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Start Wax & Poles enages Endurance Enterprises and Q-Outdoor

Fri, Jul  15, 2011 - By Andrew Gerlach

Start Startex Oy logoLAHTI, FINLAND – July 2, 2011 – Startex Oy, owner of the Start wax and pole brands, is launching a two-pronged U.S. marketing, sales and fulfillment program. The company has engaged Endurance Enterprises Inc. (EEI), a marketing firm that specializes in promoting active lifestyle brands, to develop outreach and product education for ski enthusiasts and specialty retailers. For product importing and fulfillment to retailers across the U.S., Startex is partnering with Q-Outdoor, a leading distributor to the ski industry.

“We are excited about creating the perfect business solution for the vast U.S. ski market,” said Harri Aaltonen, export manager of Startex Oy. “This business model is as innovative as our product line. By teaming with these two excellent firms to run Start U.S., we get unmatched outreach and education along with cutting-edge order fulfillment.  Finally all those U.S. skiers and retailers begging for Start’s advanced products and waxing insights can get them.”

EEI has done brand work for numerous leading winter sports companies, including Salomon, Swix and Fischer, for more than 20 years. EEI also runs SkiPost, the nordic newsletter that reaches 30,000 skiers and most U.S. ski retailers weekly.  Led by Andrew Gerlach, the firm will act as brand builder, storyteller and sales manager for Start U.S.  “Many Europeans consider Start the most refined and complete Alpine and Nordic wax, and their pole line, although relatively new, is earning a similar reputation,” said Gerlach. “While it is the number-one wax in Finland and Russia—and number two in Sweden—it is essentially unavailable in much of the U.S. We are excited to be Start’s voice in the US. With the help of a select Start sales and tech force, and our unmatched fulfillment partner Q-Outdoor, we are ready to help all U.S. skiers enhance their winter enjoyment with Start’s innovative products and in-depth insights.”

Q-Outdoors logo“We jumped at the opportunity to work with EEI to build the Start business in the US.” said Jim Holst, Q-Outdoor product manager. “Dealers have been clamoring for a simple solution to getting and promoting this comprehensive line and now we have provided it.” Q-Outdoor, which is headquartered in Bloomington, MN, will be the exclusive importer and wholesale source for Start in the U.S.  Renowned for its logistical excellence, Q-Outdoor, a division of QBP, is able to fulfill all pre-season and restock orders for dealers, even on short notice. “We have a long history of supporting the Nordic market, and it is a logical step to increase our footprint in winter sports, “said Leigh Carter, Q-Outdoor brand manager. “As a proven distributor we can offer greater efficiencies to those markets, and additional dealer and consumer contact for our vendors.”

While some Start 11/12 pre-season orders were taken by Karhu N.America, those orders will now be serviced for fall delivery by Q-Outdoor.  Karhu N.America CEO Huub Valkenburg states “Startex is our footwear distributor in Finland, and are glad to have landed EEI and QBP to handle their Start brand here in the US. RP Active, the Midwest agency for Karhu and Craft will continue to represent Start while all orders will be fulfilled by QBP”.

For more information on the Start’s comprehensive and innovate Wax and Pole line and to still place your preseason order, contact Endurance Enterprises Inc, 406-585-2660  start@endurance-enterprises.com 

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