An alliance of like-minded business leaders and entrepreneurs representing Maine-based outdoor product and recreation interests recently launched Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB) with the desire of working collaboratively to ignite Maine’s outdoor recreation economy.
Led by a board of directors and advisory board comprised of industry professionals experienced in launching, growing and managing a profitable portfolio of consumer brands, MOB will promote sustainable economic development by strengthening Maine-based outdoor brands through knowledge sharing, collaborative marketing efforts and access to professional resources. Though its collaborative efforts, MOB also aims to build upon Maine’s iconic outdoor heritage to lure outdoor product brands and the younger workforce they attract to the state.
“Maine’s outdoor product companies already have a considerable impact on the state’s economy.” said Jim Hauptman, founder of MOB and managing partner of Blaze Partners, an advertising/business strategy firm based here. “MOB aims to leverage Maine’s reputation as a four-season haven for outdoor adventurers of all abilities in attracting more outdoor product companies to our state. And for those outdoor product companies that have already made Maine their home, we want to establish a louder, more unified voice in helping to promote their products and services.”
What started as a conversation amongst six brands nearly a year ago at the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, MOB has grown to more than 50 brand members and affiliates today.
“As an outdoor retailer for more than 100 years and counting, we’re excited by the formation of the Maine Outdoor Brands organization,” says Steve Smith, L.L. Bean President and CEO. “There is a great deal of opportunity for growth in the outdoor recreation industry in our state and beyond, and L.L. Bean looks forward to being part of this growing organization with likeminded outdoor businesses.”
David Koorits, Founder, Good to Go, a dehydrated food company, said his company joined MOB because members in alliance can bring a stronger voice to its brands and industry, and continue to build upon Maine’s outdoor legacy. “The relationship between Maine and the outdoors goes back centuries and continues to be a driving force for its tourism industry and overall economic growth. It’s why so many people come to our beautiful state,” said Koorits.
As one of its first collaborative initiatives, MOB is working with the Maine International Trade Center (MITC) on coordinating grants to MOB members who would like to exhibit and/or participate at the Outdoor Retailer Show along with other international trade shows. MOB will represent member brands and its non-profit initiatives at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market held this January 2018 in Denver, CO, booth #25220-SL, right around the corner from Venture Out.
“I am pleased to see new Maine-based outdoor product/service companies getting involved with this exciting initiative,” said George Gervais, Commissioner, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. “These young, entrepreneurial companies are injecting new life into Maine’s economy. They are providing good jobs, creating new products for companies like L.L. Bean to sell and promote, and using new marketing techniques to connect with their targeted customers worldwide.”
MOB sees outdoor product companies as one of the key industries in helping to attract a younger workforce to Maine and that outdoor product companies are a core component in ensuring Maine’s, bright economic future.
“We’ve established this alliance in support of that belief and look forward to working with leaders from the public and private sectors in defining the potential of Maine’s outdoor recreation economy—a much larger eco-system of which MOB is just a part—but represents 8.2 billion dollars of annual spending and 76,000 jobs in Maine according to a report issued earlier this year by the Outdoor Industry Association,” said Hauptman.