Friday, August 31, 2012

Ram Mountaineering shows new ranges

Sports Trader visited the recent Ram Mountaineering trade show to learn about their new brands and ranges for 2013.

Ram Mountaineering has founded a new distributorship, Traverse Outdoor Gear (TOG), that will distribute two new footwear brands, Boreal and Zamberlan.

Boreal, Spain’s top mountaineering footwear brand, had been in SA intermittently, but their rock climbing boots, especially the classic Fire Rock, were mainly brought in by retailers, explains owner Simon Larsen. Now, for the first time, the brand will be handled by a distributor in SA, who will be concentrating on the high-end products within the range. Boreal caters for the high performance mountaineering market seeking top quality and provides a range equipped to tackle the likes of Mount Everest, scale rock faces, trek in the Drakensberg mountains or along the Otter Trail.

Zamberlan is an Italian brand founded 80 years ago that is now distributed in more than 40 countries, including in SA for the first time. TOG will be introducing products that will be more focused on the “main stream” portion of the outdoor market, like backpacking boots, lightweight trail lifestyle leisure and travel footwear. They will also launch a “Speed Hiking” range, which will be a new category in our market. Speed hiking is a new trend identified at the OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen and the hikers that want to cover a bigger distances in quicker times need a specialised good quality, light, walking shoe.

Simon Larsen presenting the Zamberlan mountaineering footwear.

Zamberlan features GoreTex waterproofing.

Ram Mountaineering has also brought in Baladé, a French brand with the main focus on knives for hunting or camping. They will be focussing on a tight range in four categories:  the Superlights, that are as light as 27g to 37g, are very well balanced and pack away neat; the more general range style sell at good price points that will give retailers good margins; the top end Laguiole range includes a product with a genuine bone handle; the compasses manufactured by the brand.

Black Diamond is now introducing headlamps in a variety of colours.  The redesigned Cosmo incorporates the more feminine colours of the discontinued Moxy and has been upgraded from 55 lumens to 70 lumens. The ReVolt headlamp is 110 lumens strong and can recharge via USB. It can work either on alkaline or rechargeable batteries.

Nikwax has developed a base wash to cater for the needs of the sports market rather than just the outdoor market. The anti-microbial cleaner enhances the durable water repellence on baselayers, eliminates odours and adds fragrance.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When Manchester United comes to town

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The launch of the new Manchester United away kit in the Castle in Cape Town provided a glimpse into the superstar life of the richest soccer club with arguably one of the highest followings of any club in SA.

Drummed in by the Cape Town Highlanders, Rio Ferdinand (captain for their world tour), Spanish-only speaking Antonio Valencia and young Frederico Machedo were so swamped by media cameras that their new kit could only be seen during individual interviews, carefully orchestrated by beefy bouncers.

Antonio Valencia, Rio Ferdinand and Frederico Machedo wearing the Nike Man U away kit

Outside, soldiers stood guard to protect the Man U and Nike flags announcing the visit of the iconic team members to the iconic SA landmark from keen autograph and souvenir hunters. Cape Town loves Man United — as was obvious from the streams of red on the fanwalk to the stadium the following day when they played against local team Ajax.

Rio Ferdinand in the Nike Man U away kit
 “The shirt feels good, and it looks good,” Ferdinand said amidst the camera flashes. “When you feel good, you play good.”

The Nike Man U training kit
The shirts are made from fully recycled plastic bottles, which is more environmentally friendly and 23% lighter than previous Nike fabric, explained Niall Bruton, Nike’s Manchester United business club manager.

The knit structure is 20% stronger than before and feature Nike Dri-FIT technology to wick moisture away from athletes to help keep them cool and dry on-pitch.

Nike Man U away kit
The Henley Crew collar with a red detail and a button closure bridge the gap between the heritage of the club and the current youth style in Manchester.  The shirt’s outer back neck and the shorts feature the club’s signature devil graphic.

Seruscka Naidoo from Nike SA is pictured here with Rio Ferdinand (right)
The shorts are a in a black Gingham print, commemorating Manchester as the cotton city.
The white socks, featuring the devil graphic, offer a new and innovative design, featuring an updated cotton footbed offering the support and comfort.

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Everlast back with a bang

The who’s who of SA boxing and MMA,  fashion editors and other media members were at the Tanz Café in Fourways  on the 21st of June when Everlast announced their return to SA with a fashion show showcasing their latest range. The new range, distributed by James Gilbert SA (JGSA), includes a traditional Authentics range, lifestyle and performance ranges for both men and ladies, along with a fashion footwear and boxing shoe component.

“Our offices are being inundated by calls from members of the public wanting to know where they can get their hands on the range,” says Everlast brand manager Jannie Smal.

The positive response to the clothing has proven that this is the right time to bring this range to market, says Damien Rudham, JGSA sales and marketing director. “Boxing is in a renaissance and with the growing popularity of MMA and the boom in fight fitness classes we believe that we are fulfilling a very clear need in the market for a new exciting brand in this country.”

Everlast, a brand that has been going for over 100 years, has been voted the Best Technical MMA Equipment for two years in a row by the international magazine “Fighters Only”.