Photo: Mark Going, Columbia Sportswear
In March 2015, the flagship brand of Portland, Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear Company, partnered with Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism to host outdoor journalists from the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain for unique gear testing experiences in the Swedish region of Jämtland Härjedalen. Demanding Scandinavian winter conditions provided the perfect setting for journalists to test Columbia’s latest collection of sportswear, outerwear, and footwear. It turned out to be a rewarding week of thorough gear testing, over numerous session of skiing in the Swedish wilderness, fat biking, natural ice skating and night walks on snow shoes.
The Adventure Travel World Summit 2014 in Ireland created a successful co-operation between the Swedish tourism organisation of Jämtland Härjedalen and Columbia Sportswear. During a week of adventure in March 2015, journalists representing the travel, ski and outdoor scene, arrived to Sweden to test Columbia’s new Fall 2015 collection in Scandinavian winter conditions.
The program was packed with a variety of activities; fat biking, skiing in wilderness areas, skating on natural ice, an immersion in local Sámi culture, enjoying local gastronomy, visiting Research & Development labs for outdoor equipment, snow shoe walking in deep forests and of course, taking part in Swedish after ski.
Representatives from media companies such as Outside Magazine, Freeskier, Backpacker, The Gear Caster, Gear Junkie, SKI Magazine, Gear Institute, Sidetracked Magazine, SBC Skier Magazine, The New York Times, Backcountry Magazine, Ski Canada, Elevation Outdoors and Men’s Journal were willing and eager participants of the trip.
Sweden, a destination with a vast array of outdoor experiences, long history of innovation in sports and outdoors, close relationship between culture and nature and culinary revelations of local artisans really impressed itself upon the visitors. The subtle balance between the activities amounted in abundant content for the journalists and of course, lasting memories.
Parallel with the media program, a photo shoot of the new collection took place with young trendsetting skiers and models from Columbia’s #Omniten brand ambassador program. Results can be seen in various Columbia marketing assets including retail signage, online imagery, and the Columbia blog in the piece #Testedtough in Sweden. The blog also covers pieces about the art of Swedish fika, Swedish candy, the Great Lake Monster, Gastronomy in Sweden, the Winter Sports Paradise of Jämtland Härjedalen, what to to in 48 hours in Stockholm etc.
Examples of media features from the trip:
Freeskier: Taking on the Swedish backcountry with the mobbin’ guides of Sport Maffian »
Sidetracked: Swedish Adventures – Winter Spring in Jämtland Härjedalen »
The Gear Caster: Just Right – Skiing in Sweden »
Gear Junkie: Swedish Steel: Blacksmith’s Utra-Custom Knives
Gear Institute: All in! Gear testing with Columbia in Sweden »
YouTube: #Testedtough in Sweden
Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism has since 2013 been a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, a membership that has resulted in countless invaluable connections and cooperative partnerships with partners from across the globe.
Jämtland Härjedalen Turism (JHT) ekonomisk förening bildades 1995 och är en samverkansplattform för utveckling av besöksnäringen i Jämtland Härjedalen. JHT företräder besöksnäringen i regionen i nationella och internationella sammanhang och samverkar med regionens destinationer och turismföretag, med företrädare för offentlig sektor, intresseorganisationer m fl. I föreningens styrelse finns företrädare för regionens besöksnäring samt representanter från Region Jämtland Härjedalen.