Most people I talk to in the industry recognise the importance of us all working together to encourage future generations to take up outdoor activities. But even so, I was surprised and delighted at the incredible response of our members to the #itsgreatoutthere campaign that we’ve run over the last few months. A strong message, compelling logic and a united industry are powerful tools that we need to use in this area, as the need for action will not go away. We are now looking at how we can grow this campaign and how we can achieve the meaningful, longer term impact that we know is necessary.
Our next opportunity to discuss the future of our industry is coming up soon in the form of the European Outdoor Summit (EOS) in Sheffield. We are really looking forward to the chance to look at the key issues the industry faces, in an environment that is free of the every day stresses of running a business. We know that the majority of you will be there, but for those who have still not booked, you will need to be quick. There are only around 20 places left and registration will close at 12:00 GMT on Thursday 8th October. We are as strong as our collective ability to work together and the EOS is a key part of this.
Finally on a slightly sadder note, Mathias Basedow who has been a key player in building so much of the EOG over the last few years, will be leaving us at the end of November. The search is on for a bright, ambitious marketing person to replace Mathias, so watch this space.
See you in Sheffield.
Mark Held, EOG General Secretary.
European Outdoor Summit, 13th-15th October, Sheffield, UK
The 2015 European Outdoor Summit is only a few days away. The event is being organised by our partners at the Outdoor Industries Association (OIA), with sponsorship from ISPO, WL Gore & Associates and Berghaus. With a packed programme of high quality speakers, workshops, networking opportunities and other great content, this year’s summit is set to be another landmark event.
There are only around 20 places left and registration will close at 12:00 GMT on Thursday 8th October. Find out more about the summit and make bookings here.
#itsgreatoutthere and the European Week of Sport
Our three #itsgreatoutthere social media competitions achieved a tracked reach of over seven million people, but thanks to leverage by major brands and retailers the final figure is expected to be in the region of between 15 and 20 million people. This excellent response helped us to send a powerful message to policymakers in Brussels at the start of the first European Week of Sport (EWOS) earlier this month.
During EWOS, the outdoors was one of only four key focus areas and both the EOG and Outdoor Ambassador Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner were on hand during the week to discuss the importance of our sector with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the current presidency. It is clear from feedback during EWOS that there is a growing understanding in Brussels of the high economic and social value of sport, and the important role of the outdoors in that.
#itsgreatoutthere was led by the EOG advisory group that was created to develop ideas for the promotion of outdoor participation. The campaign was always intended as a starting point for a longer term project and the group will meet again during next month’s European Outdoor Summit to start planning the next steps in this ongoing and vital initiative.
EOG team – a new face and a new vacancy
The EOG is a growing organisation and we are continuing to strengthen our team so that we can fully support our increasing membership and achieve a wide range of ambitious objectives on behalf of the outdoor sector. We recently recruited Penny Taylor as our event manager. Penny is an experienced industry professional who previously worked for The North Face and she will help meet the high demand for support at events such as the European Outdoor Summit, OutDoor and ISPO. Penny’s experience of consumer events is a clear plus and has already proved to be very useful when we introduced a bouldering element to EWOS in Brussels.
In addition, we now have a vacancy in the team. Mathias Basedow has announced that he will leave the association to take up a new role in the industry. Mathias has played a vital role in the development and positioning of the EOG during a period of growth and change and we are grateful to him for his great contribution.
Reflecting our ambitious plans for the association, we have created the new role of head of business development and marketing, and are seeking an experienced and enthusiastic person to help us achieve our objectives on an international stage.
Full details of the new head of business development and marketing role are available on the EOG website here.
In July, we published State of Trade 2014, which was made available in full to all participating companies. From the middle of October onwards, we will start releasing more public reports and overviews, giving insights into different markets and categories. These will be available for everyone to access here.
To discuss all EOG market research participation and access opportunities as an outdoor brand and retailer contact market research manager Pauline Shepherd on email@example.com.
As usual, there is a lot of activity underway in the area of sustainability. Led by CSR and sustainability manager Pamela Ravasio, the EOG continues to deal with other organisations and stakeholders on a variety of topics, while also driving our own key projects.
Responsible Wool Standard
The EOG has contributed $15,000 to support the audit pilot of the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), which is currently under development by Textile Exchange. In total, the association has now contributed $20,000 to the development of the RWS, which we regard as an important and valuable project. You can find out more about it here.
Sustainable Apparel Coalition
The EOG is supporting the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC) development of the Design and Development Module and its piloting, intended for product designers and products at first prototype stage. We have committed $10,000 to this project and EOG members will be among those companies involved in the pilot.
In the coming weeks, the EOG will launch a report following research into brand and consumer perceptions of durable water repellent (DWR) fabric finishes in the outdoor market. The research was initiated to address an information gap in the market from both a consumer and brand perspective and in completing the project, we worked in partnership with De Montifort University, Zero Discharge for Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), the USA Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), and the German Sporting Goods Association (BSI).
The results of the research have proved to be very instructive and will be published for download on our website in the next few weeks. Keep your eyes on the sustainability section here for details.