(SEATTLE) – (August 24, 2009) – Forty-six years ago, Jim Whittaker, donning Eddie Bauer mountaineering gear, became the first American to summit Mount Everest.
Today, Eddie Bauer is in the midst of its significant launch of a new adventure and mountaineering gear and apparel line. To reclaim its mountaineering heritage, Eddie Bauer has launched major promotional efforts, including a year-long Key Sponsorship of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and its 2009 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS).
Cooperative marketing exchanges are central to the Eddie Bauer-ATTA agreement, which includes financial backing for the ATTA and cross-promotion. The partnership provides Eddie Bauer with branding exposure and direct access to the association’s trade network, which includes hundreds of outfitters and agents worldwide who serve millions of adventure travelers annually.
For its part, the ATTA receives branding exposure for its consumer initiatives such as www.adventure.travel within the retailer’s print and online distribution channels. The exposure includes Adventure.Travel exposure in Eddie Bauer’s fall 2009 catalog, which is distributed to more than 2.1 million households.
In support of the ATTA’s October 19-22, 2009 ATWS in Charlevoix, Quebec Province, Canada, Eddie Bauer is the presenting sponsor of the ATWS opening Day of Adventure on Oct. 19 ahead of the event’s opening ceremonies. ATTA’s Summit Day of Adventures, presented annually, sees hundreds of Summit delegates participating in physical, cultural and nature-based adventures. In addition to brand exposure, Eddie Bauer will deliver product demonstrations and give away First Ascent and Eddie Bauer product to the hundreds of adventure travel industry professionals attending the ATTA’s global conference.
In a bold return to its heritage, Eddie Bauer recently partnered with a highly accomplished group of mountaineers to build a new line of outerwear and gear called First Ascent. First Ascent combines Eddie Bauer’s legacy as the original expedition outfitter with the expertise of some of today's most renowned mountain guides and climbers, including Everest veterans Peter Whittaker, Ed Viesturs and Dave Hahn.
"Eddie was an authentic adventurer. A champion of many adventurous pursuits, he also outfitted everyone from world-class mountaineers to archaeologists on major expeditions around the world,” said Eddie Bauer President and Chief Executive Officer Neil Fiske. “With the launch of our new First Ascent line of gear, we return to our roots as a premier adventure outfitter."
The First Ascent Guide Team is led by Peter Whittaker, son of acclaimed mountaineer Lou Whittaker and nephew of Jim Whittaker. Also part of the team is Emeritus ATTA Advisory Board Member Ed Viesturs, the only American to summit all fourteen 8000-meter peaks without bottled oxygen, and Dave Hahn, who has summited Everest eleven times, more than any non-Sherpa. Joining Whittaker, Viesturs and Hahn are three accomplished guides from Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI).
“ATTA’s leadership brings more than 40 years of experience from within the outdoor industry, including years of direct experience with Eddie Bauer, Ed Viesturs and Jim Whittaker,” said ATTA President Mr. Shannon Stowell. “The integrity of the Eddie Bauer brand, its leadership and deep connection to worldwide travel, adventure and mountaineering, combined with its support of guides and travelers, makes this a promising partnership.”
Prominent active gear brands including ExOfficio, Eagle Creek, Teva, Keen and Osprey in recent years have stepped up efforts to harness the influence and market potential of the adventure tourism sector. Outdoor and adventure travel segment collaboration is designed to provide productive cross-selling environments for retailers, manufacturers and travel companies, which, in the end, brings more value to our businesses, outdoor enthusiasts and travelers.
Forthcoming efforts to back the strategic alignment of the outdoor and adventure travel industries includes the first ever dedicated adventure travel presence within the Nielsen Business Media Sports Group (NBM). At NBM’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in 2010 the ATTA will introduce and establish innovative adventure travel-oriented conference content, exhibitions and sponsorship initiatives.
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About Eddie Bauer
Established in 1920 in Seattle, Eddie Bauer is a specialty retailer that sells outerwear, apparel and accessories for the active outdoor lifestyle. The Eddie Bauer brand is a nationally recognized brand that stands for high quality, innovation, style and customer service. Eddie Bauer products are available at approximately 370 stores throughout the United States and Canada, through catalog sales and online at www.eddiebauer.com. Eddie Bauer participates in a joint venture in Japan and has licensing agreements across a variety of product categories.
About the Adventure Travel Trade Association
Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA (www.adventuretravel.biz) is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market. ATTA members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, specialty travel agents, guides, accommodations, media and service providers. Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit executive trade conferences (www.adventuretravelworldsummit.com), the ATTA also makes possible www.Adventure.Travel, the traveler’s hub of physical, cultural and nature-based adventure travel and guide to trusted tour operators from around the globe.