Imperial Stock Ranch ready to enter apparel field, boosted by Ralph Lauren U.S. Winter Olympics sweater

SHANIKO -- A magnetic field seems to radiate from Jeanne Carver as she scrambles through rocks and sage on the Imperial Stock Ranch.  Hundreds of sheep scamper the other direction as Carver nears, following an ancient impulse to flee. A hundred yards away on the high desert terrain, a statuesque model raises her chin to an early morning sun. It's time for her close-up. With the light just-so and Carver and the sheep serving as a wooly backdrop, this is golden hour for a fashion photographer, tw

Creator of Nike's famed Swoosh remembers its conception 40 years later

When the Nike pioneers caught their first glimpse of the black, curvy checkmark, the graphic designer waited patiently for a reaction. Nothing. Then, what else you got? Carolyn Davidson, pushing back disappointment that spring day in 1971, pressed on. One by one, she presented a handful of sketches. But ultimately the three men circled back to the checkmark, her favorite. "Well, I don't love it," Phil Knight said at the time, "but maybe it will grow on me." Today, on the cusp of its 40th yea

Trail Blazers president Chris McGowan sets fast pace in first year

He is, in fact, a two-time marathoner and regular jogger. Makes sense. The demeanor of the 40-year-old Portland Trail Blazers president is more long-distance relaxed than burst-of-energy jittery. But the changes McGowan has brought to the Blazers' business operations in his first 13 months on the job have been, in comparison to his predecessors, equivalent to a basketball fast break. The front office has been heavily overhauled. The business office's numbers-crunching analytics staff has been

Nike, Columbia Sportswear take retailing to another level -- their own

Nike and Columbia Sportswear know a thing or two about how to present their images to the world. But most customers buy the companies' products through retail chains: Foot Locker, Dick's, Cabela's, to name a few. And that's where the marketing departments start to lose control. Even if you convince the stores to give optimal shelf space to or create special sections for Nike and Columbia Sportswear, there's no avoiding the nearby neighbors: Under Armour, Adidas, North Face and what have you. "

Columbia Sportswear Co. introduces Spring 2012 product line to critics in San Fransciso

SAN FRANCISCO -- Under the watchful eyes of alligator gars, giant catfish and free-flying birds, Columbia Sportswear Co. put on its best face last week for a captive audience. About two dozen journalists and a handful of retail buyers roamed the California Academy of Sciences  building in Golden Gate Park. Columbia selected the exotic location to show off its 2012 Spring collection of footwear, apparel, backpacks and sleeping bags. wine and hors d'oeuvres served from silver platters under a gi

Columbia Sportswear sets sights on growth and the next billion

Columbia Sportswear took a decade to grow from $1 billion in sales to $2 billion, a milestone it finally reached in 2014. How long will it take to reach $3 billion? "If my boss Tim Boyle was in this room, he'd say, 'It's gotta be shorter than 10 years,'" said Bryan Timm, who in March was named president of the outdoor sportswear company where he has worked 17 years and where he also remains chief operating officer. A faster pace to the next milestone will rely on greater global sales for the

Portland Timbers target MLS soccer fans in 18-34 age range

Families are welcome at all games of the Timbers and all the other Major League Soccer teams. So are dating couples. But about five years ago, the league started to take aim at one of the most coveted demographics, the 18-34 age group. This was a departure from the family-target marketing approach adopted when the league launched in 1996. And perhaps few MLS campaigns have reflected the 18-34 target with more resonance than the Timbers' -- though the campaign's creator says the effort merely h

Lance Armstrong's impact on the business of bicycling has waned, but not forgotten

Jay Graves' Bike Gallery stores sell more Trek-brand bicycles than all but seven shops in the United States. Graves knows that Lance Armstrong and his run of seven Tour de France victories contributed mightily to that status. "It had a significant effect on Trek sales," especially after Armstrong's earliest Tour victories, said Graves, owner of six Bike Gallery stores in the Portland area. The local biking community, which includes the world's largest sporting goods company, Nike, considered

Portland Timbers don't take Jeld-Wen sellouts for granted

Time to chain saw another notch into the log. The Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer registered their 39th consecutive sellout Thursday night against the New England Revolution. Now in their third season, with that kind of performance at the turnstiles, the Timbers office staff might be tempted to put sales and marketing on cruise control. Every season ticket has been claimed, the waiting list is substantial and the team has registered a buzz not only in Portland but with other MLS teams

Trail Blazers tweak ticket policy, set NBA pace for dynamic pricing

Tyler Howell, the Trail Blazers' vice president of ticket sales and service, usually has a pretty good idea of what home games will sell out fast and which won't. Marketability of the opponent, day of the week, the Blazers' own performance – those are the basics that determine which games will be easier and which will be a harder pitch to single-game buyers. Throw in the Blazers' decades of experience with the market – including Howell's 10 years in ticket sales – and it would seem the team has