that require large equipment footprints.
  • Reinstate paddlesports prominence on the show floor.
  • Improve demo day logistics and location.
  • Recruit back the missing paddle retailers and manufacturers.
  • Lead the formulation of a unified Paddle Advisory Council.


The letter was signed by several paddlesports retailers and manufacturers, including Sutton Bacon, CEO, Nantahala Outdoor Center; Darren Bush, president, Rutabaga Paddlesports; Norman Cavallaro, president, North Cove Outfitters; Paul Fish, president & CEO, Mountain Gear; Ed McAlister, owner, River Sports Outfitters; Will Manzer, president & CEO, Eastern Mountain Sports; Sue Rechner, president & CEO, Confluence Watersports; and Brian Unmacht, executive vice president, REI


 

The letter in full is reprinted below:

 

As a collective group of current and past OIA board members who have had the honor of representing the paddlesports industry, we recognize we cannot stand idle as the industry faces a critical decision regarding its future health and wellness.

 

At the Outdoor Retailer summer market show last week, Canoe & Kayak Magazine announced the 2010 launch of a new paddlesports-specific tradeshow in Minneapolis. There was an impromptu town hall meeting where many members of the industry, both retailers and manufacturers, voiced concerns about the need for another trade show, the fragmentation of the industry, and the perceived deficiencies of Outdoor Retailer.

 

Historically, the responsibility of advising Nielsen on behalf of specific paddlesports companies was left to TAPS and PIA. As we all know, these organizations are not in the position to speak with a unified voice on behalf of our entire community. As your elected representatives on the OIA board of directors, we believe that the time has come to unify our fragmented industry and coordinate the more than one hundred OIA paddle industry members so we have a clear and influential voice.

 

To that end, we are volunteering to be your champions for the major concerns that were raised at the Outdoor Retailer town hall discussion. Here is a list of the issues that we heard:

 

Advocate for a unified national tradeshow with appropriate dates that work for everyone.

Address rising exhibit fees, especially for companies that require large equipment footprints.

Reinstate paddlesports prominence on the show floor.

Improve demo day logistics and location.

Recruit back the missing paddle retailers and manufacturers.

Lead the formulation of a unified Paddle Advisory Council.

At the town hall meeting, a number of volunteers stepped forward to address these issues in a collaborative manner. Over the next several months, we will work with these volunteers, along with OIA staff and Nielsen Business Media, to develop and communicate material improvements that address your issues. If you would like to be a part of this volunteer group, we welcome your participation.

 

It is our hope that from this volunteer group will emerge a Paddle Advisory Council under the OIA umbrella that can ensure your industry issues are understood and addressed in a timely fashion. On September 30th at the Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous in San Diego, we will host an OIA Paddle Advisory Council meeting from 6 – 9 p.m. and report on the progress made with OIA and Nielsen Business Media. We hope that you will attend this meeting and consider attending the Rendezvous conference to continue the dialogue with your peers

 

For too many years, the paddlesports community has been fractured which has prevented us from reaching our true potential. Clearly coordinating our feedback to OIA provides us with the best chance to have our concerns addressed and places us in a position to grow our market in this very challenging time. We hope that you agree and will join us in this effort.

 

Respectfully yours,

 

Sutton Bacon, CEO, Nantahala Outdoor Center
Darren Bush, president, Rutabaga Paddlesports
Norman Cavallaro, president, North Cove Outfitters
Paul Fish, president & CEO, Mountain Gear
Ed McAlister, owner, River Sports Outfitters
Will Manzer, president & CEO, Eastern Mountain Sports
Sue Rechner, president & CEO, Confluence Watersports
Brian Unmacht, executive vice president, REI

About The Author

Archives

Categories

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This