Each week on The Outdoor Biz Podcast you’ll hear genuine conversations with Outdoor Industry Insiders. Iconic founders and leaders from brands like JanSport, Eagle Creek, Fishpond, MPOWERD, Industry Recruiters, Sales, and Marketing Executives, and many more. These industry leaders talk about their careers, tell inspiring outdoor adventure stories, and offer advice and direction on the path you can take to get your job in the industry and grow your Outdoor Career. Hosted by Author, Speaker, Adventurer, and industry insider Rick Saez.
Liza Amlani has over 20 years of Industry knowledge and Experience in Merchandising, Buying, Product Development, and Sourcing with Luxury and Mass Merchant Retailers in both Regional and Global markets and has some progressive thoughts on traditional retail business. We get into a little of that and plenty more in this wide-ranging conversation. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Andy Palmer from The Adventure Portal made a visit to the Eastern Sierra recently and we wandered around the Upper Owens and East Walker Rivers for four days or so creating content for NIMBL Vehicles and Slumberjack. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Welcome to episode 339 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast. Fellow Podcaster, Business Coach, and OWAA compadre Howard Fox drops by to talk about his two podcasts. We also drop plenty of ideas small and large businesses can implement through podcasting to inspire followers and grow revenue. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Have you wanted to sing the Russian National Anthem . . . with an army general in a brothel bar in Yemen? Or get chased by pirates off the coast of Africa? This week on Episode 338 Patrick Schulte of Wanderer Financial shares those stories and how he and his family live the wanderer life traveling the world! Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Follow, rate, review, and share!
This week on episode 337 OrthoLites' newest footwear technology, Cirql, has been making waves in the industry. Cirql technology is aimed at helping usher the footwear industry towards a more sustainable and environmentally sound future and newly enlisted Chief Brand Officer Kristin Burrows is here to tell us all about it! Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
I'm thrilled to catch up with Rob Holmes today. Rob is the founder of GLP Films, and their mission is to help brands reach sustainability goals, and protect nature, communities, culture, and heritage through the lens of storytelling and content marketing. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
If learning to sail is on your bucket list you'll love this episode with Nautilus Sailing founder Tim Geisler. Tim tells us how Nautilus Sailing came to life, what learning to sail is like with Nautilus, and shares a success story of someone who began with no skills and is now a proficient sailor. Call Nautilus at 800-680-7902 to take them up on their offer of $500 off on any of their week-long live-a-board courses for Outdoor Biz listeners. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Gary Lenett from Duer Jeans drops by and talks about how the idea for jeans made to move came to life, making jeans out of Eucalyptus trees, and much more in our wide-ranging conversation. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Colin True has held a variety of roles in the Outdoor Biz and is the founder of Rock Fight LLC and the writer and producer of the Layers podcast by Polartec. He is ALL IN ON Podcasts. We talk about the value of podcasting for brands and retailers, Colin walks us through the Layers Podcast, and plenty more! Brought to you this month by Thrive Market. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Episode 332 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast with Kenji Haroutunian and Lance Camisasca from The Big Gear Show. We talk about the success of the inaugural Big Gear Show and what we can expect this time out! Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Welcome to Episode 331 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast with Geartrade Founder Aaron Provine. Aaron tells us how you can buy and sell the gear you love for your outdoor adventures. Keep your gear out of landfills and give it a longer life . . . it's the UnNew outdoor! Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Welcome to episode 330 of the Outdoor Biz Podcast with Stephen Barnes. Stephen recently partnered up with Bryan Wachs and together they've recently launched The Outdoor Rec co-op. Stephen and I dive deeper into the central idea behind their co-op which is to put the power in the hands of the employees and engage and incentivize them to grow companies for their own futures as well as the future of the company! Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Welcome to Episode 329 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast with Aaron Kindle, Director of Sporting Advocacy with the National Wildlife Federation. Aaron is a lifelong Westerner, originally from Wyoming, who possesses a deep appreciation for the West, its people, and its wild country. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Sara Ellis is a Global Product Specialist within Gore Fabric's Consumer Garments business unit, leading a cross-functional development team to bring new product innovations to market. Gore is a global manufacturer of diverse products, most well-known for its ingredient GORE-TEX product brand. Currently, Sara is supporting development efforts behind a new material platform for its GORE-TEX brand in an effort to continuously deliver high-performing products, while lowering the environmental footprint. Links: Sara Twitter Instagram Linkedin Gore Twitter Instagram Facebook Website: https://www.gore-tex.com/ Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Episode 327 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast features Envoy B2B's Matt Dobrowolski and Gabe Maier from BrandKeep sharing their insights and surprises from the Envoy B2B 2022 Retailer Challenge report, Brought to you by Envoy B2B. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
I get to speak with one of my environmental heroes Doug Peacock. I was fortunate to meet Doug at an Earth First! Rendezvous in Idaho in 1988. I'm just finishing his newest book "Was it Worth It", from Patagonia Books. Doug and I talk about his many adventures, love for wildness, and his current work to save the Yellowstone Grizzly. Facebook Twitter Instagram https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! The Outdoor Biz Podcast Links Doug Peacock Was It Worth It? Save the Yellowstone Grizzly Patagonia Books
Welcome to Episode 325 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast. Robin Hall says that her passions are Planet + Kids + Community + Outdoors and she is putting her heart and soul into her startup Town Hall Outdoor Co. She tells us about their kids' outdoor gear and how they are having so much fun! Townhallco.com Townhall Instagram Townhall Facebook Robin Hall The Outdoor Biz Podcast Facebook Twitter Instagram Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
30-year glove manufacturing veteran Gary Schloss felt obliged and inspired to bring a protective glove to market and help offer a solution to contain the spread of COVID-19. Gary and his team delivered that solution in the Spring of 2020 and he's here to tell us all about it. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Welcome to Episode 323 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast. Whatsup PR founder Beth Cochran is here with me today sharing stories about her 25-year Outdoor Career, the PR space, we talk about the OR Show, and plenty more. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
I'm thrilled to talk with fellow podcaster Emily Holland on the show today. Emily has been producing, hosting, and editing shows for over 3 years, including The Stokecast and the Nature Untold Podcast. After recently stepping back from hosting for a bit now she helps other podcasters get started or supercharge what they've already built. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Downlite began in down and feather more than 100 years ago and continues to lead in quality and innovation today and today I'm excited to speak with Downlite President of the Feather and Down Division Josh Werthaiser. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
This week I'm talking with Costa Sunglasses new VP of Marketing John Acosta. With more than 20 years of experience in the outdoor and fishing industries, John will now oversee Costa's global marketing efforts. We talk about the exciting opportunity in the fishing industry. 2021 marked the best year ever in Costa's history - in terms of sales and performance and the fishing industry is also experiencing the highest growth in fishing participation in more than a decade. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
I'm here today with Stasia Walker, Sablle Scheppmann, Kelsey McGrew, and Carrie Watson from The Futurist Project. They're here to tell us about the project, their leadership training, and I'm sure we'll wander a bit off-trail to some other topics. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
I'm excited to have videographer, photographer, and fellow podcaster Cole Heilborn on the podcast today. Cole hosts the Backcountry Marketing Podcast, you can hear me on episode 79. He loves creating films and says the challenge of making something creative is a challenge he never tires of. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
My long-time friend and colleague Chad Kelly joins me on the show today. Brought to you this month by SmugMug. Chad began his outdoor career in retail then joined Mike and Sue Sullivan and the Sullivan agency as a rep with brands like Eagle Creek and Ex Officio, and now is the President at eVent Fabrics. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
This week Andy Wynne, TMC CEO and developer of Nuyarn joins us on the podcast. Nuyarn Merino has revolutionized the merino wool industry with its manufacturing technology and has vastly improved the benefits of Merino wool in terms of comfort, performance, and sustainability. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
This week's inspiring conversation features WANDRD Co-Founder Ryan Cope. Ryan talks about growing up all over the world, how the idea for WANDRD formed around their kitchen table, and launching with Kickstarter. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
I'm thrilled to speak with Dkota Partner and Chief Brand Officer Rob Rosenblum today. The independent explorer spirit is what sparked Dkota Grizzly's passion to produce the heartland's most premium and durable apparel. Rob and I talk about their products, commitment to retailers, and more in this wide-ranging conversation. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Welcome to episode 313 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast with John McKinney founder of HR Outfitter. John has built an HR resource and team of professionals with experience in the outdoor industry and a love for adventure! He walks us through how they provide outdoor recreation companies with innovative HR Consulting and Staffing solutions so you can focus on running your business, whichever segment of the outdoor recreation industry you're in. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
You know what a fan of good coffee I am . . . today I'm excited to speak with Zach Pecha from Hikers Brew. Zach and I talk about Hikers Brew and how it came to life and he shares his and Addy's mission to promote sustainability within the outdoor and food packaging industries. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
I'm excited to speak with Keith Bornholtz today about his new role as CEO of Gathr Outdoors, Parent to GCI Outdoor, ORCA Coolers, Klymit, and Rightline Gear. Keith and I talk about the recent announcement of their rebrand as Gathr Outdoors, his Outdoor career, and their rebranding process with a new look and trajectory that is very much focused on outdoor. The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Libsyn's Rob Walch and I obviously geek out a bit on podcasting and he shares tips, small business podcasting success stories and the value publishing a podcast offers small businesses. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Gareth Richards began his outdoor career as a guide and educator then got into the online biz with planet outdoors dot com before online was a thing. He spent time as VP of sales with Lowe Alpine and Mountainsmith and started Prolink in September of 2004. Facebook Twitter Instagram Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Show Notes: planetoutdoors.com Lowe Alpine Mountain Smith The Teifi River Prescott College Cornell University NOLS What outdoor activities do you guys participate in, you and your family? "I still rock climb with a bunch of buddies, paddle a little bit, not as much as I used to, and mountain bike and ski." Gareth's advice to get into the outdoor industry: "Do your homework and align yourself with brands, with companies who have the same values as you." Gareth's favorite piece of outdoor gear under a hundred dollars: Grayl water purifier Follow up with Gareth: firstname.lastname@example.org Linkedin Outdoor Prolink Facebook Instagram Twitter Vimeo
Lucas Gilman is one of the leading adventure photographers and filmmakers in the industry for the last 20 years. His powerful and incisive images run in top publications & advertisements worldwide and his love of adventure and addiction to color creates his distinct style of photography and filmmaking. I've had the good fortune to work and learn from him on a couple of different occasions. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Show Notes Lucas Gilman Nikon Rich Clarkson Nomad Charcoal Grill Advice I would say you only have one chance to make a first impression. I would say if you're wanting to work figure out who your client is first. If that's National Geographic figure out what kind of portfolio you'd need to build, to impress National Geographic. And I'd say that you need to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. And until you're ready to show them your portfolio. Don't do it. You only have that first chance once. Show Banner "chance favors the prepared mind" the old Louis Pasteur quote Favorite Books Tim Flach Dog Books Chris Rainier: Ancient Marks: The Sacred Origins of Tattoos and Body Marking Ansel Adam's In The National Parks Annie Liebowitz Tom Mangelson Favorite Gear under $100 Leatherman Skeleton 10 stop ND filter Follow up with Lucas LucasGilman.com Instagram lucasgilman
Laurel King is here with me today and we have a wide-ranging conversation about her Outdoor Industry Jobs dot com. A job posting service for companies that manufacture and distribute products or provide services that support the outdoor product industry. Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Krimson Klover founder Rhonda Swenson is on the other side of the mic today telling us how her grandmother taught her to knit at age 9 starting her lifelong love affair with sweaters. Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Snippets Rhonda's first item she knitted 02:23 - 02:46 Rhonda's favorite gear 17:30 - 17:46 Rhonda's Advice 16:21 - 16:58
They say that if you love your job, you'll never have to work a day in your life. That seems to be the case for Jordan Hirro, who turned his passion for climbing into a career. Jordan is the Advertising & Sales Executive at Outside Interactive. In this episode, he joins host Rick Saez to share his journey and how his love for the outdoors paved the way to his successful career. He also gives some insight and shares tips for anyone aspiring for a career in media and advertising, especially in the climbing industry. Stay tuned! Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Snippets Jordan's Intro to the Outdoors 02:09 - 02:24 Jordan's Favorite Gear 37:37 - 38:00 Jordan's Advice to get into media 32:14 - 32:45
Seager Clothing wants to be synonymous with grit and ruggedness. Seager's founders, Elliott Shaw, Case Anderson, and Mattson Smith, created a brand based on their love for the outdoors and toughened by the challenges they faced in building their business. In this episode, Rick Saez talks to Seager's founders about the great outdoors. We learn how they got into outdoor activities, how their friendship gave birth to Seager, and their experiences growing their business. Tune in for more outdoor adventures and business ideas with Rick and his guests. Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/ 9:56 - 10:07 How did Seager get started? [EP 304] 12:27 - 12:32 Why start with clothing? [EP 304] 17:19 - 17:27 You made up the name? [EP 304]
Living in Boulder, Colorado, a place that almost seemed to be one with nature, it would be difficult not to be interested in the outdoors. In this episode, Rick Saez is joined by Professional Rock Climber Jonathan Siegrist. Jonathan shares how his family influenced him to love the outdoors. He takes us to his journey of making a living out of his passion for outdoor activities, especially mountain biking and rock climbing, and why he decided to live by himself outdoors through a camper van. Join in this conversation as Jonathan tells us his incredible journey of turning passion into living. Tune in to discover how you could make your life brighter too with the outdoors! Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Snippets 4:07 - 4:22 being a kid, I kind of wanted to like go fast and jump off things. [EP 303] 14:39 - 14:54 I bet I've spent like no joke, six or seven months in it of the last year. So. I've put a lot of wear and tear on it. [EP 303] 15:48 - 16:05 it doesn't matter if you're a climber or a fisherman or a mountain biker, or you're just like a guy or a girl who wants to go hiking or sightseeing or whatever. [EP 303]
There is a reason behind every event. No one hosts an event just for money. An outdoor event is supposed to be a place where you can connect with nature, with the people you love. If you want to host an athletic event, raise awareness for a cause, or build corporate kinship, partner with Chris Hollingsworth, the owner of Seven Seas Industries. Join your host Rick Saez as he talks to Chris on how they deliver on that while traveling and living in their 4 Wheel Camper Rig. Get started in the event industry by volunteering today and being part of something special. Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Snippets 05:46-06:03 We put on events 18:10-18:25 4 Wheel Camper Custom Designs 19:31-19:43 They began in 1972 19:31-19:43
Every additional feature to a custom camper van elevates your trip to make it more comfortable and memorable. Max Rekowski, General Manager at Vansmith, talks about how he brings his natural love for the outdoors and ecological knowledge to custom camper van conversions. Max tells us how they have continually changed and transformed into what it is today. Grown from a team of one to nine in three short years, they take ultimate pride in our Vansmith builds. They use premium materials with an intuitive design that allows for easy-to-use elegance in “Mad-Maxing” your van. Max also opens up how they compromise with their client's most ridiculous requests and deal with the public's increased interest in the outdoors because of the pandemic.
Jack Ballard might be the only person to run for Congress with his bird dog as an integral part of his campaign. Of course, there are many other important elements to his platform, such as education, healthcare, jobs and wages, the impact of drought on ag lands, wildfire mitigation, and more. Jack is the consummate outdoorsman, a nationally renowned outdoor writer and photographer who literally wrote the book (two actually) on elk hunting and now he's planning to use his background as a communicator, former farmer/rancher, outdoorsman, and educator to find workable solutions in Congress for all of us. On today's podcast, he joins Rick Saez as he dives deep into his platform and the changes he wishes to see in the world. Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
The unexpected pandemic impacted a large number of businesses, most especially in the outdoor industry. So the question everyone now asks is, how can you future-proof your business with such seemingly fickle circumstances? Today's guest is Nick Sargent, President of SnowSports Industries America(SIA). SIA is an organization on a mission to help the winter outdoor community thrive by delivering invaluable education, data, and research. Nick joins host Rick Saez to offer advice on how businesses can adapt as the world moves toward a more digital and consumer-centric approach. He also speaks on why it's important to value diversity, inclusion, and sustainable action as we dive into the future. Tune in to learn more! Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
If you're going to hit the great outdoors, you may need a good pair of gloves, and we have just the thing for you. Hestra Gloves produces some of the best outdoors use gloves on the market today. In this episode, Rick Saez interviews Hestra's Marketing Manager, Drew Eakins. They talk about Hestra's family lineage, their design, development, and production attention to detail, quality, and they geek out a bit on Seth Godin. Learn more about Hestra and their amazing gloves by tuning in. Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/ Snippets 01:36 - 02:04 How were you introduced to the Outdoors? [EP 298] 04:44 - 05:15 Tell us about Seth Godin [EP 298] 34:00 - 34:25 Advice for folks wanting to get into the Outdoor Industry [EP 298]
Contributing to a sustainable new world doesn't have to be a drastic lifestyle change. It can be in the form of even changing something as minor as switching from alkaline batteries to rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Today's guest is here to share just how impactful that small step can be. Tom Bishop is the Founder of Pale Blue Earth, the battery company that wants you to buy fewer batteries through their USB rechargeable smart batteries. He joins host Rick Saez to share how he got his start in sustainable product development and what factors led to this innovation, such as his outdoor career. Tom expounds on the benefit of using this product and things to consider before making that change. He further discusses how you can reduce waste and contribute to a greener, more sustainable world in our own little ways. Tune in to learn more! Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Gender-based violence is, unfortunately, a common issue in any business, and the outdoor industry is no exception. That is why sexual harassment prevention training should become part and parcel of each organization. That's what Gina McClard, J.D. and Jim Miller are doing. Gina and Jim founded the Respect Outside in 2019 to help provide solutions and increase gender equity through a culture shift approach. They discuss the benefits and the long-term value of this training in helping employees thrive in the workplace and help companies attract diverse and high-quality talent. Gina and Jim also detail the different steps they take to guide companies on this path. Join your host Rick Saez in this insightful conversation on diversity, inclusion, sexual misconduct prevention, and equitable workplace culture in the outdoor industry business. Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://ricksaez.com/listen/
Today I have a unique show covering a topic many of us don't give enough attention to, insurance. Rob Martin and Tori Hoeschler from the Horizon Agency are well versed on most things happening with Outdoor Sports Insurance and have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the outdoor industry, risk management, and challenges facing outdoor brands and shops across the country. Brought to you this month by Grammarly. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Please give us a rating and review HERE Show Notes How you were introduced to the outdoors Rob? I grew up in Boulder, Colorado for the most part, and was skiing at a very early age and camping every weekend. And continued on at the University of Colorado. Then left in the Vail Valley for five years after that. So I'm born and raised in the outdoor industry. Tori, how about you? Yeah, I too would have to give all of the credit to my parents. My Dad, who's actually the founder of our outdoor sports insurance program and a former Olympic skier himself, and a major outdoor enthusiast. He would put me in a Jansport backpack as an infant go skiing with me down the hill. So I would say essentially from the point that I started to show signs of walking, I was in a pair of ski boots. It's kind of one of those things where it's hard to be in my family as well and not be an avid out outdoor enthusiast. Did you have an outdoor job, Tori? Not in the retail space. I would say the closest thing I had to an outdoor job was when I was younger, like high school, I was a nanny for a lot of summers. And then one of the summers, I was nannying in a neighborhood where there were a ton of kids and a ton of other nannies. And we basically joined forces and started what was kind of like a summer camp to entertain all of the kids all at once. We would just do all kinds of things, like go on hikes and go out to the lakes and do events like that. So that I think would probably be the closest thing to my first outdoor type job. Rob, how about you? I guess my first outdoor job really was out of college. I had an environmental management degree and worked for a fisheries biologist and got to run all over Colorado doing studies on the river and, shocking the river to do fish studies and those sorts of things. That job ended with some funding issues but I went up to Vail for the rest of one season and stayed five years, managing mountaineering shops. So that was what led to this career path. Rob, how did you actually get into insurance? So my first insurance gig was, was this gig. I met Tory's father, and she's going to talk about Jake here in a minute. But we were at a wedding in California and got paired up on a golf course and I was looking to do something different. He had started what was then the ski insurance, what was the national ski insurance program in Minneapolis. And I took a chance and came up and started working for him. And that was Twenty-five years ago. Tori? It's kind of funny because I really never had any intention of going into insurance. I have to say, you know, it's not necessarily a typical career path that people are like . . . when I grow up, I want to be an insurance broker. But you know, it is a program that I was effectively raised with if you will. And it's one that my dad started back in the eighties. He actually went to school out in Colorado and then went to law school at the University of Denver. When he completed his education he had a ton of friends from that area and also from his skiing days. And he saw that a lot of his friends went into the business side of the outdoor sports in the retail space also, in the manufacturing space, but mainly in the retail space. He was seeing a lot of these ski shops, just getting totally clobbered with these crazy frivolous lawsuits. So he happened into insurance himself kind of by accident. But then he thought, okay, well I have my insurance license. I have a law of degree and I have all these friends who are at the business end of insane suits. So that's where he got the idea for this outdoor sports program. Then I actually got into the insurance side of things about 15, 16 years ago, where I started out as an underwriter on the carrier side. And they say, once you get into insurance, you rarely get out. What types of insurance do you focus on for outdoor businesses? It's commercial insurance or business insurance. The bread and butter of our program are what we do for retailers and brands, so we are helping the retailers. Obviously, they need affordable insurance, they need the right coverages, but they also have unique exposures to things like rentals and demos and special events. And putting people in outdoor recreation gear comes with its own concerns. We also work very closely with them in regards to providing waivers and risk management training and all those sorts of things. Then on the brand side, it really is more product liability focused. We write all lines of coverage, but understanding the product liabilities is what we need to do there. And obviously, we see all kinds of different outdoor businesses from Outfitters to guides, to special events, kind of anything and everything we like to say. We want to help everybody in the outdoor industry, and that's what we try and do. Tell us about the top three insurance-related issues that many of our businesses are missing these days. This is an excellent question and you kind of hit the nail on the head with what I would say is the number one insurance-related issue that a lot of outdoor sports businesses are still not taking as seriously, or it's just not a line of insurance that they feel like they want to add to their insurance costs any further and that has to do with cyber liability. Currently, you are 10 times more likely to have a cyber event than you are to experience any kind of property damage, like a fire or something like that. And I think a lot of these businesses just kind of think of this in the context of those major hackings that are in the headlines where all these credit card numbers have been taken and that's what the hackers are after. And that's really not the case. What has really become quite a plague I would say in any industry sector, is this cyber extortion. And any type of business, if they use the internet in any way, shape, or form, they are exposed to this. And as I said, cyber liability is just not really a policy that people care to talk about. Cause they all say, well, we don't save anything on our servers. In addition to cyber, I would say on the retail side of things typically that we see outside of our OSI program is an outdoor sport retailer could have their standard property as well as their general liability coverage. But what they don't realize is, especially when it comes to the GL side, they actually are probably not going to be properly covered if they are involved with any kind of rentals or any kind of demos, or special events. Those policies very specifically exclude injuries for the people who happen to partake in those types of events. That's what makes the OSI program so amazing is that all of that insurance, all of that coverage is automatically built-in. That's somewhere there's going to be a major blind spot if you don't have the proper third-party liability coverage. Then with the manufacturers, a lot of times what we see is many of these manufacturers, actually make their products outside of the US, and then they import them in and they don't have the proper international coverage. Any insurance policy is going to say that the coverage territory is on a worldwide basis, but all that means is that the injuries can take place anywhere in the world. But typically if a person is going to try and seek some type of damages, they have to bring the suit back here in our country. And a lot of companies don't realize what a massive gap in insurance that is. There are policies out there that can be properly tailored to the international landscape. We don't see those as often as I think we should. And that's where we certainly can step in and, and help out on that front. An event could be anything from a clinic where all your employees are in the shop in the evening, and a rep's giving training to some kind of a swap meet. So people have these sales in the parking lot, where they sell stuff or it could be some kind of an event outside. What is the range of events on that? We have retailers that are obviously trying to compete with direct-to-consumer and Amazon and the rest of the world. And so they're trying to differentiate themselves in their communities and be that go-to shop. And a lot of times they're doing that, whether it's a demo day or a Mountain Fest or an educational clinic, whatever the case might be. And they can do those things in our program. We just want to work with them to make sure that we've got a proper waiver in place and that everybody that's involved, like if they're maybe partnering with a local brewery and serving beer or whatever the case might be. We've just got to walk them through that and make sure that they can go have a good, fun, safe event. And how do these small outdoor businesses handle the cost side of insurance? Because it can be pretty expensive, right? It's a little bit of a difficult question to answer because so many of the reasons why the costs of insurance are so high these days really have nothing to do with the actions of any one policy holder. Basically, it's what's happening in the overall climate and the overall American market overall. Up until 2005, The United States was averaging, I would say anywhere from six to seven catastrophic events every year. That would be like a hurricane or a wildfire or some kind of insane flood. Between 2005 and 2021 however, that average has now increased to over 20 events a year. And when we say catastrophic events, we're talking about events that cause hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. So the insurance carriers have just been shelling out a ton when it comes to property claims. And then even on the liability side, the cost of healthcare just continues to go up. So that's going to make the cost of a third-party injury suit to be expanded as is the cost of these attorneys. So the way that we try to set our policyholders up for some type of success and to help us to manage their insurance costs, is we tell them to do everything that they can to mitigate their own exposure, you know, stay on top of your game, have the proper waivers, have the proper training for your employees, help us help them to showcase them as excellent managers of their own risk. I'll just add too, we've been at this 35 years now. And our program is big enough now we're really unique and don't have a lot of competition out there from the standpoint of we can absorb some of these bigger claims. Whether it be a seven-figure liability claim or a work comp claim or whatever the case might be based on the volume of premium that we have in this program and the relationships with the carriers that we have. We've been with the same carrier for over 30 years on our retail. And there's kind of safety in numbers in a way that we can stick with a client. even if their number comes up and they have a bad lawsuit or they have a bad property loss, we're not going to cancel them. We're going to stick with them. And it's all viewed across that whole program premium, which really puts us at an advantage. I'm sure there is a handful of future law-related landmines business owners should be aware of, what are some of those? We talked a little bit about the ADA piece, right? The ADA compliance and website accessibility have become this kind of new frontier of petty plaintiff lawsuits. What this involves is where an attorney we would otherwise refer to as the ambulance chasers if you will they will have a day job actually, and so they'll hire somebody who has a visual impairment. And then they'll just tell them to go on to a bunch of different websites, effectively to see if the websites have been set up in such a way where there is the appropriate code that can then talk to the computers of people who have a visual impairment. And if the websites in any way can not accommodate that, then these attorneys just send them a demand letter and say you were out of compliance with the ADA laws and you have caused our client to suffer some type of discrimination. We would like a settlement of like 14 or 15 grand. And in some cases that they just will send a super generic form, it won't even be specific to the shop. And they're just saying, we've been able to ascertain that you're out of compliance. So that's really been a landmine. And the thing is that is actually an exposure that is not a covered exposure by insurance. So that's an area where in addition to having really awesome coverages elsewhere in OSI, we really try to educate all of our policyholders and make them aware of these things. Because even though we don't have a solution for you, we still want you to be aware of this and help you sidestep these other exposures, where the insurance won't be able to pick up the tab if you will. And beyond that, Rick, I think, just in general, on the property side of things, we're all watching what's going on with climate change. Right. Our friends, friends in South Lake Tahoe, dodged a bullet, I think last week. We've got a ton of business in that area, but being able to provide affordable property insurance is going to be the challenge in the future. And then on the liability side, the legal climate out there, we've got these very liberal jurisdictions that are given these jury awards that, you know, were unheard of in the past. And so we've really got to be vigilant to make sure that we've got coverage, and we've got the right adjusters and attorneys defending these claims so that we can continue to provide affordable insurance for these outdoor companies we work with. You do a lot of business with industry groups, like the OIA and the SIA. Tell us a little bit about that. What we do with those groups is really just be a partner for them so that their members have a place to go to, to find proper, affordable insurance. And we've worked with OIA and SIA for decades. Now we work closely with the buying groups, whether it's GOA or SMC and SSL on the ski side, recently we started working with the BRA, which is the board retailers association. We really liked working with those industry groups so they know who we are and how we can benefit their members. And they've been great partners for us for years. Do you work with any nonprofit groups, like the Alaska Wilderness League or anyone like that? We do see non-profits that need insurance. A lot of that, again, is circling back to event-based things, whether they are an outdoor education type company, We've got a reasonably big program for the bike share industry. So most of the cities across the country, we'll set up a nonprofit. They want the liability off the city books and we work with those nonprofits. So we see a little bit of everything in the for-profit and non-profit world. Do you have any suggestions or advice for folks wanting to get into the insurance side of the business? What's that career path? It's a great career, but it's a career that takes a long time to build. When you start off, hopefully, you have a good company behind you that trains you properly and gives you the right resources and support that you need. But eventually, you build a book of business and a book of clients. And hopefully, they're all renewing with you every year and like what you're doing for them. And, and it's a great career in that you don't have to go start from scratch every year as a lot of sales jobs. You've got that renewal book behind you, and then you can hopefully write new business every year and continue to grow. But there's a lot of education in licensing and things like that, that go into it. But I would certainly encourage anyone that's interested, you know, there's not a lot of people to do what we're doing in regards to the outdoor space and we could use more. If you were able to hang a huge banner at the entrance of the OR show or The Big Gear show, what would it say? Rob- We're unique and we're best in class as far as the solution for businesses in the outdoor industry. Tori- Have us do what we do best so that all of our insureds can get back to doing everything that they enjoy doing best. Do you guys have any favorite books or books you give as gifts? Rob- I like the business books and Yvon Chouinard's Let my People go Surfing is a book I've given to a few people that need some encouragement, whether it be in the outdoor space or just taking an entrepreneurial attitude towards life. Tori- I tend to like either real fiction stories or the nonfiction space. I like to do things that have a lot of weird stories in them. So a favorite book that I've been giving out is American Kingpin. It's the story of the guy who founded the Dark website called The Silk Road, which was basically like the dark web Amazon for all things illegal. What is your favorite outdoor gear purchase under $100? Tori- Hand Warmers Rob- Headlamp Follow up with Rob and Tori Website: outdoorsportsins.com email: email@example.com Call TOLL FREE: 1-800-491-2858 Snippets 07:01 - 07:41 What types of insurance do you focus on for outdoor businesses? [EP 295] 08:19 - 08:41 Tell us about the top three insurance-related issues that many of our businesses are missing these days. [EP 295] 14:40 - 15:07 How do these small outdoor businesses handle the cost side of insurance? Because it can be pretty expensive, right? [EP 295]
Episode 294 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast with Jack Wolfskin US General Manager Diana Seung. We talk about how Diana got into the Outdoor Biz, how a sociocultural anthropology major gets into retail, merchandising, and eCommerce, and plenty more. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Please give us a rating and review HERE Show Notes Diana Seung Jack Wolfskin Callaway Show Notes How were you introduced to the outdoors? A very unexpected call from a recruiter. So I had a recruiter call me and say, I have this amazing opportunity with backcountry.com. And I misheard her as like bat country like a bat. I was like, what's Backcountry? I've never even heard of this company. She's oh, they're in Utah. I'm like, oh, no way in hell. I was living in New York City at the time. And I'm like, there's no way I'm going to Utah of all places, I'm a city girl, lived in New York City, San Francisco, like through and through. She's why don't you just talk to them? Just have a conversation more informal. Yeah, just learn about them. I'm like, I'll be, open-minded, I'll speak to them. So I have a call with them. And at that point, we realized it's backcountry. Not bat country, backcountry was a new term for me too. That's how foreign the outdoor world was. So finally put two and two together and had a conversation. Crazy enough, I actually had a personal trip planned to go out to park city. A girlfriend of mine had just moved out here and I was coming out to visit her. So I'd mentioned to them, it's so funny that I'm getting this call and I'm speaking to you all cause park, city's never been on my radar. And my girlfriend just moved out there. I'm headed out there in three weeks to visit her. And they're like when you're in town, why don't you just swing in, check out the offices, get to know us. We'll tell you a little bit more about the opportunity. I said sure, why not that quickly transpired into being an all-day long, six-person interview back to back with a presentation. And then before I knew it, I was flying out here again several weeks later for another interview and got the offer and I thought, gosh, do I really want to move out to Utah and do something totally different in the outdoor industry? At that point, I'd spent seven years in Children's Wear prior to that I was in fashion and I thought, heck, why not? Let's try something different. This could be a really cool experience. And so I packed my bag and moved out here and I thought to myself if I hate it I can move back. But I might like it and five years later I'm still here. How does a sociocultural anthropology major get into retail, merchandising, and e-commerce? So college for me was about getting exposure to things that I probably never have the opportunity to learn again. So I took that opportunity just to take courses that were interesting. I was like, let me just have some fun here. So I majored in socio-cultural anthropology, which is definitely a mouthful. It's the study of cultures and more indigenous cultures and communities around the world. And then from there, I also did a minor in Africana studies cause Cornell, which is where I went had an amazing Africana studies program and center. Then I did a concentration in Asian American studies. So for me, it was like, let me learn about people and cultures and ethnicities and human behavior. And that was interesting. And I thought to myself if I don't do it in college, I probably won't get the opportunity to learn it elsewhere. So I did just that and always had the intent of going probably somewhere in the retail route and grew up with that. My father was a small business owner, he had his own small retail shops, jewelry business for a long time. So growing up I would hop in the van with him up to New York and the jewelry, wholesale district. So learned it very grassroots from him. How did you get connected with Jack Wolfskin? I left Backcountry and at that point, I was searching for a new role, and crazy enough, I was on a family vacation and an old colleague, Russ Hopcus he's the president of prAna had texted me. He said, Hey, look I just got connected to the CEO of Callaway golf. They just acquired Jack Wolfson and they're looking for talent and I gave him your name. I told him you're on the market. And he sends me this text and I kid you not within 24 hours Chip Brewer, the CEO of Callaway is calling me. He says Hey, I got your name from Russ. Do you have time to connect? And I'm like, sure. So we have an hour-long conversation and we talk about what he's trying to do. Build out a team for Jack Wolfskin north America. Within two weeks I'm flying out there and then a week later I've got a job offer and I'm like, whoa, what did I just sign up for? In your two years here what have been the biggest challenges? So when we came on board, it wasn't like tools were handed to us and it was just plug and play. Apparel as a business is newer for Callaway. And so we were implementing an ERP system. We had to launch our own website. And those building blocks take time and a lot of energy. So we knew that was always going to be a challenge, but that was the fun challenge. That's what we wanted to all do. And that's what we signed up for. But then to layer COVID on top of that, it's whoa, now we're going to be pushing a boulder up the hill to start. But now we're pushing up five boulders up the hill and COVID was definitely unforeseen by all of us, total curveball. I went out and had a whole strategy and plan of what we were going to do. And then when COVID hit, it was like, whoa, screeching, halt. Let's readjust. Do you feel like your team has gotten even closer? Because you've all had to deal with that? This team is phenomenal. And they all have their unique personalities. They all gel together play off of each other really well. And so it's very complimentary and very colonial. And I think that's the only reason why we were able to survive COVID right. And get through the pandemic because they all had such a great attitude and just a willingness to just conquer this journey and just get through it and just figure it out, despite whatever challenges came their way. You're also a board member and were the interim director at Camber. Tell us a bit about that. For those listening who have never heard of it, it's Camber Outdoors, they've been around for many years. They originally started as a networking group for women in the outdoor industry. They went from a women's networking group and then evolved to be a 501 C3 nonprofit around equity for gender within the outdoor industry. And that has since evolved even further to more diversity equity inclusion in the workplace in general. So a really great mission, really great vision, and amazing staff. I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to step in when Deanna stepped down and serve as our executive director. At that point, I had been serving on the board. I think it was my second year in and she just happened to leave Backcountry. So I was available to step into that role. And it was a humbling experience. I have to give a lot of credit to folks who do DEI work day in, day out, and professionally because it's very difficult work. What outdoor activities do you participate in these days? Moving and living in Utah has definitely opened my eyes to a lot more than I grew up doing. It was mainly hiking, do some fishing-type stuff, but nothing crazy, skied, a little bit as a child. So coming back out to Utah as an adult, I've gone back into skiing. Which has been a lot of fun. So that's my winter sport of choice. I also own a pair of snowshoes, which I never thought I would. So that's a fun activity for me. And then in the summer you usually find me hiking. I attempted one year to try mountain biking and had a horrible accident. So I've since said no to mountain biking and now have an e-bike. So I'm sticking to the pavement. Do you have any suggestions or advice for folks wanting to get into the outdoors? Network get to know folks, I think now, more than ever. There is a greater appetite in the outdoor industry to bring in folks who are not from the industry. I think companies are recognizing the value of having folks that come from other industries with that different experience. And, they just come with different ideas and different ways to challenge the business. And that's extremely valuable. Because the outdoor industry has plateaued a bit, and there's a lot of opportunities to continue that growth. I think oftentimes, especially for women, they look at a job description and when it says must have outdoor experience, they're like, oh, I don't have that, So I'm not even gonna apply. And actually, that was one of the things we took off the job description. And right off the bat, we saw a tremendous amount of more female candidates applying. So just in general, I'd say don't be afraid to apply. Don't be afraid to, get rejected here and there cause that's just how the job searching process goes. But eventually, if you find the right fit, it could be a really great career. What's your favorite piece of outdoor gear under a hundred dollars? I have to say I'm so thankful when I had that mountain biking accident that I was wearing a helmet, and I still have my Smith helmet. It is crushed in at the top and it's got blood all over it and I just saved it. I don't even know why. But thank goodness for that, because it totally saved my life. And I am a true believer of helmets while riding your bike while the ski slopes. Is there anything else you'd like to ask or say of our listeners before we wrap up? I have to say five years in the outdoor industry, it's been amazing. I think the folks in the industry, what I love the most is just there's this common thread of passion and appreciation for outdoor activities, nature, wellness, health. And I think it's so balanced. I really just appreciate folks being so open-minded to introducing folks that aren't as immersed in the outdoor space like myself and, welcoming me into the industry and into those activities, and showing me how fun they can be. Because without those friends I wouldn't have had that exposure. So I'm so appreciative of that, and that just speaks volumes of the industry that we're in. It's a great community. It's such a great community. Follow Up with Diana Linkedin Snippets 01:46 - 02:09 How did you get into the Outdoor Business? [EP 294] 06:01 - 06:19 How does a sociocultural anthropology major get into retail merchandising and e-commerce? [EP 294] 23:02 - 23:24 Do you have any advice for folks wanting to get into the outdoor biz? [EP 294]
We talk about Trade Shows, what's working, how they facilitate buying and selling, and what we can improve on with Matt Dobrowolski from Envoy B2B, Rumpl's Patrick O'Neill, buyer Jill Jacobson from Bill & Paul's Sporthaus, and Michael Stevens from sales agency True North. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Please give us a rating and review HERE Show Notes Welcome to episode 293 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast with Matt Dobrowolski from Envoy B2B, Rumpl's Patrick O'Neill, buyer Jill Jacobson from Bill & Paul's Sporthaus, and Michael Stevens from sales agency True North. We talk about Trade Shows, what's working, how they facilitate buying and selling, and what we can improve on. Brought to you by envoyB2B Show Notes Jill Jacobson from Bill and Paul's Sporthaus Patrick O'Neill from Rumpl Mike Stevens from True North Matt Dobrowolski from Envoy B2B Outdoor Retailer The Big Gear Show WWSRA What are the most impactful shows for your business? Mike Stevens: It seems it always fluctuates. I find that they're all important in different facets. My end goal is to show up and have the best representation for our brand partners. But also meet our buyers and the owners and where they need to be seen and where it's the best opportunity currently, what's leading for us is the regional trade shows. Patrick O'Neill: We view it in a couple of different ways. Big national trade shows as a small brand entering the outdoor industry have been crucial to getting our footing and making connections, whether with, maybe potential hires, sales agencies, retail partnerships, other brand partnerships at Rumpl. We do a lot of brand collaborations, so shows like OR have been absolutely vital and our ability to create those connections. Looking forward we see what Mike sees. There's more business, actual transactions of dollars happening at the regional shows. And it's more focused and we can have those one-on-one conversations and spend more time. Jill Jacobson: As a buyer, I completely agree. The regional shows are where we are working. It's a working show and it's appointment after appointment. It's where we're looking at everything where we're deciding everything. Also, we do have some in-store and there are some showrooms here. We're fortunate, there are a lot of people who in our territory are pretty low key are located very close to where we are so we can do a lot in-house just going to their showroom or going to their house, or they rent a hotel room. We go to the national shows. It's important for us, for me anyway, that's where I find something that's a little more unusual or different than regional shows, Matt Dobrowolski: I agree with everyone here in the sense of, the impact of these shows is quantifiable in all aspects. I definitely see, for myself, the national trade shows are the places where I'm going to see the new and up-and-coming brands. The relevance of the A-type brands is less, I think more and more as we're moving forward on these national shows. Their marketing presence is already so strong that, we're seeing less of an impact of them on the trade show floor. I think on the business end of it, though, the shows that are truly quantifying themselves, as far as, the retailers investing to go, the brands investing today is exactly what both Mike and Jill are talking about. It's working shows where we're actually writing orders. We're actually going to merchandise. Those are the places where business is being made. What would you like to see for the future of trade shows? Jill Jacobson: I think for us as buyers, the biggest problem we have is, like I said before, scheduling. One shows at one time, one show is at another time. I've got two days I have to be in one state, and then two days later I gotta be in another state. The scheduling of it is very frustrating as a buyer. I don't know how to fix that though. Patrick O'Neill: I think the biggest thing to me as far as improvement as we're coming out of COVID, and this is me speaking personally. This is not a brand statement. I was really pretty upset with the way OR handled COVID. I thought it was extremely poorly done. It's one of the reasons we did not attend. The fact that they did not require masks with Delta surging was extremely irresponsive. It really upset me. We actually ended up attending a show in New York that is outside of the outdoor industry because they required masks for everyone regardless of vaccination status. And so I think that needs to be taken more seriously. Even as we're going into winter OR, the safety of all of our employees, the safety of our industry, and our friends needs to be paramount. And that needs to be the first thing that's being looked at. And so that is the main thing is we're coming out of this. It's changing so fast. It needs to be planned better for the safety of everyone first and then business, and then whatever the order is that you put after that. But really we need to put safety first. Mike Stevens: Oh man. I really enjoy all the different trade show shows there are now. So as a brand representative, as someone that's connecting with retailers, I don't know, I don't think there's anything from my side that I necessarily need to be fixed other than the fact that, safety is first. So at True North, we haven't been to a regional show or to Outdoor Retailer since COVID started. And we've found other ways to represent our brands and meet our customer's needs. So we're excited as a team to get back in person. It's all about people, right? That's why we do this. It's the outdoor industry, but it's all about the people and it's such a great community. Let's just make it be safe and let's get rolling again. Follow up with our Guests Matt Dobrowolskifirstname.lastname@example.org Patrick O'Neill- email@example.com Jill Jacobson- Jill@billandpauls.com Mike Stevens- firstname.lastname@example.org Snippets 06:31 - 06:55 What are the most impactful shows for your business? Mike Stevens 12:57 - 13:11 Will you take more people to the regional show and fewer people to the national show? Patrick O'Neill 09:35 - 09:47 What's working for you? Jill Jacobson
Frank Cassidy from Funki Adventures tells us how he got into the Outdoor Adventure Biz, the early days of Funki Adventures, some of the trip destinations they offer. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Please give us a rating and review HERE brought to you this month by Show Notes Funki Adventures Eastern Sierra REI Rhino Adventure Gear The Adventure Portal Hastings Overland JetBoil Titus Adventure Company hidden San Diego Wild West Tour- use code OD BIZ Wild West Frank's Favorite Piece of Outdoor Gear Telescope Frank's Advice Take your trip, it doesn't matter whether it's with us or somebody else. I don't care if you want to go diving in the ocean or up in a hot air balloon, or there's a trip that you were thinking about. I think what we've all learned from COVID is stuff changes and things can change overnight. So don't delay, get out there, do whatever it is you want to do because you just don't know. Follow up with Frank Funki Adventures email@example.com Instagram Facebook Linkedin Twitter 04:56 - 05:06 What did Frank call California? 11:07 - 11:13 Overlanding is what? 47:00 - 47:44 Frank's favorite piece of Outdoor Gear
Welcome to episode 291 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast with Matt Bennett and ECHOS Brand Communications. In our wide-ranging conversation, we talk about how Matt got into the Outdoor Biz, the REVEAL Global Media Conference, Sobriety, Sustainability, and plenty more. Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Please give us a rating and review HERE Show Notes ECHOS Brand Communications Matt Bennett How were you introduced to the Outdoors Yeah, it's funny, I think there's this idea that if you grow up in Boulder, Colorado, you're just by nature, an outdoor kid. And that's not really the case, there's a lot of people here that just that's not their thing. And it's just a place to live and it was. As a little kid, you think everybody's staring up at the flat irons like you are. And you just take it for granted, but yeah, I grew up pretty close in south Boulder just to the mountains. We would just walk out and that was the entertainment. You'd walk out and you'd hike up and goof around and you build a Fort or whatever it was. And so that was part of being a Colorado kid. And my folks were into camping and I started skiing at a young age, doing Nordic and then downhill. And obviously downhill, really the speed and the fun of it really caught me. And then I started like gen one mountain biking when that took off. I was going to mountain bike camps as a little kid, pre-suspension, right? And as a kid going up to Crested Butte for mountain bike camps in the eighties or whatever it was, I had a lot of different experiences. And I love it. It's changed over time. Now the focus is on my kids and getting them out there, but I still have to get my fun in as well. You have a lot of experience in communications in PR how'd you get on that path? It's interesting, cause I went to school for international affairs, Undergrad. And then I did a master's degree at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, which is a really small school in California. And so I was on this track for, diplomacy. A lot of the people go into government agencies or the department of defense or whatever it was. And I was on that track and I got my degree and I moved out to DC and was interviewing for jobs. And then I ended up connecting with a public affairs firm out there. And that's really what kicked my career off. They hired me as a writer and I'd always been into the writing and the communication side of it. They say, your first job really sets your career in some ways. And it sure did for me, because I'd been on one track and it took me on a totally different track where all of a sudden, I was like in this, more of a government. Circle doing communications around governments, whether it's legislation or initiatives and obviously that's DC. So I worked for that firm for eight years and two years as a writer and then I started managing programs. We had teams in Mississippi and Arkansas, New York and Vermont. So it was all these different things going on and a great experience for sure. But it was one of those burn hot types of jobs. Couldn't do it forever, but you could go like hell for 10 years, right? From an experienced standpoint, it was amazing. Tell us about ECHOS Communications We are a public relations agency specializing in outdoor and active lifestyle brands. Media relations are a huge part of what we do. We do storytelling, we also do affiliate marketing when it's assigned to that social media, the gamut of communications. affiliate marketing. It's assigned to that social media, the gamut of communications. We look at what our clients need and come in and design a program, tailored to them depending on where they are. I would say the core, the brands that we really specialize in are those that capture something beyond what would be seen as their endemic audience. So if they're outdoor they also have this broader audience. In lifestyle or in streetwear her or whatever that is. And so we really specialize in brands that have, or want to transcend beyond what would be seen as their endemic audience. Sobriety has been a pretty important part of your life. Tell us a little bit about that. I wasn't a huge drinker, but it was consistent, and it was one of those things that I just I needed to change. I've been sober for going on four years and change now. And, it's interesting because I didn't realize how deep it was in my life until it went away. The family side of it has obviously been the biggest thing, just because I'm more present. I'm here with my family helping where I necessarily wasn't before. And then on the professional side of course I can show up as I've never shown up before. I think it's an important thing for us to talk about in the industry, especially now that inclusivity and everything is just such a focus. I do think there's a lot of what we do in the outdoor industry that revolves around drink. I'm not here to change anybody's mind or try to change anybody's mind. This is my choice and my choice alone. And I can't tell anybody else what to do, but I just, I guess my thing is. I've been to some of the events and I'm like, Hey, do you have anything else? And they say there's a drinking fountain over there. And I guess that would be my first thing is just provide something else. Just provide an option. Cause I do think that's so important in this industry where it's nice to see the conversation happening. How about the industry events like trade shows, how do you think those are changing and what do you think that means for the future? As an agency, we fully appreciate and enjoy the industry events, Outdoor Retailer of course. That's been the core. I just think it's going to change a little bit and we're already seeing it with The Big Gear Show. There've been others in the past, whether it's Outpost or others that have created an alternate and very appealing experience for people. And I do think the cost at the end of the day is a huge thing that, especially after this year is going to come up. What did it look like last year? And now we're going back? And I think there are a lot of brands that are going to have to really look at that and evaluate, and that by necessity is going to change things up. Where do we go? Where do we allocate these dollars? But at the end of the day, people love to go to. And it's a great place to have a brand presence. So I don't think it's going anywhere. I just think it's going to look a little different. Let's talk a little bit about sustainability. That's another thing that seems like we're walking the line of creating a bunch of stuff and calling it sustainable or creating the same stuff, what can we do about that? I think it starts with the term itself. I think we're getting desensitized to the term sustainability because it's so broad. What does it mean anymore? What I've heard lately is this, if we're creating something, whatever it is how could that be sustainable? Take LIVSN, I've chatted with Andrew and it's fascinating to hear his thoughts on it. Cause he's just straight up and I know he doesn't have 500 skus and that's by design. But how do we cut some of the products that just don't need to exist in the first place and stop making stuff? I love new stuff, I love it when our brands launch new stuff that's music to our ears because we didn't get to go out there and talk about it. But at the same time, from a sustainability standpoint, it's tough to continue to do that cycle. And that's a hard conversation to have. Can it ever be successful? Can we call it sustainable? Maybe we start talking about something else, responsibility or whatever that is that takes a different, more realistic tack about if we are creating a bunch of products, whatever those products are at the end of the day, will they ever be sustainable? What other outdoor activities do you still do? I'm a huge cyclist. I do road, gravel, and mountain biking, and I just absolutely love that. That's my kind of day-to-day thing. It keeps me feeling great. I run if I have to if I don't have a bike but then skiing, I do Downhill and Nordic. I started doing backcountry last year. Do you have any advice or suggestions for folks wanting to get into the outdoor business? I'm looking at the skills more than necessarily the experience in our industry. If you can write, if you can communicate, if you get what we're doing, then that's more important and worked in the outdoor industry before. I think and I think for employers, we should be more open to hiring people outside the industry for sure. I know it's tough you get someone with great potential, coming from a similar brand or agency, and that's very appealing. But I do think there are a lot of people who want to be in this industry that would be fantastic. They just don't have experience in what would qualify, roughly as outdoor experience. But I have no problem, in fact, I think it appeals to me for someone that's really excited and wants to be part of this. What's your favorite outdoor gear purchase? Under a hundred. Hacky Sack This probably nails me as a quintessential Boulder kid, but a hacky sack. I have a $10 hacky, and it travels well, it's small and it is just the source of more fun. Whether you're traveling or backpacking or at the campsite or wherever it's just great. You bust it out, people start playing other people join. It's just a riot. Follow up with Matt Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter Instagram Snippets 02:56 - 03:29 Matt's Introduction to the Outdoors 27:21 - 27:58 Matt's advice for those folks looking to get into the Outdoor Biz 29:33 - 30:04 Matts favorite piece of gear under $100