Winter Sports Preview

It is hard to think about winter when the temperature has soared over the 100 degree mark but a number of trade shows targeted for the media have taken place in July to get us to think about the upcoming holiday season and winter in general.

SNOW Magazine, a Bonnier Publication (which also publishes Ski Magazine) hosted an exposition. Among those setting up tables there were two fairly new Park City resorts, Montage in Deer Valley and the Stein Eriksen Lodge, and the chambers of commerce for Colorado’s Telluride and Aspen. The German Tourist Board was trying to get Americans to discover real Alpine skiing in the Alps while a couple of Chilean resorts wanted to remind folks that you can ski in the summer down there since the seasons are reversed. Ski clothiers were also out in full force as high end manufacturers as NILS, Kjus, Volkl and Salence displayed their vests, inner shells, lightweight and parkas. Surprisingly only one sunglasses company, Maui Jim, set up a table. The funny thing is that in winter the sun’s rays are more indirect and therefore create more glare so vision protection is actually far more necessary in the winter than in the summer.

The following week Ski Vermont, the trade association of Green Mountain State ski resorts, held their annual get-together in the Big Apple. ESPN’s X Games, which used to make a stop at Mount Snow, are now taking place in Aspen. The good news though is that the DEW Tour will hold an extravaganza Jan. 20-24, 2012 at Killington and admission will be free.

Head, the sports manufacturer best known for tennis racquets, has quietly been moving into the world of skiing and snowboarding. Lindsey Vonn is its key endorser. This year they announced that the heavy metal group Motorhead will have its own line of skis. Who knew that Lemmy and the guys liked the slopes? They are also lunching a line of ski boots that open and lace with greater ease.

Lands End, the reasonably priced Wisconsin-based clothier that makes durable quality products, will be introducing a down bathrobe for the holidays which will be perfect for lunging around when the thermostat is colder than you’d like it to be.

The Home Shopping Network’s audience is nearly 100% female. In an effort to get guys to watch the network, or at the very least, have their girlfriends and wives buy presents for them, HSN has signed licensing deals with the major professional sports leagues. HSN will be offering sandwich/Panini makers that can emboss the Yankees logo on your bread. They will also have a waste paper basket that opens and closes via sensory perception that has your favorite team’s logo and colors. Probably the best deal is the NFL watch and wallet combo that will retail for less than $50.

Since we are still in the midst of summer, Alyson Dutch, the founder of Consumer Products Events, should be congratulated for putting together a trade show at Manhattan’s Sofitel Hotel that featured companies whose missions are to either eradicate breast cancer or help breast cancer survivors. One of the exhibitors was Veronica Brett ( whose CEO, Patricia Brett, has created a line of fashionable swimwear for those who have endured mastectomies. Talk about a market that has long been underserved.

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