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RISKS ON THE SLOPES - Amer Sports Powered By Docstoc
					         “We achieved the goal of the rights offering: to boost our balance sheet.”
                         Pekka Paalanne, Executive Vice President of Amer Sports, page 14

                                                                                  NEW SALOMON
                                                                                   S-LAB SKATE
                                                                                     PRO BOOTS
                                                                                      WITH THE
                                                                                    PRECOR AMT

              ON THE
         AMER SPORTS
          IN OGDEN
         WILSON IS
          THE OFFICIAL
           SOCCER BALLS
EDITORIAL                                                                              NEXT
                                                                                       AN AMER SPORTS MAGAZINE

                                                                                       The magazine is published quarterly
                                                                                       in Finnish and English.

                                                                                       Editorial staff

                                                                                       Maarit Mikkonen
                WINTER FUN AND SPORTS ARE                                              Amer Sports Corporation,
                                                                                       Communications Department,
                RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER                                                P.O. Box 130, FI-00601 Helsinki,
                Winter weather can be extremely changeable, including anything         FINLAND
                                                                                       Tel. +358 9 7257 8306
                from harsh subzero temperatures to hot and sweaty sunshine or
                                                                                       Fax +358 9 791 385
                driving sleet. Coming up with a suitable outdoor sport in such
                fickle conditions may seem something of a challenge. We easily
                forget that outdoor exercise – whether done alone or with others
                – remains an option even in wintertime.                                Alma Media Lehdentekijät Oy
                    Traditional winter sports remain popular. Cross-country            P.O. Box 502, FI-00101 Helsinki,
                skiing, for example, is a very effective form of exercise: it          FINLAND
                strengthens several muscle groups, such as the back and legs,
                and improves heart and lung performance. Many people also              Producer
                appreciate being out in nature while skiing.                           Markku Rimpiläinen
                       Thanks to the functionality and protection of new equip-        Subeditor
                         ment and clothing, there’s no need to leave summer            Jenni Sepponen
                           sports aside in the winter. An increasing number of         Art Director
                           runners continues to exercise outdoors, and cycling is      Mika Soikkeli
                           also a fully viable option. It’s no more dangerous in the
                                                                                       Cover photo Atomic
                          winter than in the summer – as long as the equipment         Translations by AAC Global Oy
                           and speed match the weather conditions.                     Composition and repro Aste Helsinki Oy
                                  Amer Sports offers sporting goods for all of the     Printed by Libris Oy
                               most popular winter sports, both traditional and        ISSN 1459-5095 (print)
                                newer disciplines. Good examples include the new       ISSN 1795-2247 (online)
                                products that Salomon and Atomic have intro-
                                 duced for the slopes this winter. Skis, boots, and    Address source
                                  helmets – all of them with great functionality       Amer Sports Register
                                   and eye-catching looks.                             of Shareholders and Customers,
                                       This would be a good time to check your         Amer Sports Corporation,
                                   gear, not to mention your own basic condition.      P.O. Box 130, FI-00601 Helsinki,
                                        Get out and enjoy the jogging trail or head    FINLAND
                                    off to the gym!
                                                                                       Address changes
                                  Maarit Mikkonen
 CONTRIBUTOR             FROM HISTORY TEACHER TO SKI BUM                     
                         Thirty years ago, Jimmy Petterson, a history teacher
                         from California, made a sharp turn in life, abandoning
                         a secure career in teaching to become a full-time skier.
                         He first made a living as a ski instructor and later as a
                         ski writer and photographer. In addition to hundreds of
                         articles on skiing, Jimmy has authored Skiing Around
                         the World, a book that chronicles his skiing experiences
                         in 47 countries. These days Jimmy lives in Sweden.
                         Curry and corn snow, page 36.

2 ||   4.2009
                                                                                           CONTENTS 4.09

                                                                THE SALOMON S-LAB SKATE PRO
                                                                BOOT FEATURES SEVERAL CARBON
                                                                FIBER COMPONENTS.

                                                                                         24 & 46


                                    18                                          26                                         36
 6 NEWS. Amer Sports turns 60 in 2010.       24 NEXT SOLUTION. Salomon renews its        36 REPORT. The gondola on Mt. Apharwat
   The company began to expand into             skate boots for cross-country racing.       in India takes skiers to an elevation
   sporting goods in the 1980s.                                                             of 3,980 meters and every freerider’s
                                             26 PROFILE. Downhill skier Michael             nirvana.
12 NEXT HOT. The overall weight of Mavic’s      Walchhofer conquers new ground with
   R-Sys wheelset has been reduced to less      his own cookbook.                        42 NEXT PRODUCT. Suunto Elementum
   than 1,300 grams.                                                                        creates a new segment on the watch
                                             30 INSIDE AMER SPORTS. Amer Sports             market.
14 IR. Amer Sports’ rights offering boosts      Winter & Outdoor Americas settles
   the company’s equity ratio.                  in Ogden, Utah.                          46 NEXT TEST. Salomon’s new skate skis
                                                                                            and boots also benefit recreational
16 NEXT SOLUTION. NCAA endorses              34 NEXT Q&A. With Jean-Marc Pambet at          skiers.
   Wilson’s technical, high-performing          the helm, Apparel and Footwear aims at
   soccer balls.                                superior performance in both products    47 KEEP FIT. Get ready for the ski season
                                                and operations.                             with Precor’s AMT.
18 TREND. Modern protectors are light,
   good-looking, and functional.

                                                                                                                          4.2009 || 3
This is what a golf course in Dubai looks like. Pictured here is Padraig Harrington
at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. The 2010 championships kick off on
January 21 and will offer around $2 million in prize money.
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

4 ||                            4.2009

DECEMBER 4–6, 2009
The Spanish and Czech tennis teams will
meet at the Davis Cup finals hosted by
Spain. The Spanish home team is the
defending champion and the favorite in the
weekend-long event featuring four singles
and one doubles match. These are the first
finals for the Czechs since 1980. Wilson is
the Official Tennis Ball of Davis Cup.

DECEMBER 13, 2009
European endurance runners will chal-
lenge each other in cross-country running
at the European Championships in Dublin,
Ireland. The best-known runner at the
start line is Spain’s Marta Domínguez ,
the defending World Champion in the
3,000-meter steeplechase. Last year’s
winner in the men’s event, Sergei Lebid
from Ukraine, will also be back to defend
his cross-country title.


JANUARY 21–24, 2010
The European Tour will stop over in the
United Arab Emirates, where some of the
world’s top players will be contending for
a total of $2 million in prize money. One of
the strongest candidates to win the title is
Padraig Harrington.

JANUARY 30–31, 2010
As the Vancouver Olympic Games draw
near, every winter athlete will hope to be
in peak form. The cream of the Nordic
combined team will meet in the Austrian
Tyrol, vying for valuable World Cup points
                                                  Ilkka Järvimäki

and the mental upper hand before the
season’s main event.

                                    4.2009 || 5
E                                                                                                Old clippings recount
                                                                                                 Amer Sports’ expansion into

                                                                                                 the sporting goods industry.
                                                                                                 Acquisitions were of great


          Sixty years of Amer Sports
          Amer Sports will turn 60 in 2010. The company’s name      in 1986 and resulted in a majority holding in MacGregor,
          and line of business have changed a great deal since      a golf equipment manufacturer. This was followed up in
          1950, the year Amer Tobacco Ltd was set up to produce     1989 with the acquisition of Wilson. The Group turned
          American cigarettes, under license, in Finland.           increasingly to the sporting goods industry and began
              The company gradually grew into a conglomerate        divesting its other businesses. Atomic, a ski manufac-
          active in several sectors. It also changed its name to    turer, became a part of Amer in 1994.
          Amer Group in 1973.                                           Roger Talermo was appointed President and CEO of
              At its biggest, the Group included companies such     Amer Group in 1996, and the company has since focused
          as Weilin+Göös, a publishing house; Korpivaara, an        solely on sporting goods. Acquisitions in the sports
          automobile importer; Time/System, a manufacturer          sector soon followed with Suunto in 1999, Precor in 2002,
          of planning systems; and Marimekko, a design and          and Salomon, along with Mavic, Arc’teryx, and Bonfire in
          textile company. Sporting goods first became a part       2005. In 2004, the company changed its name from
          of its business in 1974, when the Group acquired Koho-    Amer Group to Amer Sports Corporation and withdrew
          Tuote Oy, a manufacturer of ice hockey sticks and         from the tobacco business.
          protectors. The hockey business was subsequently              At the end of September 2009, Amer Sports reported
          divested in 1986.                                         net sales of €410.6 million (2008: €1,577 million) and a
              The following sports-related acquisition took place   headcount of 6,455.

6 ||   4.2009
                                                                                                                                               inBRIEF                                N
                                                                                                                                               PAT SUMMITT JOINS WILSON
                                                                                                                                               Pat Summitt , a legendary NCAA         W
                                                                                                                                               women’s basketball coach, is
                                                                                                                                               now a member of the Wilson
                                                                                                                                               Advisory Staff. Over her career,
Chuck Solomon/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

                                                                                                                                               Summitt has collected more
                                                                                                                                               wins than any other NCAA coach.
                                                                                                                                               Wilson and the NCAA have been
                                                                                                                                               partners since 2003, when
                                                                                                                                               Wilson became the Official
                                                                                                                                               NCAA Game Ball.

                                                                                                                                               CADEL EVANS BECOMES ROAD
                                                                                                                                               CYCLING WORLD CHAMPION
                                                                                                                                               The Australian Cadel Evans and
                                                                                                                                               his team celebrated the nation’s
                                                  Roger Federer (right) and Juan Martin del Potro
                                                                                                                                               first world road cycling champi-
                                                  in action during men’s final.
                                                                                                                                               onship in September. The race
                                                                                                                                               was decided in the final climb,
                                                                                                                                               where the Aussies opened a gap
                                                Wilson dominates the US Open                                                                   over the field. Evans rode on
                                                                                                                                               Mavic’s light and stiff Cosmic
                                                If one were to name the biggest success         men’s doubles with his partner), Andy          Carbon Ultimate, the same
                                                at the US Open, Wilson might be a good          Ram and Max Mirnyi (who made it to the         wheel that Romain Sicard, a
                                                choice. Wilson team players achieved top        semifinals in the men’s doubles with their     21-year-old Frenchman, used to
                                                placings in all categories.                     [K]Six-One 95 rackets) and Jo-Wilfried         clinch the Under-23 Road
                                                                                                                                               Cycling World Championships.
                                                    In the men’s final, the near unbeatable     Tsonga (who reached the top 16 in the
                                                                                                                                               In the men’s time trial, Tony
                                                Roger Federer was ultimately bested by          men’s singles, playing a [K]obra Tour).        Martin , from Germany, took
                                                Juan Martin del Potro, from Argentina.             Ekaterina Makarova reached the              bronze in his Zxellium cycling
                                                Both finalists are Wilson players: Federer      semifinals in the women’s doubles, using       shoes.
                                                uses the [K]Six-One Tour and del Potro          her [K]Tour racket, while Melanie Oudin,
                                                the [K]Six-One 95.                              wielding her [K]Blade Tour, eliminated         WILSON AND THE NFL
                                                    In the women’s singles, Serena              three seeded players in the women’s sin-       JOIN FORCES IN
                                                                                                                                               BREAST CANCER CAMPAIGN
                                                Williams made it to the semifinals, and         gles. Kateryna Bondarenko’s [K]Blade 98
                                                                                                                                               In October, numerous cam-
                                                together with her sister, Venus, claimed        served her well, taking the Ukrainian to       paigns around the world
                                                the women’s doubles title. Both sisters         her first-ever quarterfinal.                   promoted awareness of breast
                                                used the [K]Blade Team racket.                     Wilson is also the official US Open         cancer. The list of participants
                                                    Other Wilson players performing well        stringer. The team of Wilson stringers         also included Wilson and the
                                                at the US Open included Mahesh Bhupathi         serviced over 3, 000 rackets with the new      NFL. The NFL’s October games
                                                                                                                                               were played with Wilson balls
                                                (a [K]Six-One 95 player, who made it to the     Wilson Baiardo stringing machine.
                                                                                                                                               featuring a pink ribbon, the
                                                                                                                                               international symbol of breast
                                                                                                                                               cancer awareness. Wilson is a
                                                                                                                                               long-time supporter of breast
                                                                                                                                               cancer research.

                                                Suunto Vector with heart rate monitoring                                                       ARC’TERYX BRIZA 75
                                                                                                                                               A TEST WINNER
                                                Vector, the iconic Suunto outdoor watch,             In the training period, the monitor
                                                                                                                                               The Arc’teryx Briza 75 was
                                                has become even more versatile. In                       helps to determine the correct        hailed as the best big backpack
                                                addition to an altimeter, barometer,                      level of intensity for gym or        in its category by testers of the
                                                electronic compass, and watch, the                         interval sessions.                  Backcountry Skiing website.
                                                new Suunto Vector HR also fea-                                    The Suunto Comfort Belt,     They called the Briza an
                                                tures a heart rate monitor.                                     supplied with the Suunto       extremely comfortable pack
                                                                                                                                               with excellent adjustment
                                                   HR monitoring comes in                                        Vector HR, features sili-
                                                handy in various situations                                       cone bands that keep the
                                                whether training or hiking.                                       belt firmly in place with-
                                                The zone alarm indicates                                          out it being overly tight-
                                                when the user is at risk                                         ened. The thin adjustment
                                                of making too great an                                          buckles reduce the risk of
                                                effort during a climb.                                         abrasion.

                                                                                                                                                                        4.2009 || 7
                                                                                               inBRIEF                                 N
The FG Tour irons.                                                                                                                     E
                                                                                               MAVIC DOES WELL
                                                                                               IN MOUNTAIN BIKE DOWNHILL               W
                                                                                               Top downhill racers relied on
                                                                                               Mavic’s products in the Mountain
                                                                                               Bike World Championships held
                                                                                               in Canberra, Australia, in
                                                                                               September. Emmeline Ragot ,
                                                                                               from France, secured the
                                                                                               championship on Mavic’s
                                                                                               Deemax wheels. In the men’s
                                                                                               category, Australia’s Mick
                                                                                               Hannah, came in third place on
                                                                                               the same wheels.

                                                                                               FAN VIDEOS OF
                                                                                               ROGER FEDERER
                                                                                               Wilson decided to give Roger
                                                                                               Federer’s fans a chance to cele-
                                                                                               brate their idol’s success in a
                                                                                               brand new way. The Roger
                                                                                               Federer Tribute video contest,
                                                                                               which set out to find the best
                                                                                               Federer video, received thou-
Clubs for different player profiles                                                            sands of entries. The first prize
                                                                                               ultimately went to Celine
Wilson Golf recently announced its 2010        D = Distance                                    Lostracco, from Texas, who’s
                                                                                               video is based on artwork by her
launch of new irons for players of all skill   The D (Distance) player is looking first and
                                                                                               brother, Paul Lefebvre. The win-
sets. Each new iron fits into a player         foremost for the longest and straightest        ning entry can also be seen on
profile system that Wilson recently            shots, and relies on technology to address      YouTube.
unveiled based on global iron sales.           swing flaws. Wilson offers two unique
                                               equipment options for the D player.             D2 SKIS WIN TEST AWARDS
F = Feel                                           The powerful Di9 iron features low and      In addition to being a hit on the
The F (Feel) player is a skilled golfer        back weighting that gets the ball airbone       race slopes, Atomic’s new D2
                                                                                               Race skis, based on Doubledeck
looking for Tour-caliber performance.          easily. It also features Wilson's patented
                                                                                               technology, have also done well
The FG Tour iron is designed for just such     wide-tip technology that reduces twisting       in ski tests. Ski Magazin, a
players.                                       on off-center hits. D players now have a        German publication, nominated
   The FG Tour Iron features a classic         revolutionary second option in Wilson's         D2 Race GS the best giant slalom
design, and is Wilson’s first cavity-back      D-FY combo set that includes hybrids and        ski and D2 Race SL the best sla-
forged iron. It's currently played on Tour     irons. D-FY's patent-pending Half-and-          lom ski. D2 Race GS also took
                                                                                               first place in tests carried out by
by Padraig Harrington, Ricky Barnes and        Half shaft was inspired by high perfor-
                                                                                               the German magazines DSV
Anthony Wall .                                 mance Demarini baseball bats. By
                                                                                               Aktiv and Ski Presse.
                                               combining a steel half and a graphite half
C = Control                                    into a single shaft, D-FY deliers the feel of   ELIAS AMBÜHL STUNNED
The C (Control) player is attracted to         graphite with the response of steel.            THE CROWDS
Tour-inspired designs coupled with                                                             Only 17, the Swiss skier Elias
game-improvement technology.                                                                   Ambühl had the home crowd
                                                                                               cheering wildly at the freestyle.
C players expect excellent
                                                                                               ch event in Zurich. The youngest
playability from their irons, but                                                              competitor in the event, Ambühl
also require for forgiveness on                                                                clinched second place with a
less than perfect shots.                                                                       demanding Switch Double Cork
   The Ci9 iron follows in the                                                                 1080° Double Mute. The overall
footsteps of its award-winning                                                                 success of the Atomic team was
                                                                                               sealed by Norway’s Andreas
predecessors, the Ci6 and Ci7. Ci9
                                                                                               Håtveit , who came in third.
offers player's club looks in a midsize
                                                                                      is held annually in
head for excellent workability and                                                             September. The European free-
maximum forgiveness.                                                                           style season opener drew 47,000

                                                                                                                         4.2009 || 9
Atomic redesigns its website                                                                                                       N
If downhill or cross-country skiing is your       The front page also provides news and
                                                                                              q Learn a new snow sport.            E
thing, be sure to visit www.atomicsnow.
com before the winter season. Atomic has
                                               direct links to new equipment making
                                               the headlines this season, such as the D2
                                                                                              In January 2010, a group of
                                                                                              winter sports resorts in the         W
given its site a new, perkier look, packing
it with photos and videos and creating a
                                               Race giant slalom skis and the new
                                               Featherlight cross-country skis.
                                                                                              U.S. will join forces and
                                                                                              encourage people to try their
new structure to make the pages faster to         Atomic products are presented in            hand at new snow sports and
                                                                                              forms of exercise. They will
navigate.                                      detail and accompanied by photos. It is
                                                                                              be offering professional guid-
    The main sections – Race Channel,          easy to compare products, since each           ance in cross country and
Freeski Channel, and Nordic Channel –          product category is presented in a single      Alpine skiing, snowshoeing,
are accessible from the front page.            view with miniature pictures that take you     and snowboarding. Last
All three contain facts and information        to more detailed information. Dealers are      year’s campaign attracted
about the disciplines, equipment, and          shown on Google Map, making it easy to         some 20,000 children and
athletes.                                      locate the best place for purchases.           adults in 200 resorts, spread
                                                                                              over 22 states.

                                                                                              q Cross-country skiing in
                                                                                              the U.S. American Cross
                                                                                              Country Skiers (AXCS) is the
                                                                                              national membership associ-
                                                                                              ation of cross-country skiers
                                                                                              in the United States. The
                                                                                              association maintains com-
                                                                                              prehensive Web pages about
                                                                                              almost everything related to
                                                                                              cross-country skiing, includ-
                                                                                              ing techniques, gear, and
                                                                                              training. For recreational and
                                                                                              performance skiers alike.

                                                                                              q Model triathlete. Canadian
                                                                                              Jenny Fletcher is one of the
                                                                                              best triathletes in her age
                                                                                              group, as well as a catwalk
                                                                                              star. A small-town country
Mario Matt                                      Heart rate monitors                           girl, Jenny started her sports
                                                                                              career in modern pentathlon
returns to Salomon                              in new colors                                 and has featured on the pages
                                                                                              of numerous fashion and
Mario Matt , the two-time World Champi-         Suunto has added new color to its line of     sports magazines. Suunto is
on, is back on Salomon’s equipment. This        heart rate monitors designed for women.       one of the sponsors of this
marks Matt’s return to the ski brand of his     This fall’s new products are the t1c True     33-year-old model athlete.
younger days; the brand that brought him        Fuchsia and the t3c Sporty Red.
his first World Cup victories.                      Easy to use, the Suunto t1c is an ideal
                                                                                              q For Alpine fans. The
   Matt first tested Salomon’s skis on the      companion for weight control, basic           revamped FIS Alpine website
heels of the World Cup finals in Åre last       conditioning, and aerobic exercise.           is a must for any enthusiastic
spring. The results were so convincing          In addition to doubling as a watch and        fan of Alpine sports. One of
that he decided to switch back to the           offering versatile heart rate data, it        the most interesting features
familiar brand.                                 counts the calories burned and keeps          is live timing, which lets you
                                                                                              follow the World Cup races in
   Matt also changed to Salomon’s boots,        track of your training.
                                                                                              real time. The site also has a
                                                                                                                                   Ilkka Järvimäki

and will be seen in the new X3s this season.        The Suunto t3c is designed for goal-      wide array of news items and
   Mario Matt has won 12 World Cup              oriented training. Among other things, it     video footage of, for example,
races in his career and was crowned             shows the real-time training effect to help   skiers training.
World Slalom Champion in 2001 and 2007.         the user determine the suitable intensity
   Other new athletes on the Salomon            level. The red HR monitor pairs nicely
Alpine team include Sandro Viletta, from        with a Suunto Foot POD of the same color,
Switzerland, as well as Massimiliano            which automatically measures distance
Blardone, from Italy, who narrowly              and speed.
missed the podium in the Sölden World
Cup opener.
                                                    Both heart rate monitors come with
                                                a soft and thin Suunto Comfort belt.          GUIDE
                                                                                                                    4.2009 || 11

                                                        THE NEW ATOMIC BENT CHETLER is the ski Chris Benchetler has
                                                        always dreamed of… and which he's now designed together with Atomic.
                                                        It features a rocker tip and tail – this is the secret – it's specially cambered
                                                        to ensure excellent turning behavior. And because Chris is also passionate
                                                        about artwork, he's designed the graphics too.

WARMLY DRESSED. The well-fitting Atom LT hoody by                        EYE-CATCHING IN RED. Suunto has recently launched
Arc’teryx features warm Coreloft ™ insulation that is perfect            a new version of its award-winning Suunto Core outdoor
for active exercise. The Polartec® Power Stretch side                    wristop. The eye-catching Suunto Extreme Edition Red fea-
panels deliver stretch mobility and breathability.                       tures a black composite case, aluminum top ring, elastomer
                                                                         strap, and buckle, with red used for special effect.

12 ||      4.2009

LIGHTEST CLINCHER WHEELSET. Mavic 2010 R-Sys                        FOR SKILLED ON-PISTE SKIERS. The new Equipe 24 Hours
wheelset weigh less than 1,300 grams. The ISM3D rim                 ski from Salomon is perfect for any fan of fast on-piste
sidewalls and the superlight hub axle and bearings save             skiing. The full wood core and sandwich construction give
weight, while the carbon fiber TraComp spokes stiffen               stability, while the 3D Race Monocoque frame, familiar from
the wheel.                                                          race skis, ensures optimum rigidity and flex. The ski comes
                                                                    with the Protrak binding system and Z12 binding.

                                              WILSON A2000® SHOWCASE™. In the spirit of the original A2000; the A2000
                                              Showcase is designed to have this same game changing experience for players
                                              with smaller hands. The A2000 Showcase carries on this tradition. Now, players
                                              of all hand sizes can have a professional quality glove designed to maximize their
                                              performance, just like the A2K and A2000 gloves do for our professional players.

                                                                                                                      4.2009 || 13
          S TOR

                                         R EL

             Rights offering
             strengthens balance sheet
             Amer Sports will use the proceeds from its rights offering to pay down debt.
             F Markku Rimpiläinen t Mervi Ahlroth

                      mer Sports’ rights offering met all expectations.       continue to improve our cost-effectiveness and manage-
                          “Nearly 100 percent of the shares were sub-         ment of working capital.”
                      scribed for with subscription rights, which is a very      Paalanne points out that Amer Sports adopted many
             good result. Overall, subscriptions amounted to nearly           measures in early 2009 to reduce the company’s gearing.
             1.5 times the number of shares offered,” says Pekka              One of the most important ones was the hybrid bond,
             Paalanne, Executive Vice President and CFO of Amer               which the company can recognize in equity.
                 A total of 48.5 million shares were subscribed for in the    Improved profitability
             rights offering, corresponding to a net revenue of some          The first investor meetings this fall spoke in favor of the
             150 million euros. The successful outcome will have a            rights offering and its success.
             considerable impact on Amer Sports’ balance sheet. At               “Our road show took us all around Finland and abroad.
             the end of September, taking into account the effect of the      We didn’t hear any negative comments about the offering.
             rights offering, the company’s equity ratio was 46 percent       Shareholders and investors understood our reasons for
             and gearing 60 percent.                                          carrying it out. This was clear from the comments we
                 “We achieved the goal of the offering, which was to          heard during investor meetings, and the outcome obviously
             strengthen our balance sheet,” says Paalanne.                    confirmed it.”
                                                                                 “However, what also became apparent at meetings was
             Improved investment opportunities                                that we now have to develop our business. The balance
             According to Paalanne, the rights offering was a proactive       sheet is in shape, but that is not enough. We also have to
             measure that gave the company room to operate, in                make business more profitable than it is now.”
             addition to boosting its balance sheet.
                “The proceeds will be used to pay down debt. Having           The acquisition of Salomon increased debt
             less debt will put us in a better position to make invest-       The rights offering became topical when Amer Sports
             ments when demand picks up. What we are primarily                could no longer pay down its debt at the planned rate.
             talking about are organic investments, not acquisitions.         The company accumulated debt especially through the
             On the other hand, should the slowdown last long, we can         leveraged acquisition of Salomon in 2005.
             also cope with that.”                                               “We had planned to repay debt with cash flow and to
                Paalanne does not expect growth to start immediately.         reduce gearing to 60–80 percent in three years. In 2006,
                “We have consistently repeated that our sector shows          our balance sheet took off in the right direction.”
             no signs of an upturn at the moment. We keep a close eye            The first surprise came in the 2006/07 winter season,
             on weekly developments in the U.S., but haven’t detected a       which brought poor snow conditions in all key markets.
             turn for the better as of yet. There is no point in dreaming     Nearly a third of the revenue from winter sports melted
             about the markets quickly returning to normal. We must           away.

14 ||             4.2009
                                                 “The business environment for winter sports weakened
                                             significantly. This obviously had an impact on the corpora-
                                             tion’s key figures.”
                                                 The company had to speed up restructuring in its
                                             winter sports equipment business. Integration increased,
                                             but at a price.
                                                 That brought Amer Sports to 2008 and the onset of the
                                             real economy downturn.
                                                 “Our operating environment suffered two exceptionally
                                             strong blows in late 2008. This led to a situation that we
                                             had no way of forecasting in 2005,” explains Paalanne.
                                                 The company decided last winter that a rights offering
                                             was the best option for Amer Sports. The Board of
                                             Directors gave the green light in June, and preparations
                                             were made in August–September. October saw the first
                                             road shows.
                                                 “We got a good reception because our story was easy to
                                             grasp. If you yourself understand the message, it is easy
                                             to explain to others. The rights offering was an extremely
                                             important and well timed measure.”

Pekka Paalanne, Executive Vice President and CFO of Amer Sports, has experienced a great deal in his career,
but never before had he arranged a share issue.
    “An international rights offering involves a huge amount of work in today’s world. From early August to
late September, our finance department, legal affairs, and communications worked non-stop. However, it’s
also been a very interesting period.”
    Are you relieved now?
    “Definitely! And I’m sure many agree with me. I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all those who
put themselves into play and grew along with the process.”

                                                                                                        4.2009 || 15
16 ||   4.2009

A new tradition begins
Wilson is now the Official Soccer Ball of the NCAA Championships.
F Markku Rimpiläinen t Wilson
                                                                   Soccer ball of the NCAA® championships beginning with

            ilson is one of the fastest growing brands in the
            global sport of soccer and has quickly estab-          the 2009 NCAA Soccer Championships.
            lished itself as a true performance soccer brand           Utilizing high-performance materials and advanced
in many international markets. Wilson's tremendous                 lining technologies, Wilson has perfected the feel and
growth in the sport of soccer comes from producing pre-            control soccer players demand for precise shot making and
mium products that help deliver performance to athletes            accurate passing. Wilson’s finest craftsmanship delivers
at all levels of play. The international successes in soccer       top-notch durability and has benefited players around the
and the ability to produce quality performance soccer              world. Wilson soccer will continue to deliver championship
products have enabled Wilson to become the Official                performance in all of their soccer products.

Soccer Ball of the NCAA Championships
The new Wilson Official Soccer Ball of the NCAA Championships has been uniquely designed and hand constructed to
provide the ultimate in performance and durability for competitive, collegiate soccer player. Utilizing ball construction
technologies already in play in many international soccer competitions, the Wilson NCAA Championship Match Ball is
constructed with the finest materials and exquisite craftsmanship to provide the highest level of superior soccer

                        LATEX BLADDER: Hex-wing designed,                                   FOAM CARCASS CONSTRUCTION:
                        latex bladder for a balanced, round                                 Panels backed with SBR soft foam for
                        shape with consistent rebound                                       high energy return with a soft touch
                        performance.                                                        and precision control.

                        LINING LAYERS: Four layers of lining                                COMPOSITE LEATHER COVER: High
                        provide the ball its structural round                               performance, hand-sewn composite
                        shape and consistent durability                                     leather cover material provides
                        during match play.                                                  a superior level of performance for
                                                                                            match play.

                        SPANDEX CARCASS BACKING:                                            CLEAR COAT PROTECTION:
                        Lined with super-elastic spandex for                                Dual-layer, clear coat protection
                        power and enhanced velocity.                                        on graphics for improved finish and

                                                                                                                              4.2009 || 17
trend: SAFETY

Okko Raitanen might be able
to pull this off while the average
skier should not attempt it.

18 ||        4.2009
Modern skiing helmets and protectors offer a good fit and are
both stylish and protective, but the ultimate safeguard is the skier’s
own behavior − and therein lies the risk.
F Antti Laiho t Rami Lappalainen, Atomic, Salomon

       kiing helmets made the headlines in Austria last         A similar trend has been recorded in Europe, with
       winter, after a German politician collided with      around half of Swedish, over 60 percent of Finnish, and
       another skier on one of the country’s slopes. The    more than 70 percent of Norwegian skiers now donning
woman he ran into died, while the politician, who was       protective headgear. Children’s helmet use is promoted
wearing a helmet, survived. The accident gave rise to       with legislative measures in Italy, Slovenia, and Austria.
wide-ranging discussion about safety on the slopes, and     All three countries have made helmets obligatory for
helmet sales surged in Germany.                             under-15.
    There has been a steady annual increase in helmet use       Does the increased use of protective gear mean that
all around the world. In the U.S., for example, usage was   downhill skiing has become more dangerous? Experts
up 12 percent last winter. Some 48 percent of American      won’t admit to such a straightforward correlation. In fact,
skiers now wear a helmet compared to only 25 percent in     skiing equipment has become safer over the years. That
the 2002/03 season.                                         alone does not help, however, since over 95 percent of →

                                                                                                                    4.2009 || 19
                 injuries are caused by skiers’ own actions. In other words,
                 protective gear may come in handy.
                     Danger lurks especially on crowded and narrow
                 slopes, where the risk of collision is greatest. Moreover,
                 modern skis have led to skiers coming down faster and
                 using more of the horizontal depth of slopes.
                     Changes have also been detected in skiers’ attitudes.
                     “The development seen in equipment technology in the
                 past 20 years has made people more self-confident and
                 increased their risk-taking. Freeskiing movies, for
                 example, clearly show that skiers need to take bigger and
                 bigger risks to attract attention,” says Victor Humbert ,
                 Product Manager for Atomic’s protective gear.
                     Nevertheless, freeskiing in parks maintained by ski
                 resorts is no more dangerous than before. According to
                 Hans Gerremo, Managing Director of SLAO, an organiza-
                 tion for Swedish ski lift owners, park safety has actually
                 improved in recent years.
                     “We now see fewer injuries in parks, since ski resorts
                 have learned how to build better and safer jumps and
                 rails,” says Gerremo.
                     In the best parks, skiers can graduate in a controlled
                 manner from small jumps to bigger ones.

                 Design and fit
                 The development seen in helmets is certainly one reason
                 for their increased use. Helmets have become more
                 protective, but also lighter, featuring an improved fit and
                 better ventilation. More importantly, design has received a

20 ||   4.2009
                                                                                                 trend: SAFETY

great deal of attention. Skiers are no longer forced to wear       If worse comes to worst, back armor is ideal protection
half a cannon ball on their head, but also have other           against cuts and bruises and even serious spinal injuries.
    Helmets are made in one of two ways. In-mold helmets        Safety and performance
are characterized by their light weight. They combine a         Knee injuries are still the most common ones suffered on
thin outer shell with a shock-absorbent EPS core.               the slopes. In Sweden, for example, 23 percent of all
    Traditional helmets have a hard outer shell. The shock      injuries affect the knees. This gives bindings a key role in
absorbency of such a helmet is excellent, but the weight        improving slope safety.
is also higher than that of in-mold helmets. The two                Bindings have become lighter in recent years, their
methods can also be combined, as has been done in the           mounting pieces have been widened to match modern-day
Atomic Xeed.                                                    skis, and, above all, they have been made easier to mount
    Other protective gear is also more common these days.       and adjust. Only a correctly-adjusted binding will work as
Back protectors, for example, are a familiar sight among        intended.
racers and freeskiers.                                              It isn’t always easy to combine safety and performance
    “To begin with, there were only hard protectors avail-      in a single product.
able on the market, but now it seems that soft protectors           “The biggest challenge is taking into consideration
are growing more common. They are light and don’t               differences between end users. As you can imagine,
restrict the skier’s movement, yet give just as good            someone who skis ten days a season has very different
protection as hard gear,” says Humbert.                         demands compared to a World Cup racer,” says Ralf
    In addition, soft protectors can be adorned with prints     Schörghofer, Product Manager at Atomic.
and pictures, as shown by Atomic.                                   Atomic will introduce a brand new family of bindings,
    Protective devices also have opponents, who claim that      specifically designed for World Cup racers, in the 2010/11
protectors lead to more risk-taking.                            season. Consisting of 392 components, the X binding
    “There might be truth to that. Protectors bolster the       stands out because of its individual adjustability. It can be
self-confidence of skiers – even if they are only               moved both lengthwise and sideways in relation to the ski
beginners,” Humbert points out.                                 to find the optimal feel.

                                                                                                                                       Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images

                                              New high-speed lifts carry skiers to the top in a jiffy. The slopes are crowded
                                              in many places, increasing the risk of accident. Pictured here is the lower station
                                              of Whistler Mountain.                                                                   →

                                                                                                                             4.2009 || 21
trend: SAFETY

                 Atomic X race
                 Atomic will introduce a brand new family of X
                 race bindings (X20RS, X18, X16, and X12) for
                 the 2010/11 season. In addition to being
                 adjustable lengthwise along the ski, the
                 binding can also be adjusted laterally.
                 Thanks to this Edge Grip Alignment (EGA),
                 the toe wings can be moved left or right so
                 that the boot is aligned with the edge accord-
                 ing to the skier’s preference. This effectively
                 transmits the skier’s force to the edge,
                 making skiing precise.
                     “Some World Cup racers used our X bind-
                 ings last season, and we celebrated victory
                 in the very first competition,” says product
                 manager Ralf Schörghofer, referring to
                 Kathrin Zettel’s win at the Sölden World Cup
                 giant slalom in October 2008. The season
                 brought other wins, as well. In addition to
                 being successful in races, the binding
                 received the Red Dot Design Award in the
                 sports equipment category.                        Combination helmet
                                                                   The Atomic Xeed helmet combines the
                                                                   traditional and in-mold helmet. The hard
                                                                   shell ensures superior shock absorbency,
                                                                   while the liner is made of light EPS.

22 ||   4.2009
     Shock absorbing
     The Salomon SPK Pro Model boot features
     cushioning both at the toe and heel. This
     provides increased protection for the feet
     when landing off jumps – whether backwards
     or forwards.

Back protection
Atomic’s Air Shock Vest represents the
latest in back armor. The soft and flexible
protective vest feels comfortable.
Shown here is the women’s model.

           Light and airy
           Part of Salomon’s line for women, the Divine
           Origins helmet features a Custom Air element
           that enables the helmet to be easily adjusted
           for a perfect fit.

                                                           4.2009 || 23
Top skiers, such as
Ivan Babikov from Canada,
piloted the S-lab Skate Pro
boot last season.

24 ||       4.2009

Ease of skiing
F Ilkka Järvimäki t Nordic Focus, Salomon

       or the 2009/10 season, Salomon        structure makes the skis lower without      racing use. Moreover, both
       renewed its cross-country boots       compromising on the required stiffness,     cross-country and Alpine
       designed for racing and goal-         elasticity, and glide.                      racing products come in
oriented exercise use, as well as its ski-       Abundant use of carbon fiber adds       an elegant black-and-
athlon boots for combi racing. The entire    lightness and torsional rigidity to the     white color scheme,
ski collection from novice to racing         Salomon S-lab Skate Pro boot. The           making them easy to
equipment was also revamped.                 Power Hold System strap over the arch       recognize.
   “The new skis reflect the Finnish – or    keeps the foot firmly in place inside the
shall we say Nordic – philosophy and         boot and improves the feel for the ski.
heritage, which emphasize the ease of        Thanks to the quick release, the strap is
skiing,” says Vesa Mikkonen, Amer            easy to tighten or loosen while skiing.
Sports product manager for Salomon’s         The new inner sock gives better support
cross-country skiing in Finland.             to the foot and increases comfort.
   All Salomon Equipe 10 Lab skis now            The outsole puts the Pilot binding
feature the Light Cut sidecut, which         point 7 mm back and the pivot point
offers added stability and comfort along     17 mm behind the front of the boot.
the tracks, whether doing the classic        The solution transfers kick power more
style or skating.                            effectively and improves ski control.
   In both types of skis, the light Nomex    The new pivot points must be taken into
honeycomb core has been reinforced           consideration when mounting bindings
with a carbon and fiberglass wrap. The       on skis.
Power Distribution Camber technology             Salomon has also clarified its prod-
ensures well-balanced pressure distri-       uct categorization. All S-lab products
bution between the rear and front            now come under the racing category,
pressure zones. The revised stiffness        which stands for the most demanding

Carbon fiber structures add lightness        The Salomon S-lab Vitane SK
and torsional rigidity to the Salomon        offers race-class features to
S-lab Skate Pro boot.                        recreational skiers.

                                                                                                 The Light Cut sidecut of
                                                                                                 the Salomon Equipe 10 Lab
                                                                                                 makes the ski easier to
                                                                                                 control all along the track.

                                                                                                                        4.2009 || 25
Michael Walchhofer in a familiar
setting on the steep finish
of the Kitzbühel downhill.

26 ||       4.2009
              Having seen pretty much everything in the downhill,
               Michael Walchhofer is going for nothing less than victory
                in the Vancouver Olympics and his fourth crystal globe
                 in the World Cup. Last summer, Walchhofer laid claim to
                  something few competitive athletes have achieved:
                    his own cookbook! F Timo Repo t Getty Images, Atomic

                         GOING FOR
                          THE GOLD
          he Altenmarkt village in Austria is known as the      lage’s first-class hotels, Hotel Zentral and Zauchenseehof,
          home base of Atomic. Just a 15-minute drive           are also under his management.
          south of the village lies a lake that glimmers           It can’t be all that common for a person to own ski
          deep blue in the summer months, sheltered by          slopes, can it?
magnificent mountains. Called Zauchensee, the lake has             “My father bought these slopes years ago, providing me
also given its name to the village on its shore.                with this incredible training environment,” Walchhofer
   Zauchensee has only a couple of hundred permanent            explains.
inhabitants, but tourists keep the village buzzing all year
round. In the summer, it is filled by families who come to      Heading calmly into the Olympic year
hike or bike in the majestic settings. In the wintertime, the   The experienced downhill skier opted for a tranquil start
slopes and hotels are taken over by enthusiastic Alpine         to this season.
skiers, numbering nearly 50,000 over the entire season.             “At the age of 34, I believe I’ve learned how to time my
Zauchensee and the nearby Flachau area offer close to           training,” says the Alpine star, grinning.
1,800 kilometers of excellent slopes. In addition,                  “I started basic training slightly later than normal this
Zauchensee annually hosts World Cup races in the wom-           summer, hitting the snow for the first time in July in Aus-
en’s downhill and slalom.                                       tria and Switzerland. From there I flew to the subzero
                                                                snows of Chile, and then spent August and September
Innkeeper and competitive athlete                               training at home in Austria.”
There’s no doubt about Zauchensee’s most famous resi-               Most of the summer is taken up with basic conditioning
dent: it is Michael Walchhofer, the 34-year-old World Cup       and equipment tests.
champion.                                                           “Tests are constantly present in speed events. The
    “For me, Zauchensee is both a brilliant training loca-      Alpine season is never over; it’s more like year-round
tion and a very dear home base,” he says.                       training and testing. As a downhill skier, you’ve got to try
    Walchhofer’s training opportunities are hard to match,      new tricks all the time. This discipline is a constant battle
seeing as he owns the Zauchensee race slopes. The vil-          for every thousandth of a second,” Walchhofer points out.          →

                                                                                                                          4.2009 || 27
                                                                                     Michael Walchhofer
                                                                                     under the glare of TV
                                                                                     spotlights after the
                                                                                     Val Gardena downhill.

                                                                                     major event always has a few surprises. However hard you
                                                                                     train, it does not guarantee you a place on the podium. You
                                                                                     always need a sprinkling of good luck as well. The medals
                                                                                     aren’t handed out until the whole race is finished.”

                                                                                     Walchhofer’s last season?
                                                                                     Walchhofer’s long career may come to an end after this
                                                                                         “Yes, this may very well be my last season on the white
                                                                                     circus. If I get a medal in Vancouver and round the season
                                                                                     off with the crystal globe, I may retire and move on. I have
                                                                                     yet to make up my mind, but time will tell. The following
                                                                                     World Championships have crossed my mind, though. I’ve
                                                                                     still got the motivation, especially since they will be held in
                                                                                     the familiar surroundings of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in
                                                                                     2011. The 2013 Championships will be practically next door,
                                                                                     in Schladming, but they feel too far in the future.”

                    Following up on a solid season
                    Last season, Walchhofer claimed the highly valued World
                    Cup downhill title for the third time.
                       “I performed solidly throughout the season and was in
                    good condition. Thanks to tough physical training ses-
                    sions, I managed to push myself and my equipment to the
                    max. That was the formula that helped me win the crystal
                    globe. Winning wasn’t easy, but the overall Cup title more
                    than compensated for all the season’s suffering.”
                                                     In the 2006 Turin Winter
                                                 Olympics, Walchhofer got silver
            Walchhofer’s hotel
            in Zauchensee.                       in the downhill. He also has
                                                 gold, silver, and bronze from
                                                 the World Championships.
                                                     In Vancouver, Walchhofer’s
                                                 only goal is the gold medal.
                                                     “Of course the Olympics
                                                 always give an extra boost to
                                                 training. And there’s no deny-
                                                 ing that I’m interested in the
                                                 gold – it’s what I still lack. I
                                                 know the Olympic downhill
                                                 slope suits me well, but every-
                                                 thing has to fall into place just
                                                 so in the competition. As we
                                                 saw in the Val d’Isère World
Timo Repo

                                                                                     The new downhill piste at the Val d’Isère World Championships
                                                 Championships, no medal or          was a letdown for Walchhofer. The champ was not satisfied
                                                 placing ever comes easy. Every      with his ninth place.

            28 ||       4.2009
   “Both of these World Cham-
pionships are very exciting, but
there comes a time to say ‘no.’
One thing’s for sure: I want to
quit at the top, so that everyone is left with good memories     of recipes suitable for athletes, Alpine enthusiasts – and
of my career and achievements,” says the king of the             any friend of Austrian cooking. The book was called Abge-
downhill. “Luckily, I don’t need to make any decisions now.      fahren aufgekocht, which translates freely as ‘Cooking in
Even after I retire, I will continue to work with something      the Downhill.’
that involves snow and Alpine skiing. I’ve experienced both          The volume includes many meals suitable for Alpine
good and bad times in this sport and wouldn’t change a           skiers, as well as Zauchensee’s own delicacies.
day.”                                                                “I’m no Gordon Ramsey, but I promise the book con-
                                                                 tains fun and delicious treats for all readers.”
Author, cook, or Alpine star?                                        “Although athletes follow a strict diet, treats are
Over the past summer, Walchhofer quietly worked on his           allowed every now and then. Austrian desserts are partic-
first cookbook with Thomas Schaubmeier, the chef at              ularly delicious. They, along with some surprises, can be
Hotel Zentral.                                                   found in the book. It offers flavorful enjoyment and new
    On the eve of the Sölden race, the star released a book      experiences,” says Walchhofer.

                                                                 Albrecht pulls through
                                                                 Daniel Albrecht will return to the World Cup circuit after
                                                                 a serious injury last season.
                                                                      The Swiss Alpine skier was kept in an induced coma
                                                                 for three weeks after a crash in downhill training in
                                                                 Kitzbühel in January. The accident brought an end to
                                                                 his race season.
                                                                      The 26-year-old sustained head and lung injuries,
                                                                 but is optimistic about his comeback. He says he has
                                                                 taken part in nearly every national team practice.
                                                                      “Everyone thought I was a fool in 2007, when I said I’d
                                                                 become World Champion. I did, though,” says Albrecht,
                                                                 who won the super combined and took silver in the giant
                                                                 slalom in the 2007 World Championships in Åre.

     Schild returns
     to the white circus
     Marlies Schild, former World Cup #1 in the women’s
     slalom, returned to Sölden and the Rettenbach glacier,
     the site of her September 2008 accident. The leg injury
     Schild suffered on the eve of the 2008 opener kept the
     Alpine star off the slopes all season.
         “This run was a positive step on the road toward the
     World Cup and the Olympic Games. There’s still a way to
     go, but I feel confident about my recovery,” said Schild.
         Schild has won 20 World Cup races in her career and
     was the overall World Cup slalom champion in 2007 and

                                                                                                                                4.2009 || 29
        Pioneering Movement

30 ||   4.2009
in Ogden
           When Amer Sports Winter and Outdoor
           Americas moved to Ogden, Utah,
           it wanted to be a pioneer, not a settler.
           F Shane Osguthorpe t Out Of Bounds Creative

                    few years ago, a new bumper sticker began
                    appearing on the backs and racks of SUVs around
                    the Intermountain West. It simply read, “New
           York. London. Paris. Milan. Moab.” The tongue-in-cheek
           tie between the fashion centers of the world and the tiny
           desert town brought smiles to the maniacal mountain
           bikers and Colorado River rats that kicked around the
           area. As jokes go, it was pretty funny.
               A couple of years ago, outdoor industry insiders would
           have likely had the same smiling response had they seen
           Amer Sports Winter and Outdoor Americas’ final list of
           possible sites for relocation: “Seattle. Portland. Salt Lake
           City. Park City. Ogden.” When it came to iconic locations
           associated with outdoor sporting goods mega-brands, it
           was clear that one of these things was not like the others.
               However, this was no joke to Amer Sports Winter and
           Outdoor Americas’ President and General Manager, Mike
           Dowse. He had a tough decision to make as he worked to
           determine the best place to consolidate and house the
           day-to-day functions and North American efforts of
           Salomon, Atomic, Suunto and Bonfire. When Dowse
           announced the final decision to move to Ogden, Utah, he
           cited what he termed the three M’s, that is, the mountain,
           the mayor, and the money.

           The mountain
           “With the single exception of Park City, no other location
           offered us such proximity to the mountains we rely on for
           product development, testing, demonstration, and life-
           style,” said Dowse. “We’re now only 20 minutes from the
           site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games’ downhill and GS
               A glance out of Dowse’s third-floor office window
           confirms how the first M factored in. Ben Lomond Peak
           (the inspiration for the Paramount Studios logo, as legend
           has it), Mount Ogden, and Strawberry Peak all tower
           a stone’s throw away. And while the world-renowned
           powder that falls on those mountains is an obvious draw
           for snowsports brands like Salomon, Atomic and Bonfire,

           Amer Sports Winter and Outdoor Americas settled
           in a renovated old factory building in Ogden.             →

                                                                    4.2009 || 31
        what may be less apparent is the vast number of trekking     able to infuse each brand with amazing new energy and
        trails that lie between his office door and those summits.   ideas from local mountain athletes who came to work for
           “What we discovered was a true year-round mountain        us,” said Dowse.
        community,” said Dowse.                                          One such athlete is Atomic Marketing Manager Jordan
                                                                     Judd. Prior to joining Atomic, Judd was a part owner in a
        The mayor                                                    local Ogden ski shop and a virtual legend among local free
        Dowse’s second M, the mayor, actually encompassed            skiers and all-mountain fanatics. His understanding of the
        much more than just Ogden mayor Matthew Godfrey.             unique approach to North American skiing has fueled
        Dowse uses the word “mayor” to cover an entire commu-        excitement in the growth potential of the Atomic brand in a
        nity that has been wildly supportive of Amer’s relocation    key market.
        and subsequent business operations. And he’s not simply          Among the individuals who relocated to Ogden, Dowse
        referring to the cheerleading from local admirers of Amer    cites Salomon Marketing Director, Jean-Yves Couput and
        Sports brands.                                               other Europeans who have brought a valuable under-
           “Of the 90 or so employees we have working here           standing of Amer Sports brands as well as a perspective
        since the relocation, 65 of them are local hires. We had     on the cultural differences and similarities found in
        25 people relocate to Ogden, which gave us an invaluable     markets on both sides of the Atlantic.
        level of stability, tradition and knowledge, and we were
                                                                     The money
                                                                     Dowse’s final M came in the form of approximately $2 mil-
                                                                     lion in grants and $5 million in state and local tax credits,
                                                                     for a total of $7 million over 10 years.
                                                                         “While we weren’t planning on the current economic
                                                                     situation at the time, the windfall that we received in
                                                                     incentives has enabled us to weather the storm pretty
                                                                     well,” said Dowse. “Add in the 30-plus percent reductions
                                                                     in operational expense that resulted from the move and
                                                                     I’m more confident than ever that the decision to come to
                                                                     Ogden has been the right one.”

                                                                     A movement
                                                                     Throughout the relocation process, Dowse insisted that
                                                                     Amer Sports be pioneers, not settlers.
                                                                         That vision has played itself out in both subtle and
                                                                     dramatic ways in Ogden.
                                                                         Amer Sports’s role in its new community has been
                                                                     anything but passive. The company funded the installation
                                                                     of dozens of branded bike racks around town to encourage
                                                                     green transportation and supplies a fleet of bicycles for
                                                                     employees to use for errands and exercise. The iconic new
                                                                     high-adventure facility in downtown Ogden that houses
                                                                     indoor climbing walls, standing surf waves and skydiving
                                                                     wind tunnels was dubbed the Salomon Center. The poles
                                                                     marking the boundaries in left and right field at the city’s
                                                                     minor league baseball stadium are a giant Atomic and
                                                                     Salomon ski respectively. Suunto is the official timing

                                                                     Mike Dowse found a true year-round
                                                                     mountain community in Ogden.

32 ||       4.2009
sponsor of the scenic Ogden Marathon, which fills up
nearly every year .
    In addition to the financial support the organization has
provided in the community, employees have taken on
active and impactful roles as board members and volun-
teers in key non-profit organizations whose efforts range
from helping at-risk youth to attracting high-profile global
events to the area such as the XTERRA USA Champion-
ships and the upcoming Winter Dew Tour.
    The unique corporate culture that Dowse has fostered
in the new Ogden location has been adopted by other
companies in town, who have begun offering corporate-
funded season passes to local ski areas and company-
encouraged powder days any time snowfall hits a deter-
mined amount in a 24-hour period.
    It is clear that what began as a move by Amer Sports
to Ogden has become a movement in Ogden.

                                                                4.2009 || 33
                              Jean-Marc Pambet
                              –   President, Apparel and Footwear business area
                              –   President, Salomon SAS starting in January 2010
                              –   Member of the Amer Sports Executive Board
                              –   Born 1959, French citizen
                              –   Education: Business School HEC Paris 1982
                              –   2002–2007: Salomon Apparel and Footwear,
                                  General Manager
                              –   1996–2002: Salomon EMEA, General Manager
                              –   1990–1996: Salomon France, Country Manager
                              –   1985–1990: various positions within Salomon
                              –   1983–1985: Eurequip Paris, Consulting
                              –   Board Member of the European Outdoor Group

Jean-Marc Pambet on a
rainy fall day in Helsinki.

34 ||        4.2009

Apparel & Footwear:
a new opportunity for Amer Sports
Jean-Marc Pambet is the President of the Amer Sports Apparel and Footwear
business area. His target is to offer outdoor enthusiasts the best performing
apparel and footwear. Markku Rimpiläinen t Miika Kainu

You visited Helsinki recently. Did you have many things        enthusiasts who engage in activities such as trail running,
to do here?                                                    walking, hiking or snowshoeing in cold conditions. At
    » Helsinki is the base camp where we talk about our        Salomon, Arc’teryx and Bonfire we are not offering tradi-
strategies and plans with the Amer Sports general              tional and identical products. For each brand we make
management. We presented our Salomon, Arc’teryx and            targeted choices so products on the market have a unique
Bonfire future plans, and it was really interesting to         identity in terms of performance, fit and style.
discuss the situation and future perspective of the apparel        Have you launched some new product lines recently?
and footwear business.                                             » Salomon, Arc’teryx and Bonfire are also looking
    How is the business running?                               to target the urban consumer with product lines that are
    » Business is developing very well. The first half of      suitable for the mountains and city streets alike.
the year was really great. The pace of the second half will        Is the footwear and apparel business different than
be slower because dealers and buyers have been very            the sports equipment business?
cautious when doing their fall and winter buys. However,           » No, the business model is the same. In our model we
13 percent sales growth year-to-date at the end of             take the footwear or apparel product as seriously as any
September is a very positive achievement.                      other equipment. My organization is built with people who
    How is the competition in the market?                      are experts in their product and service field, in their
    » The outdoor market is very dynamic and attractive;       profession and in the sports we target. It is important that
therefore the battle in the field is very tough. The outdoor   we understand consumer expectations and the needs of
market is not comparable to the ski market where you           our dealers and buyers to guide the creation process.
have the same five or six key brands in every region.          We have to know the fabrics, the fit, the factories, the
We have many strong competitors. Some of them are              sourcing and the distribution. It also helps that we are
strong globally, some regionally, some are strong local,       located near our consumers in Vancouver, Canada
national brands.                                               (Arc’teryx); Portland, Oregon (Bonfire); and Annecy,
    The popularity of trail running seems to grow all          France (Salomon).
the time. Do you see any other trends that could be                As long as we take the need for specific apparel and
equally strong?                                                footwear expertise seriously, I really believe that Amer
    » Trail running is creating a bridge between two big       Sports can grow into this footwear and apparel world.
markets: the outdoor and the running markets. It is one            Has the soul of Salomon brand survived when it
of the reasons why the Salomon footwear business has           started to also make apparel?
doubled its sales within the past four years. At this              » There are no distinguishing traits for Salomon winter
moment, we don’t see any other product segment that            sports equipment and Salomon apparel and footwear.
would grow as fast.                                            The consumers see Salomon as one brand whatever
    What about the winter – are there any new things           product of ours they buy. That’s why we have a single
appearing or do you have to concentrate on traditional         Brand Department, which acts as a strong and pro-active
skiing apparel?                                                bridge between Salomon winter sports equipment and
    » We have three important product segments to              Salomon apparel and footwear. Every employee at
develop: skiwear, cross-country apparel, and winter            Salomon inherits something from the soul of our founder,
outdoor apparel and footwear. We equip all the outdoor         Georges Salomon.

                                                                                                                        4.2009 || 35
36 ||   4.2009
India is incredible – even if you talk about skiing.
For a freerider, Mt. Apharwat is the equivalent of Nirvana.
F & t Jimmy Petterson

        ou might wonder why anyone would cross halfway around the
        world to ski in a location where the fate of your holiday rested
        in the hands of bureaucrats and laborers who are well known
for their lack of competence, and where the entire system makes the
mañana mentality of South America look like a prototype of German
    That answer is simple as well. The two-stage gondola rises up
Mt. Apharwat to an elevation of 3 980 meters – the highest gondola in →

                                                                           4.2009 || 37
                                        the world built for skiers. From there,
                                        one has a series of long, steep ridges
                                        and bowls on either side. One of the sub-
                                        peaks, at 4 124 meters, is an easy hike
                                        from the top station, and that trek gives
                                        access to even more off-piste terrain.
                                            Since it opened in May 2005, Gulmarg
                                        has become a secret hideaway for a
                                        small handful of powder freaks from all
                                        parts of the world. These freeriders
                                        begin to arrive in January, and usually
                                        have all gone home by mid-March, by
                                        which time the powder is on the wane.
                                            Even this small enclave of off-piste
                                        connoisseurs missed one secret – corn
                 ← Yasin, a moun-
                 tain guide, also       snow. By the time we arrived, in mid-
                 sells Kashmir-         April, the only patrons of the lift were
                 style clothing and     Indian tourists coming to Gulmarg to
                 accessories – not to   escape the oppressive heat that was
                 mention carpets.
                                        beginning to make life miserable on the
                 ↙ The two-stage        subcontinent. There was nary a freerider
                 gondola on Mt.         to be seen. We had one of the world’s
                 Apharwat takes         best ski mountains at our disposal and
                 skiers to an eleva-    nobody else was here to share the
                 tion of 3,980 me-
                                        spoils. For that kind of reward, I can put
                                        up with a touch of incompetence and a
                 ↘ The Rose Wood        lack of infrastructure.
                 Guest House in
                 Gulmarg does not
                                        Stunning view
                 offer luxury, but
                 the views are          This story actually began in the autumn,
                 breathtaking.          when I was surfing the Internet before

38 ||   4.2009
the season. I found a web site referring    stretching more than 7 000 meters into
me to Yasin for accommodation priced        the Himalayan heavens.
for ski bums and I booked a cabin for our      The panorama was stunning. We
group of friends.                           gazed out over the fertile rice paddies
    Five months later we arrived to be      and fields that surround Srinagar. The
greeted by a middle-aged man with a big     valley is ringed in by the Himalayas in a
smile, a twinkle in his eye, and a humble   perfect 180-degree semi-circle. It was
demeanor. We learned without much ado       unlike any view I have ever seen.
that Yasin did more than merely organize
accommodation for wandering gypsies         A dangerous mountain
of the ski world. He could also provide     One look at Mt. Apharwat (4 339 m) is
visitors with skis, boots, and other        enough to make very clear to any skier
equipment from his rental shop, and         that this is one dangerous mountain, and
Kashmir style shawls, hats, jewelry and     the advice and knowledge of a local
traditional clothing from his souvenir      guide is almost a must.
shop. And of course, he would be happy          But this was spring skiing, and Yasin
to sell you a Kashmir carpet as well.       assured us that there was no danger at
After all, any Kashmiri businessman         this time. He guided us over to a ridge of
worth his salt sells carpets.               spring snow maturing under the hot Indi-
    Yasin is also a mountain guide,         an sun. It was a north face, where one        answered with a much more precise
Gulmarg’s first, beginning his guiding      rarely finds corn snow in the Alps, but we    answer than I had expected. “That does
career in the mid-1970s, 30 years before    were definitely not in the Alps.              not include Kashmiri people, of course.”
the gondola was finally completed.              It was amazing to have Apharwat              Enjoying our privileged status as the
    Yasin showed us around the mountain     entirely to ourselves, for we were literal-   mountains only skiing guests, we fol-
that he has loved for so many years and     ly the only skiers on the mountain. I         lowed Yasin down three more big valleys
which has provided him his livelihood in    asked Yasin about how many Indian peo-        that were easily accessible from the lift.
return. He pointed out Nanga Parbat (8      ple skied the upper mountain during the       Others to the west required a hike, and
125 m) to the north, the ninth highest      course of the year. He scratched his head     we would save those for another day.
mountain in the world, almost close         and looked thoughtful. He began to               In between runs, we stopped to
enough to touch, in nearby Pakistan. He     mumble “Mohandas, Mahesh, Rahul ,             quench our thirst or eat a snack at an
also indicated Nun and Kun peaks, both      Sanjay…this year there were eight,” he        enclave of food stands situated a few →

                                                                                                                         4.2009 || 39
                                                                                             Daal Lake and surrounded on all sides by
                                                                                             the snow-covered Himalayas.
                                                                                                 After a couple of days, the stormy
                                                                                             weather in Gulmarg had passed, and we
                                                                                             returned to Yasin to sample a few more
                                                                                             slopes of Mt. Apharwat. Our first morn-
                                                                                             ing back began with a 45-minute hike
                                                                                             above the gondola. After a brief rest, we
                                                                                             followed our leader down a beautiful val-
                                                                                             ley of virgin corn snow before traversing
                                                                                             back to the lift.
                                                                                                 Then we skied along the ridge to the
                                                                                             west of the top station and again snaked
                                                                                             virgin tracks into yet another ravine.
                                                                                             While skiing along the ridge, Ari almost
                                                                                             tripped on a ski, jutting out of the snow.
                                                                                                 “Oh, that is great,” said Yasin. “I will
                                                                                             carry it down to my shop. I know the
                                                                                             young man who lost it during a powder
hundred meters above the middle sta-           skied directly back to our cottage.           dump in February.”
tion. This mini-village was nothing less          When a thunderstorm hit Gulmarg on             The run ended with a slalom through
than a three-ring circus.                      our third afternoon, we made the              the birch trees. Yasin pointed out that
    Many of the Indian tourists here were      55-kilometer drive to the capital of          during the winter, one could follow this
certainly seeing snow for the first time.      Kashmir. The city is built on the shores of   valley into the pine forest and finish
Women in their brightly colored saris,
their husbands in jeans or slacks, and
                                               ↖ Locals come to
excited children throwing their first          the gondola middle
snowballs or building their first snow-        station to enjoy a
man are all part of the show.                  picnic in the snow
    Scores of entrepreneurs and so-            and sun.
called ski instructors stood around wait-
                                               ↑ On the last
ing to rent sleds or skis to the visitors,     evening, Yasin
with the possibility of a ski lesson as part   prepared a feast
of the bargain to go along with a ski          for the visitors.
                                               → A variety of snow
    Other tourists tried their hand at ski-
                                               vehicles can be
ing, with a Kashmiri-style ski instructor      seen at the middle
holding onto the back of their pants,          station.
running after their guest while tugging
on the pants in an attempt to keep the
skier from going too fast.
    The weather was extremely warm,
with the mercury climbing up to above
30 degrees in the sun. Yet the corn snow
on the upper mountain remained good
all day. Lower down, the heat made the
snow sticky and slow, but still, it was
quite skiable. It was a bit like summer
    The upper slopes are completely
open, but trees grow to above 3500
meters in this part of the world, and
some widely spaced birch trees begin to
decorate a few of the ridges part way
down. Then at the level of the middle sta-
tion (3,063 m.) one skis into pine forests
full of monkeys. At the end of the day, we

40 ||       4.2009
close to the village of Tangmarg – a          attention to their school lessons.”
descent of approximately 1700 meters!            We came to Gulmarg for the moun-
                                              tain. When we return, we will go back for
The perfect guide                             the mountain and for Yasin. Gulmarg is
Our final day finished with a feast in a      certainly not for everybody. Many people
tiny room above Yasin’s rental shop. We       will prefer to be guided around in the
sat on the floor as our host prepared a       powder of Chamonix or La Plagne by
meal fit for a maharajah. He spread out a     Pierre or Jean Claude or in St. Anton or
tablecloth on the floor and laid almost a     Zermatt by Frans or Fritz. But if you have
dozen bowls of Kashmiri specialties           the ability to view the uncertainty of not
before us. Our group of famished skiers       knowing exactly what time the lift will
ate until we were stuffed, but we could       open or if it will open at all as part of the
not finish the enormous portion of food       adventure, then give a call to Yasin Khan.
he had prepared.                              You may well have an experience as
    Peter had rented skis from Yasin and      memorable and enjoyable as our own.
also bought some souvenirs from his
store, and he asked for an invoice. Yasin
called over one of his friends, gave him a    Yasin’s web site is
writing block and told him what to write      You can send him an e-mail at yasin@
                                              kashmir or snow@kashmir-
on the invoice. It was then that I realized
                                     Although he cannot read or
that our friend was illiterate. I asked him   write, one of his partners will read your
and he corroborated my suspicion.             mail to him and formulate an answer to
    “Yes, said Yasin, that is why I am very   you as well. You can also call him at
insistent that my children pay close          +91-9419525606

                                                                                              FROM NATURAL MATERIALS
                                                                                              Salomon has used natural
                                                                                              materials in the new Shogun ski.
                                                                                              Bamboo fibers in the fullewood
                                                                                              core create excellent responsive-
                                                                                              ness. Volcanic basalt layer
                                                                                              maintains stiffness in all speeds.
                                                                                              Extra wide edges give the ski
                                                                                              durability and shock resistance.
                                                                                              A new rocker technology puts
                                                                                              traditional camber underfoot
                                                                                              and reverse camber in the ski tip.
                                                                                              A perfect ski for free skiing in all

                                                                                                                           4.2009 || 41

        New segment on the watch market
        These really are unique! Made of first-class materials, the stylish
        Elementum premium watches come packed with functionality familiar
        from Suunto outdoor and diving wristops. Markku Rimpiläinen t Suunto

                he Elementum look was inspired, among        the Aqua down to 200 meters.
                other things, by Suunto’s field compass         The Elementum line will be sold through
                from the 1930s. The goal was to design a     watch retailers. Suunto’s genuine sports image
        line of watches that are sleek, functional and       offers the new collection several advantages,
        convincing − as well as eye-catching in urban        which can be utilized by the retail channel. Users
        settings. The watches come with an austenitic        appreciate the accuracy and functionality of
        316L stainless steel case and scratch-resistant      these exclusive watches, which elegantly com-
        sapphire crystal glass. The electronics, user        municate the wearer’s hobbies and interests to
        interface, algorithms, and mechanical solutions      others. The versatile features in each of the
        are Suunto’s own design, and the watches are         three watches are operated with prominent but-
        exclusively made in Finland. The Ventus and          tons, which give an added touch to the watches,
        Terra are water-resistant down to 100 meters,        while also saving space for electronics.

        AQUA                                   TERRA                                    VENTUS
        The diving functions kick off          Perfect for the mountains, Terra         The Ventus sailing watch measures
        when Aqua detects entry into           features time functions, a barom-        air pressure and shows the results
        the water. The watch measures          eter and altimeter, and a com-           graphically. A substantial drop in
        depth, water temperature,              pass. The altimeter can be set to        air pressure is indicated with red
        maximum depth, and dive time.          record the cumulative ascent and         slanted lines. The watch also
        Aqua can be used for diving            descent or the maximum altitude.         features a compass and sailing
        without a dive computer.               The altitude information is dis-         timer that counts down to the race
        It is also ideal for freediving.       played on the face of the watch.         start.

42 ||    4.2009


    Schwarztor – a heli-ski classic
    F & t Jimmy Petterson
    Every skier has a favorite ski run. Some of them are marked
    pistes while others are off-piste routes, but there are only a few
    such runs that can truly be called classics. There are a variety of
    reasons why a ski run or route attains classic status. Some are
    classics because of a famous race that is run there while other
    attain recognition as classics because of their steepness, length,
    vertical drop, great powder, beauty or a combination of these
    factors. In the years since the inception of using helicopters for
    skiing, some heli-ski routes have also achieved the exalted
    status of classic descents.
       In this category of great heli-ski runs must be the route from
    the Schwarztor down to the fairytale village of Zermatt. In the
    right conditions, this run has it all – length, vertical, and powder,
    plus it is without question one of the most beautiful runs in the
    world. One glides over ancient glaciers, through fields of icy blue
    seracs, past deep yawning crevasses, and all the while, the
    magnificent Matterhorn rises majestically above the
    surroundings. Skiing can´t be any better.

44 ||      4.2009
4.2009 || 45
                                                  rigidity. As the distance grew longer, the
                                                  benefits became even clearer. When
                                                  sweat gradually made my feet move back
                                                  and forth inside the boots, I tightened the
                                                  strap a couple of notches, and this
                                                  noticeably stabilized the glide phase.
                                                      The ratchet, familiar from cycling
                                                  shoes, may be the most visible change in
                                                  the S-lab Skate Pro, but the biggest
                                                  improvements lie elsewhere.
                                                      The enhanced torsional rigidity of the
                                                  boots, along with their pivot point, placed
                                                  17 millimeters behind the front, gave a
                                                   noticeably better balance to the glide
                                                    and put more force into the kick. I’ve
  For a balanced                                     usually felt a lot wobblier at the start
                                                      of the ski season, after the normal
  glide and                                             six-month break. However, wearing
                                                          the new boots, I felt surprisingly
  a strong kick
  F Ilkka Järvimäki t Taavetti Alin

         he Salomon S-lab Skate Pro boots
         attracted a great deal of attention at
         last season’s World Cup races. The
  boots come in white this season and feature
  a new ratchet mechanism over the arch,
  which holds the promise of brand new
  properties for both racers and enthusiastic
  recreational skiers.
      Tests on indoor snow showed that the
  Power Hold System, with its technical ring,
  also works well in practice. From the first
  kilometers onward, the strap and support
  mechanism provided additional firmness to
  the skate boot, which in itself does not lack

46 ||      4.2009

comfortable with my balance and the
feel of the ski.                                                                  Prepare to ski with the AMT
    The new inner sock was very comfort-
able. Moreover, this version of the boot is
                                                                                  F & t Precor
easier to pull on than its predecessor,                                           The winter ski season is nearly here, and Precor’s Adaptive Motion Trainer
which was a very tight race model. This                                           (AMT) is the perfect cardio machine to help you prepare for the rigors of the
has not affected the fit or rigidity in any                                       slopes. Engaging a wide variety of muscle groups, the AMT not only builds up
way – quite the contrary, in fact.                                                aerobic fitness – it also improves anaerobic capacity, to help sustain the short
    In an effort to find something to                                             bursts of energy which are so important for skiing. The following eight week
criticize, I could mention that the already                                       program has been created for experienced AMT users looking to prepare for
praised ratchet – or rather, the quick                                            the ski season, and should be undertaken alongside exercises designed to
lock – picked up snow when skiing                                                 improve strength, flexibility and balance.
indoors. When I moved to room tempera-
ture, the snow turned to ice and prevent-
ed me from opening the straps for a few                                           Week 1                                    Week 4
minutes. This can probably be avoided in                                          Program: Manual                           Program: Interval
the winter by taking the boots off out-                                           Stride type: Climb                        Stride type: Climb
                                                                                  Frequency: 2–3 times per week             Frequency: 3 times per week (Default
doors and carefully shaking off any snow
                                                                                  Time: 15 minutes                          resistance settings are 1 and 4)
before releasing the ratchets.                                                    Level: L4                                 Time: 18 minutes
                                                                                                                            Level: L6
                                                                                  Week 2
                                                                                  Program: Manual                           Week 5
                                                                                  Stride type: Climb/short strides          Program: Interval
                                                                                  – Climb 4 minutes/short stride            Stride type: Short stride/long stride
Armchair diving                                                                   4 minutes, repeat twice
                                                                                  Frequency: 2–3 times per week
                                                                                                                            – Short stride 10 minutes/long stride
                                                                                                                            10 minutes
This inspiring and informative guide gives                                        Time: 16 minutes                          Frequency: 3 times per week
a detailed account of the world’s best diving                                     Level: L4                                 Time: 20 minutes
locations. The vivid descriptions provided                                                                                  Level: L6
by the book’s famous authors and photo-                                           Week 3
graphers take readers, including non-                                             Program: Manual                           Week 6
divers, on a fascinating armchair trip to the                                     Stride type: Climb/short stride – Climb   Program: Heart Rate*
depths of the sea. The service directories                                        6 minutes/short stride 6 minutes          Stride type: Short stride
for different locations also come in handy                                        Frequency: 3 times per week               Frequency: 3 times per week
– at the latest when throwing your mask                                           Time: 18 minutes                          Time: 20 minutes
and flippers into the suitcase.                                                   Level: L5                                 Level: Program adjusts

JACK JACKSON: DIVE ATLAS OF THE                                                                                             Week 7
WORLD: AN ILLUSTRATED RERENCE                                                                                               Program: Heart Rate*
TO THE BEST SITES, NEW HOLLAND                                                                                              Stride type: Short stride/long stride
PUBLISHERS LTD, 2009                                                                                                        – Short stride 10minutes/long stride
                                                                                                                            15 minutes
                                                                                                                            Frequency: 3–4 times per week
                                                                                                                            Time: 25 minutes
                                                                                                                            Level: Program adjusts

                                                                                                                            Week 8
                                                                                                                            Program: Interval
                                                                                                                            Stride type: Long stride
                                                                                                                            Frequency: 4 times per week
                                                                                                                            Time: 25 minutes
                                                                                                                            Level: L6–8
                                                              Ski Photo: Atomic

                                                                                                                            *Requires a heart rate chest strap
                                                                                                                             to be worn.
                                            Ilkka Järvimäki

   GUIDE                                                                          For more information, visit

                                                                                                                                                         4.2009 || 47

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