High Sierra Sport Company, a manufacturer of innovative bags and adventure travel luggage, was honored by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and SnowSports Industries America (SIA) with the Doc DesRoches Award. The award is presented annually by SIA and the USSA to recognize a national team supplier that has done an outstanding job in marketing the team’s brands and athletes.
High Sierra, a team partner since 2001, provides luggage, ski and snowboard bags, hydration packs and backpacks to each of the USSA’s teams including the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. In an effort to extend the Team’s brand, High Sierra has included team branding on its hang tags for all products distributed worldwide – both in and outside of the USSA product lines.
“High Sierra has become a truly passionate partner in serving our athletes and our brands,” said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. “Our teams travel, literally, millions of miles a year and having a strong luggage partner like High Sierra is essential. But going beyond that, High Sierra has done an amazing job in creating global awareness for our brands by extending its promotion to its entire product line.”
The Chicago-area-based company has continually innovated its custom-designed products with feedback from athletes, then takes the product to market the next season for consumers through retail outlets nationwide and the Team’s online store, where it has one of the most extensive lines of any Team supplier. This past season High Sierra expanded to event partnership, participating in the interactive partner village at major USSA events. The company also integrated athletes into its marketing starting relationships with U.S. Ski Team downhiller Travis Ganong and U.S. Snowboarding SBX rider Faye Gulini.
“I am truly honored and excited that High Sierra has been selected to receive this award. Our experience has been that the USSA brands have increased the value and recognition of our product lines,” said Hank Bernbaum, president of High Sierra Sport Company. “It’s been a goal to infuse the look and the feel of the Teams in these bags. It’s great visibility for the High Sierra brand and we look forward to working with the Teams to get them to the slopes with their gear, so they can be ready to represent our country!”
High Sierra was honored at its tradeshow booth on opening day of the annual SIA Snow Show in Denver.
The award is named in honor of Doc DesRoches, a long time industry leader who helped form SIA and led it for two decades. During that tenure he was instrumental in development of the U.S. Ski Team’s fundraising efforts, including the formation of the New York Ski and Snowboard Ball.
“Doc was a brilliant marketer who used his passion to benefit the industry and U.S. Ski Team athletes,” said SIA President David Ingemie. “That’s the same passion that Hank Bernbaum and High Sierra have brought to the Team.”
SIA and the USSA have presented the award annually since 2004. High Sierra is the first supplier in its category to be honored.