02.03.2018

Vista boycott, note from the president

In the wake of the recent mass shooting at a Florida school, there have been calls on social media for a boycott of Bell, Blackburn, Camelbak and Giro products, which we distribute in Canada, because these brands are owned by Vista Outdoor, a holding company that also owns separate businesses in the firearms industries.   The longstanding debate over access to firearms in the U.S. has intensified since the shootings in Florida. It`s a very important public policy issue.  

Each of the brands have been through several changes in ownership over the years. Through all of these ownership changes, they’ve each maintained their focus and reputations for innovation and high quality. About two years ago they were purchased by Vista Outdoor. The business segment to which they report operates separately from the firearms company that Vista Outdoor also owns.  

Every individual has the right to make their own decision about the purchase of any Bell, Blackburn, Camelbak or Giro product based on whatever criteria they believe are important.  

Outdoor Gear Canada (OGC) has distributed all four brands for many years.  Clearly, we have a business interest in seeing them continue to prosper. We`ve also been very proud to sell their products and others like these that we firmly believe contribute to cyclists` enjoyment and personal safety.  

I`d like to provide some information about why they`ve been successful and what benefits they continue to provide to consumers.

Giro, founded in 1985, introduced the first soft-shell bike helmets, a design breakthrough that made the helmets lighter and more comfortable without compromising safety. Since then, they’ve innovated and added other features including MIPS (multiple-directional impact protection system) and better retention systems. Every Giro innovation was designed to make bike and, later, snow helmets safer   or more comfortable or both. And I think it’s fair to say that these innovations have led to the increased use of helmets by cyclists and wintersports participants.  

We have sold hundreds of thousands of Giro bike and snow helmets in Canada and Giro has sold millions worldwide. I don’t know how many lives have been saved and injuries avoided or reduced in severity because cyclists, skiers and snowboarders were wearing Giro helmets but I think it’s reasonable to assume that the numbers are substantial.   

Bell was founded in 1954 and has long been an iconic helmet brand. Again, countless fatalities have been avoided and injuries prevented or reduced in severity because of their products.  

Blackburn and Camelbak have also been leaders and innovators in their respective product categories for several decades. I recall that one of Blackburn`s first products was the Lowrider, a front bike rack design that uniquely positions bike panniers for greater load stability and safety.  

These brands have also supported their sports and industries through sponsorships of athletes, events and advocacy groups such as Bikes Belong.

The issue of access to firearms is one of the most important and passionately argued public policy debates in the U.S. It deserves the attention it is now getting. I understand the impetus behind the calls for a boycott. I don`t know what impact, if any, it would have on limiting firearms access in the U.S.    

I do know that cycling, wintersports and outdoor enthusiasts would be the poorer without access to Bell, Blackburn, Camelbak and Giro products as they`ve had for so many years. We intend to continue to support and sell them.  

Sincerely,

David Bowman | Outdoor Gear Canada

Président


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Vista boycott, note from the president

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02.03.2018

Vista boycott, note from the president

In the wake of the recent mass shooting at a Florida school, there have been calls on social media for a boycott of Bell, Blackburn, Camelbak and Giro products, which we distribute in Canada, because these brands are owned by Vista Outdoor, a holding company that also owns separate businesses in the firearms industries.   The longstanding debate over access to firearms in the U.S. has intensified since the shootings in Florida. It`s a very important public policy issue.  

Each of the brands have been through several changes in ownership over the years. Through all of these ownership changes, they’ve each maintained their focus and reputations for innovation and high quality. About two years ago they were purchased by Vista Outdoor. The business segment to which they report operates separately from the firearms company that Vista Outdoor also owns.  

Every individual has the right to make their own decision about the purchase of any Bell, Blackburn, Camelbak or Giro product based on whatever criteria they believe are important.  

Outdoor Gear Canada (OGC) has distributed all four brands for many years.  Clearly, we have a business interest in seeing them continue to prosper. We`ve also been very proud to sell their products and others like these that we firmly believe contribute to cyclists` enjoyment and personal safety.  

I`d like to provide some information about why they`ve been successful and what benefits they continue to provide to consumers.

Giro, founded in 1985, introduced the first soft-shell bike helmets, a design breakthrough that made the helmets lighter and more comfortable without compromising safety. Since then, they’ve innovated and added other features including MIPS (multiple-directional impact protection system) and better retention systems. Every Giro innovation was designed to make bike and, later, snow helmets safer   or more comfortable or both. And I think it’s fair to say that these innovations have led to the increased use of helmets by cyclists and wintersports participants.  

We have sold hundreds of thousands of Giro bike and snow helmets in Canada and Giro has sold millions worldwide. I don’t know how many lives have been saved and injuries avoided or reduced in severity because cyclists, skiers and snowboarders were wearing Giro helmets but I think it’s reasonable to assume that the numbers are substantial.   

Bell was founded in 1954 and has long been an iconic helmet brand. Again, countless fatalities have been avoided and injuries prevented or reduced in severity because of their products.  

Blackburn and Camelbak have also been leaders and innovators in their respective product categories for several decades. I recall that one of Blackburn`s first products was the Lowrider, a front bike rack design that uniquely positions bike panniers for greater load stability and safety.  

These brands have also supported their sports and industries through sponsorships of athletes, events and advocacy groups such as Bikes Belong.

The issue of access to firearms is one of the most important and passionately argued public policy debates in the U.S. It deserves the attention it is now getting. I understand the impetus behind the calls for a boycott. I don`t know what impact, if any, it would have on limiting firearms access in the U.S.    

I do know that cycling, wintersports and outdoor enthusiasts would be the poorer without access to Bell, Blackburn, Camelbak and Giro products as they`ve had for so many years. We intend to continue to support and sell them.  

Sincerely,

David Bowman | Outdoor Gear Canada

Président


Back to news list