VF Outdoor's Eagle Creek gets new leader
VF Outdoor Inc. has hired Michael Millenacker as the new president of its Eagle Creek brand, which is based in Vista, Calif., according to the San Diego Business Journal
Effective Jan. 14, Millenacker succeeded Steve Barker, who will become a consultant with the brand.
Eagle Creek Inc. manufactures luggage, backpacks and packing aids. The company offers products for performance and everyday use.
The VF Corporation, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., is one of the largest apparel corporations in the world. The company is a leading producer of denim but also manufacturers and markets intimate apparel, outdoor apparel and gear, sportswear and specialty clothing through its vast brand portfolio.
An VF Corp.
brand has also hired a new vice president to handle marketing and merchandising effort
The new executive will work hand-in-hand with Millenacker, who our source said has a great eye and vision for the brand’s marketing strategy moving forward.
“We’re excited about him being at the helm and we feel it will be a very positive thing for our brand,” she said. “He understands the value and sees the benefit in devoting time and energy towards marketing efforts, which is great for presidents that understand that.”
Eagle Creek primarily focuses on earned media, which is how the marketing strategy is honed. This includes a lot of public relations work, and the company also advertises in outdoor-centric publications as well as mainstream publications to get the word out about its product.
“Social media is a huge initiative for 2010, we definitely see the value in it, and the fact that travelers are by nature very social beings, it lends itself to these types of communities as well,” she said.
Through social media marketing, Eagle Creek hopes to further convey information and answer questions about products. The initial jump into social media is a very “natural thing” considering Eagle Creek’s target market.
“I think we really plan on building on our core so we’re really reaching what we call the active traveler or the adventure traveler – it’s a huge segment,” she said. “We want to continue to focus on that core and build upon the success we’ve had with this audience.”
The emerging consumer trend is the 20-something traveler our source dubbed an “eco-boomer” who tends to postpone conventional jobs and responsibilities in order to travel. The representative said that the Eagle Creek products cater specifically to these types of consumers.
“We’re engaging that consumer as a big focus, and meeting their travel needs,” she said. “We want to make sure our products cater to them, so that’s how we see ourselves expanding into ‘new markets.’”
Though Eagle Creek isn’t working with any external firms, our source said that the brand has contracted agencies in the past, and wouldn’t be opposed to doing so in the future.
“Right now, we have chosen to bring our team internally at this time,” she said. “We feel like (strategic partnerships are) a very important piece to our marketing efforts. We always look for great fits in cross-promotional activities.”
According to The Nielsen Company, Eagle Creek spent about $50,000 on advertising in 2008. About $30,000 was spent on national magazine ads, about $13,000 was spent on Internet ads and about $8,000 was spent on local newspaper ads.
DailyVista’s source said that Eagle Creek isn’t necessarily solely interested in hearing from outdoor brands, but rather any businesses that are travel-focused. She gave the example of Nikon, and added that Eagle Creek is interested in partnering with companies that speak to the heart of the traveler. Our source said that the best person to speak with about partnerships is Stasia Raines, head of public relations.
Eagle Creek, Inc.
3055 Enterprise Court
Vista, CA 92081
(760) 599-6500 / x. 3001