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ROLLERBLADE BRINGS IN FAMILIAR CONSULTANT TO BOOST IMAGE
Published December 15, 1997
Former Rollerblade VP/Marketing Mary Horwath has rejoined the MN-based in-line skate manufacturer to oversee Rollerblade's "Blade Jam" music and in-line skating promo, a grass-roots promotion slated to tour six cities in '98, and other marketing initiatives, according to Bob Geiger of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Blade Jam rolls nationwide "during a key year for Rollerblade," which grew from $2M to more than $100M in annual revenues during Howarth's stint as VP/Marketing from '86-'93. Horwath is seeking co-sponsors for the Blade Jam tour, to be held in Austin, TX; Boston, Cleveland, Kansas City, San Francisco and Washington/ Baltimore. The company is also preparing the January roll- out of an "all terrain" in-line product called Coyote "in hopes of recapturing marketing attention and sales momentum." Rollerblade is "shifting its emphasis from 12- to-17-year-olds to the 18-to-24-year-old market that produced major sales" during Horwath's previous tenure, and the Coyote is "aimed squarely at that older cohort." AD TIME: Geiger also reports that Rollerblade's "decreased usage" of S.F.-based ad agency Goldberg Moser O'Neill signals its attempt "to hire small agencies to create its advertising." During '96, Rollerblade spent $4.026M in advertising, while January to September '97 saw ad spending at just $881,600 (STAR-TRIBUNE, 12/15).