Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 35

1990s

Outdoor Retailer 35th Anniversary
crew built S&P into an outdoor lifestyle public
relations behemoth, until the group's 2008 acquisition by Carmichael Lynch Spong.
While the fact that he sold the agency should
be enough to get him a medal, the real reason
Stanwood holds a legacy spot in the outdoor lexicon is because his professional success broke
trail for numerous outdoor industry maxims
now taken for granted: the national prestige
of the outdoor lifestyle. The establishment of
outdoor gear journalism as a career. And, most
importantly, the acceptability of working where
you need to live instead of the other way around.
It's not fair or accurate to say Stanwood deserves iconic status because he was somehow
a "right place, right time" success story, because-to be totally accurate-he was early
on just about everything. Early on PR, early on
gear, early on the outdoor lifestyle, and definitely early on Jackson Hole.
Stanwood migrated to the Tetons after
growing up in the upper midwest and getting
a degree at a somewhat prestigious small college in Maine. In that era, careers were still
inexorably tied to urban density-Outside
was still in Chicago, Backpacker was still in
Pennsylvania-making a twenty-something's
move to the a remote corner of Wyoming just
about the closest thing to career suicide.
Working in a variety of markets to get the
early agency off the ground-bike and golf and
even dog-sledding-Stanwood at some point
found a particularly welcome ear in the outdoor
industry. The market had a growing nexus of
design-driven companies-you know, those
archetypal inventors who wanted to create a
better (insert piece of gear here) so they set up
shop in their (garage/shed/basement) to create
a company. Engaging a communication amplifier like Stanwood was a no-brainer for rising
outdoor brands, and the fact that he was based
in Wyoming was a little unusual but, "hey, he
seems like a great guy so let's go for it."
In my recollection, Carson Stanwood both
relished and struggled with the "remote outpost" reputation of Jackson in the 1990s. It
wasn't considered a place for serious business
people, and it carried the weight of snarky taglines like "Jackson Hole: where ambition goes
to die." As such, Carson frequently opined that
Stanwood & Partners' real competition wasn't
other outdoor industry agencies-of which
there were a couple coming into their own at

that time-it was the suits of Los Angeles and
New York City.
One of the few early instructions I remember
from my first day on the job at S&P was to make
sure to say that I was "calling from Jackson,
Wyoming" at the end of every phone message.
I didn't realize how savvy that advice was until
editors and reporters from the coasts starting
calling back, unable to remember anything else
I had said, but eager to hear what somebody in
Wyoming was up to.
Stanwood & Partners played the Jackson
Hole angle to the hilt, growing in size and ambition while simultaneously growing awareness of the epic Wyoming destination and its
24/7 outdoor culture. While "familiarity trips"
are old hat for the PR pros of 2017, the idea of
chartering a private plane to pull editors out of
the Outdoor Retailer show and whisk them up
to Teton Pass for a day of backcountry skiing in

of the greatest compliments we heard, and we
heard it a lot.
Another of Carson's early-to-the-game twists
was to hire staff from the local population of outdoorists as opposed to recruiting "professional"
talent. It was a bigger risk than you'd think, as
full-time employment and living in Jackson
Hole were not really aligned in the late 1990s.
However, by converting ex-bartenders, bagel
shop workers, bike mechanics, and ski coaches
to the craft of public relations, Carson tapped
into a crowd who could promote the outdoor
lifestyle simply by exhaling. It turned out that as
archetypal as the client companies were, the PR
agencies were becoming that way, too.

FOR MANY IN TODAY'S OUTDOOR INDUSTRY,
the family tree of Stanwood & Partners staffers
is the most lasting reminder of Carson's legacy.
His agency was the launch pad for a horde of

While the fact that he sold the agency
should be enough to get him a medal,
the real reason Carson holds a legacy spot
in the outdoor lexicon is because his
professional success broke trail for
numerous outdoor industry maxims
now taken for granted.
the late 1990s was more than outrageous-it
was exotic. Few folks had been to Jackson, even
fewer to The Pass, and the seemingly basic idea
of backcountry skiing blew people's minds.
Carson was onto something with Stanwood
& Partners, and while his management style
may have seemed like business-driven necessity
at the time, many of his moves reflected an innate prescience: in particular, the idea that authenticity could eclipse professionalism. It was
an upside-downing of ideas that aligned perfectly with rising outdoor industry brands who
were looking to upend convention themselves.
While clients loved it, the working media
ate it up, too. They idolized the gritty allure
of Jackson in the 1990s and the contagious
go-for-it attitude that fueled the S&P scene.
"You're not like other PR agencies," was one

agencies and consultants who are still active
in the outdoor space today. Allegedly competitors, there's a definite bond among the ex-S&P
crowd-a knowing smile and an extra long brohug in the aisles at Outdoor Retailer, simply for
having shared the same rare air back in the day.
For those of us who did share that air, there
are certain things that will stick in all our minds
about Carson-the endless string of people
swinging by the office to bounce ideas off of him,
the image of him at his desk flipping through
magazines while on the phone, and his legendary wide-eyed grin as he came into the bullpen
on a Friday afternoon to share the latest client
signing. Always smiling. Always on. O.R.

Drew Simmons owns and operates Pale
Morning Media in Waitsfield, Vermont.

35th Anniversary 2017 / OUTDOOR RETAILER 35



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
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/february_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/january_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/december_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07302020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07212020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06302020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06232020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06162020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05272020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05192020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nxtbook_bhtest/weeeekly_05052020__JJ
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day3_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day2_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day1_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com