One Way sets U.S. Base Camp in Park City
February 3, 2012
The Finland-based Nordic ski company, One Way Sport, is setting up shop in America. The company moved to Park City in October in hopes to expand the brand stateside and is currently trying to find retailers, which means by next winter One Way could be offering a gamut of Nordic gear in U.S. stores.
Robert Lazzaroni is the director of the first U.S. branch for One Way, and has a long history with the sport. As a former national cross country skier for France with more than 20 years of experience on the retail side of the business, Lazzaroni said he was ready for a new challenge, growing One Way.
"This is a growing community, the Nordic sport community," Lazzaroni said. "There’s a spirit to it, and it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, old or young, it is something that people are just happy to be a part of, to do."
Lazzaroni first developed a passion for cross country as a child, when the 1968 Olympics came to his small hometown in France, Autrans. Since then, he has carved a special place for it in his heart. He moved to Park City a few years ago, getting involved in the community by teaching his children the sport and participating with the Park City Nordic Ski Club.
One Way Sport is trying to join the big leagues with other top-selling American companies, more than doubling its product line in the U.S.
"We will be doing all the sales and marketing, product development. For year one in the U.S. we are going to be offering a lot, the full line of cross country skis, boots, bindings, poles, accessories everything."
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The 7-year-old Nordic sport company already has a strong following of athletes using their top-rated ski poles, but next year One Way wants to offer a lot more to customers.
And along with more gear, One Way is aiming to attract new people to the sport.
He hopes to pull in a younger group to the sport, an idea he said the brand lends itself perfectly to.
"This brand is fresh, colorful," Lazzaroni said. "It’s all brand new and it’s exciting. That’s what I want to show people, to pull new people into the sport."
"It’s a traditional sport, but we want to create something exciting for the skier who hasn’t found Nordic sports interesting till now."
Lazzaroni is busy talking to retailers, selling first season One Way products. One Way Nordic skis and boots are launching worldwide for the company for the 2012-13 ski season and will include the U.S. in its launch, Lazzaroni said. One Way is also selling summer training skates and soft goods ranging from winter coats to fitted t-shirts.
The challenge ahead of Lazzaroni is growing One Way’s image in the U.S. from a company know for its poles to a company that can offer anything and everything in the Nordic world.
"You can be three years old or 90 years old," Lazzaroni said. "Anyone can do cross country."
"It can be very athletic from the racing side of the sport, or just a relaxing thing to do with friends," he added.
For now, retailers are testing the products that will end up in stores for the next ski season.
"We’re awaiting orders right now," Lazzaroni said, "but people have been expecting this move. We want to create a new birth of participation in the sport and it’s something I believe this brand can do."