A Deal With Sock
Portland Product Werks has signed a licensing deal for footwear and socks with Medina, Minn.-based Polaris Industries Inc., a snowmobile and off-road vehicle company with a loyal following.
The deal is the latest win for Portland's robust footwear and outdoor apparel industry, which features stalwarts such as Nike, Adidas North America, Columbia Sportswear, Keen and a number of startups and smaller companies.
Portland Product Werks, which is based in Northwest Portland, will introduce the line this fall. Products will be available online, as well as at snowmobile dealers and outdoor stores. The first products will be available in time for the holiday shopping season.
"We've got some compelling products we'll launch out of the gate," said Portland Product Werks CEO Sean Beers. "They'll be cool and applicable to the brand."
Polaris had $4.5 billion in 2016 sales and is known for loyal consumers. Some consider it the snowmobile equivalent of Harley-Davidson, which sells everything from boots to wallets to belt buckles with the motorcycle company's logo.
"Once you're on Polaris, you're a Polaris guy for life," Beers said. "That's part of the secret sauce here. The consumer is so loyal to the brand. I think the sky's the limit."
Portland Product Werks has a similar licensing deal with Woolrich Inc.
Portland-based Meriwether Group, a boutique business advisor that works with local and national brands, connected Polaris and Portland Product Werks.
"The only way a consumer can access the Polaris brand is if they buy a snowmobile or an ATV," said Meriwether Group CEO David Hewitt. "Not everybody who loves the brand is going to be able to own a snowmobile or an ATV."
The deal further cements Oregon's position as the epicenter of the outdoor and footwear apparel industry.
"Polaris footwear just moved to Portland. That's a way to look at it," Hewitt said. "It's a big deal for our community."
Portland Product Werks employs around eight and will add contract employees, including freelancers, designers and developers, as it builds out the line.
"It continues to perpetuate the reputation of the city as the epicenter for footwear and outdoor products," Beers said.
From the Portland Business Journal May 3, 2017
LIFESTYLE PHOTOSHOOT FALL 2017
POPULAR MECHANICS, EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD
The Woolrich Footwear Fully Wooly Lace boot won the Editor's Choice Award this year at Outdoor Retailer 2017. Click the picture to check out the article.
RANGE "RADICAL BY DESIGN" AWARD
Our Fully Wooly Lace boots, introduced in Fall 2016, are being presented this year with the Range "Radical by Design" Award at Outdoor Retailer 2017. Swing by the Ranger Station at Booth VO320 to check out the award-winning style, or come by the Woolrich Footwear Booth VO340.
About Radical by Design:
RANGE developed the Radical by Design Seal of Approval to highlight new and distinctive products designed to elevate outdoor adventure by providing the ideal combination of form and function. These products are not only innovative, but they are also created to look good and feel right for the modern outdoor consumer. They utilize forward-thinking materials in a new way, or they incorporate classic design details into contemporary shapes and silhouettes.
The Radical by Design Seal of Approval recipients were selected from the Venture Out exhibitors at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017 in Salt Lake City. Each product selected will be showcased at The RANGER Station at Venture Out.
RANGE is a full-service creative agency dedicated to the active, sport and lifestyle markets. We offer curated and original content to provide daily insight for the creative community, as well as targeted consulting expertise for our clients to anticipate the direction of coming seasons. RANGE believes that forward-thinking design and inspiration should always drive innovation.