Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 14

1980s

Greg Thomsen

Outdoor Retailer 35th Anniversary

Wilderness Experience ("Wildy") was one of
the first brands to show interest in the show.
Thomsen has attended every Outdoor Retailer
show, except one in 2009.
"The early days of the outdoor industry were
wild," he says. "When you think about the parties we threw and had, it is amazing that we not
only survived, but succeeded. In the beginning
it was like one giant Woodstock...because it really was sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and a little
bit of business."
Thomsen sold his interest in Wilderness
Experience in 1986 with plans of retirement
from the business world at age 33. Then Nike
called. Thomsen accepted the new position of
global director of marketing for apparel at Nike
and immediately created ACG (All Conditions
Gear), launching Nike into the Outdoor market.
In 1990, Thomsen, and his soon-to-be-wife,
Allison née Udall, started a new company, ASG
(American Sports Group) to design, develop,
and source products for numerous outdoor
and active brands. For almost 20 years, they
created thousands of products for hundreds of
companies. He also owned brands including
Mountainsmith, Youngstown, and Detours. In
2007, Thomsen fulfilled a life dream by selling
everything and living a nomadic life, traveling
around the world for one year with his family. "It
was the best year of my life," he says.

12 million bottles worth of plastic from the sea.
Under Thomsen's tutelage, adidas Outdoor
is also very active in support of the Access Fund
and the American Alpine Club (AAC). No surprise since he's a former guide. This includes
lobbying with these and other organizations.
This spring, Thomsen flew to Washington D.C.
to join the Access Fund and the AAC, along with
other like-minded companies and organizations, to meet with Senators and Congressional
representatives to advocate for the economic
value of protecting public lands.
With a mindset on paying it forward,
Thomsen has also focused on creating an athlete team of young, next-generation outdoor
athletes, including outstanding ambassa-

UPON RETURNING HOME FROM HIS TRAVELS
in 2009, adidas called. They were looking for
someone to launch their new Outdoor division
in the U.S. The opportunity to work with Agron
(adidas's accessory licensee in the U.S.) was too
great and exciting for Thomsen to hesitate.
"I had wanted to work with Agron principals
Wade Siegel and Anton Schiff for many years. I
knew them to be the best marketers and managers in the business and I was thrilled to be a
part of their team," said Thomsen.
Thomsen's belief in sustainability has made
him a good fit for adidas. The brand has just introduced the first shoes and apparel made out of
plastic that has been removed from the oceans.
In association with ocean advocacy collaboration Parley, adidas is tackling a major environmental problem by making the extraction of
plastic garbage from oceans commercially driven and sustainable. This year alone, adidas will
manufacture over one million pairs of shoes out
of the Parley material, effectively removing over

dors like Sasha DiGiulian, Kai Lightner, Jess
Roskelly, Kevin Jorgeson, Libby Sauter, Nina
Williams, Ben Rueck, John Caldwell, Michaela
Kiersch, Claire Buhrfiend, Brooke Raboutou,
and many more.
Thomsen has taken a uniquely holistic approach with the athletes, which includes marketing their athletic achievements and mentoring them on their career paths. With Diane
Kay and the Agron group, he has created a
family of athletes that transcends the standard business model. It's his way of not just
giving back, but also creating the next wave of
outdoor leaders and protectors of wild places.
One of Thomsen's personal triumphs in the
outdoor industry is the annual Inspiration
Awards, given to those who have done a great
job of giving back to the outdoor community
and environmentally-responsible causes.
"One evening Larry Harrison and I were
talking about what we could do to honor individuals and organizations that lead the way

14 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ 35th Anniversary 2017

"In the beginning it
was like one giant
Woodstock...
because it really was
sex, drugs, and rock
and roll, and a little
bit of business."

and inspire others by their actions and contributions to the outdoor world. I felt that if we
could shine a little light on those that inspire us,
especially the ones that do not get much recognition, it would both reward and thank those
individuals and companies, and also help to inspire the rest of us to do more."
The duo approached Outdoor Retailer and
OIA management with their idea, and the
Inspiration Awards were born. "It really feels
great to see how the Inspiration Awards have
grown over the past six years," says Thomsen.
"All of the winners and all of the nominees
are an inspiration to me, and I am especially moved by the Lifetime Achievement
Awards that have gone to such inspirational
individuals as Reinhold Messner, Jeff Lowe,
Fred Beckey, John Roskelley and Kristine
McDivitt Tompkins."
"I have left the outdoor industry to climb and
travel but Greg continues to use his still youthful energy and vast experience to guide adidas
Outdoor," says Donini. " Just when is that guy
going to slow down and stop making his friends
look bad?"
There is certainly no slowing down with
Thomsen when it comes to new endeavors.
"I think there are still a lot of first ascents out
there and also faster, cleaner ascents of classic
routes. There are also many first free ascents
to be done. We are working with John Long
to restore five major classic big wall routes in
Yosemite, all five will be first free ascents. The
opportunities for adventures are almost endless," says Thomsen. "The question is why are
you doing it? Are you looking for fame, or are
you trying to commercialize the climb or are
you out there simply to experience each new
unique adventure? I am personally more interested in individuals who are adventure artists-expeditions for art's sake."
Thomsen is optimistic about the future of the
outdoor industry. "I'm absolutely convinced
there is still room for growth and innovation,"
he says. "There is a renaissance in getting back
to nature. The growth of sport climbing and indoor climbing gym environments is staggering. While the industry is not very diverse in its
target markets, there is so much room to grow
existing business and start new brands. I love
the outdoor industry. At times, I've thought I'd
focus on other things like travel and adventure
but I couldn't stay away." O.R.



Outdoor Retailer - July 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - July 2017

OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
CONTENTS
CONTRIBUTORS
FIRST WORDS
THE TRIBE
GREG THOMSEN
YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
STEVE BARKER
THE SCENE
JEFF LOWE
PETER AND PATTY DUKE
BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
CARSON STANWOOD
CHAD GALLWITZ
JOHN MEAD
THE TORNADO
THE SCENE
SALLY MCCOY
JOHN STERLING
CASEY SHEAHAN
THE SCENE
MUSIC AND MEMORIES
PETER METCALF
SALLY JEWELL
CONRAD ANKER
JEN TAYLOR
DAN NORDSTROM
JEREMY COLLINS
JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
THE FUTURE
THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTRIBUTORS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - FIRST WORDS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TRIBE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 10
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - GREG THOMSEN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - STEVE BARKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEFF LOWE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER AND PATTY DUKE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CARSON STANWOOD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CHAD GALLWITZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN MEAD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TORNADO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 46
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY MCCOY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN STERLING
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CASEY SHEAHAN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 58
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - MUSIC AND MEMORIES
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER METCALF
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY JEWELL
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONRAD ANKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEN TAYLOR
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - DAN NORDSTROM
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEREMY COLLINS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE FUTURE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 77
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 78
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 79
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover4
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