The Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV), which is organizing the European Outdoor Forum (EOF) for the third time in the nice French town of Annecy on Oct. 16-17, has put its program online, pointing out that the delegates who want to attend will get an “early bird” discount if they book their attendance before Sept. 22.

One of the highlights of the convention will be a focus on two big emerging markets – Brazil and Russia – where the outdoor sector is relatively small, compared with those of China or South Korea, but growing rapidly. The Russian speaker will be Vlad Moroz, co-founder and co-owner of Redfox and a prominent member of the Russian Outdoor Group.

The Brazilian speaker chosen for the occasion is Marina Moretti Franco, whom we know very well. She is one of the organizers of the Adventure Sports Fair (ASF) in São Paulo, which has co-sponsored, along with Ispo, a report of 175 pages that we are releasing this week on the promising and complex Brazilian sporting goods market.

Ispo has co-sponsored this new market research report of ours as part of its preparations for the first of a series of matchmaking sessions, scheduled to be held in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on Nov. 20-23. Like the successful matchmaking sessions that it has been organizing in the framework of Ispo Beijing, it is intended to bring together foreign brands and potential local partners in Brazil.

Our report has a big chapter on the Brazilian outdoor market, where some brands such as The North Face are performing very well, and an exclusive survey of more than 1,000 consumers who attended the last edition of the ASF last April. Let us know whether you want to receive a copy of the Executive Summary of our Brazilian report, which we are offering at a relatively low price thanks to these sponsorships.

The EOF will also feature a lecture by George Schott, founder and vice president of sales & marketing for Injinji, on how to crack the U.S. market. We plan to run a feature soon on this fast-growing brand of toe-separated socks in The Compass.

Pascal Aymar, a French industry veteran and one of the top managers of OSV, will talk about the first master's degree program for business administration students wishing to specialize in the sporting goods and outdoor sectors. Conducted in English, it's starting out with a small group of about 15 students from various countries at the EM-Lyon Business School in Lyon later this month. It will continue in Annecy and Shanghai. Eugenio Di Maria, publisher of SGI Europe and The Compass, will be one of the lecturers.

Like last October, Di Maria will again run a retail panel at the convention, focusing this time on outdoor retailing in multi-sport stores. The participants in the panel belong to Intersport International, one of the two Sportland chains in Italy and the Swedish-based Stadium chain. Philippe Wargnier, a former top executive of France's Go Sport chain and founder of a big French online shoe shop, Spartoo, will discuss the future of e-tailing, especially the hybrid version that he is now developing in the eyewear sector.

Four of the speeches will deal with sustainability and product liability. Others will deal with outdoor demographics, location-based marketing and innovation. The EOF has pledged to offset all greenhouse gases related to its event by supporting a project by MyClimate to set up 7,500 small biogas energy generation plants in Nepal.

As usual, participants will have a chance to network between the sessions and during the lunch and dinner breaks. Ispo will again sponsor the dinner on the first day, where the featured speaker this time will be Rolf Schmid, chief executive of Mammut Sports Group and former president of the European Outdoor Group. Cocona will sponsor one of the luncheons. The other one will be sponsored by SGI Europe and The Compass. It will be called the Nordic SGI-Compass launch to celebrate our release of a very comprehensive report on the Nordic outdoor market, this one sponsored by the Scandinavian Outdoor Group.

Lycra Sport has agreed to be a Gold Sponsor of the EOF.

The OSV, which has been organizing the EOF since the beginning, declines for the moment to comment publicly on the new initiative by the European Outdoor Group (see our previous issue) to organize its own European Outdoor Summit, starting next year in Scandinavia. It is not happy, however. It notes that more than 230 people attended the EOF last October, and that the majority of them came from large and small companies in the outdoor sector from Europe, China and the U.S.