Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 13

" We have been initiating conversations and
developing relationships with the people and
organizations building more equitable access
to and experiences in paddlesports and the
outdoors, " Benedict says. " Our focus for the
coming year is to support them and their missions to build diversity, equity, and inclusion. "
As we slowly build back the U.S. economy
and begin as a society to venture outdoors,
we have a rare opportunity to enter onto this
more even playing field with a bit more equity
than ever before. Everyone-including lifelong enthusiasts-is coming back outside after a long absence. Outdoor specialty retailers
and product manufactures can take this rare
moment to build relationships with Black, indiginous, and persons of color affinity groups
in order to welcome new users into outdoor
spaces with outreach and marketing messages
that are inclusive of all people.
" Our marketing will continue to support and
develop those relationships, " says Benedict.
" We are committed to learning and developing
marketing and outreach programs that demonstrate our understanding that opening the
door is not the same as creating a space of belonging for more diverse folks to participate. "

RECREATIONAL GROWTH
Through this rare window of opportunity, we
can truly leverage the enthusiasm of potential
new customers who are more eager than ever
to be outside. Jeff Turner, director of sales at
Kokatat, says an influx of first-season participants in paddlesports offers his company the
chance to effectively court entry-level boaters. " With this growth in new participation,
we have placed emphasis on the recreational
sector of paddling, those who may only get out
when the weather is warm or the lake is flat, "
he says. " We do see real growth in the recreational segment, primarily due to the surge in
new paddlers. "
Kokatat's marketing strategy aims to attract consumers with messaging and imagery across the racial and ethnic spectrum. It
stands to reason that those new customers just
might include an increased number of folks
from the BIPOC community.
" We put a lot of effort into generating and
selecting photo image content and try to be an

NOW IS THE TIME, AS MORE BLACK AND BROWN FOLKS
ARE VENTURING OUTSIDE, TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE THE OUTDOORS MORE ACCESSIBLE AND
EVEN WELCOMING TO A WIDER CROSS SECTION OF THE
AMERICAN PUBLIC.
inclusive brand, " Turner says. " Over the last
challenging year, we decided that we needed
to bring that same effort to showing diversity
with the people in the images. Outdoor sports
are very aspirational for many. If we don't
show a diverse selection of participants in our
marketing, we won't be successful inspiring a
diverse group of new customers. "
But BIPOC community leaders agree that
inclusive images with company logos on social media or glossy magazine ads featuring
Black athletes or highly produced brand ambassador video profiles on Vimeo won't be
enough to achieve sustainable change in the
industry. The question, of course, is, will it
last? Rukmini Halliwell, senior project manager for the Toronto-based advertising firm
Cossette, says she wants to see better visual
representation and a commitment from outdoor companies and organizations to build
toward diversity, equity, and inclusion well
into the future.
" I believe looking longterm is the way to
go, " she says. " It's not about a quantifiable
amount of Black people on the trails that will
measure success. I think of the impact that
marketing has today and the effect of that on
the next generation. "
True growth in the DEI capacity of the outdoor industry needs more than just marketing. Halliwell, a woman of Indian descent, says
there must also be an investment in growing the
BIPOC community's ability to become more
knowledgeable stewards of the natural environment as well as avid outdoor enthusiasts.
" Education, and not just a child's knowledge of fire starting and hiking, but rather
of bursaries and scholarships for the BIPOC
community, " she says. " Encouraging ecological study, biodiversity monitoring, junior
ranger positions, et cetera. These knowledge-based sectors are often not thought

of, but they're huge starting points for many
people-myself included! "

REAL SUCCESS
If we're serious about welcoming more BIPOC
folks into the outdoors, there are many ways we
can make the path a bit smoother. But we must
not assume that just because a more diverse
crowd of visitors arrives at the park entrance
or the trailhead that they will be instantly successful. Christopher Kilgour, an outdoor survival skills educator and founder of the DEI
advocacy organization Color In The Outdoors,
says he wants more land managers and park
supervisors to be better prepared to greet new
arrivals who have limited experience with and
exposure to nature-based recreation.
" I'd like to see more intentional action surrounding the spaces folks are being encouraged to visit, " Kilgour says. " There should be
a better-informed decision-making process
about publications, welcome posters, and
promos. And there should be Black and brown
staff members with boots on the ground in
these areas and examples of real-world folks
doing the things that people are being encouraged to do. "
No one says getting more people of color
into the outdoors will be easy. Certainly the
COVID-19 pandemic only complicates things
further, but there could be a bit of light at the
end of the tunnel. Getting the BIPOC community out in nature could help grow the
economy and allow us all to heal from this
global tragedy. But as an industry, if we're going to live up to all the pledges and platitudes
made throughout the Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations of 2020, we have
to do more than post pictures of Black folks
on Instagram. We must commit to making
inclusive spaces where everyone is welcome to
equitably work and play together. O.R.
March 2021/ OUTDOOR RETAILER 13



Outdoor Retailer - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - March 2021

Outdoor Retailer - March 2021
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MAREKTING
RETAIL 101
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
THOUGHT LEADER
THE WEEKLY CHAT
OUTDOOR RETAILER WINTER ONLINE
THIS LAND IS OUR LAND
BREAD + BUTTER
GEAR GALLERY
HOT PICKS
THE VIEW
FIELD NOTES
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Outdoor Retailer - March 2021
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - MAREKTING
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - RETAIL 101
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THOUGHT LEADER
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE WEEKLY CHAT
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - OUTDOOR RETAILER WINTER ONLINE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THIS LAND IS OUR LAND
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - BREAD + BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - GEAR GALLERY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - HOT PICKS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 28
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 34
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - FIELD NOTES
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover4
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