YAKIMA CHANGES CONSUMERS’ THINKING ABOUT GEAR STORAGE AND TRANSPORT WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF GROUND CONTROL

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Yakima will Change how Winter Sports Enthusiasts Organize and Store Their Gear with the Introduction of Ground Control.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January, 2006) – Yakima, a leading manufacturer of vehicle racks for skis, boards, bikes, boats, and cargo boxes, will change how winter sports enthusiasts organize and store their gear with the introduction of Ground Control.  Ground Control is the first adaptable, modular, wall-mounted system especially designed for garages, lofts and small spaces.  Incorporating Yakima’s recently launched design language, the Ground Control accommodates a broad scope of winter gear including skis, snowboards, snow shoes, boots, poles, helmets, gloves and hydration systems.  Accessories include single and double utility hooks, a ski/snowboard hanger, a vertical and horizontal bike hanger, a kayak and cargo box holder, loose gear storage, a corner kit, a horizontal extension kit, and a universal mounting plate, among others.  The Ground Control will be shown at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2006 (Room# 251B) in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 28 – 31, 2006. 

    “Ground Control is the first real organization system with a customized storage unit that saves space and gets consumers outdoors faster,” said Steve Rodden, vice president of product development at Yakima.  “Consumers can completely customize the Ground Control to fit all kinds of spaces, including hard to reach corners.  When the snow melts, Ground Control accommodates cycles, kayaks, tents, virtually any type of outdoor gear and accessories.  Garages are crowded, living spaces are congested, and until now, there has not been a product on the market that is so easy to install and improves the gear management process. For consumers, this is a home run. For retailers, this fresh product approach is a clear revenue enhancement tool and a new opportunity for growing their winter sports business. For Yakima, it is a natural, positive extension to our brand.”

In developing Ground Control, Rodden and his team of product design specialists executed gear audits, garage tours, in-depth interviews and solicited product feedback from consumers about the management of gear.               

The base system is comprised of varying horizontal and vertical round tube lengths made of aluminum, to allow for a variety of configurations including the ability to build round corners, providing complete wall space flexibility. The universal knuckle is designed for either vertical or horizontal structure attachments. Consumers can easily mount Yakima rack accessories directly to the system. Consumers may also purchase universal mounting accessories for a customized set-up. In addition to these features, the system is scaleable and easy to clean.

“Our entry into this new category reaffirms our commitment to the outdoor consumer,” said Amy Buckalter, senior vice president of global sales and marketing. “Yakima is all about creating products that seamlessly connect people to their passions. Our instincts and initial reactions from our retail partners tell us we are right on target. Our competitors stop serving customers in the driveway. Ground Control enables retailers to go way beyond that and into their homes. In addition, this breakout product is a great cross selling opportunity, connecting the purchase to the season or use cycle. In the end, it is about increasing the bottom line for our partners, and elevating Yakima once again as the choice for active outdoor participants.”

About Yakima: Yakima is a world leader in the design and manufacture of destination hardware for a wide range of vehicles. Yakima’s products include vehicle racks for bikes, boats, ski equipment and gear, in addition to a line of cargo boxes for a variety of needs. Yakima Products is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. For more information, visit www.yakima.com.


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