Columbia Sportswear will soon deliver one of its largest technology launches to date.
Today, the outdoor standout revealed Omni-Heat Infinity, a new insulation platform that the brand is calling “the next evolution in thermal-reflective warmth.” Columbia said the innovation will be featured in more than 80 items this fall, including boots, jackets and accessories.
The Omni-Heat Infinity lining material is executed in a bold gold metallic hue, featuring a pattern the brand said is “scientifically engineered to optimize warmth and breathability.” Breaking the tech down further, Columbia said Omni-Heat Infinity was inspired by the reflective technology used by NASA, and the pattern of gold metallic dots “reflect and retain natural body heat, delivering instant and lightweight warmth without compromising breathability or adding bulk.”
Speaking with FN last month, Columbia Sportswear Co. chairman, president and CEO Tim Boyle identified Omni-Heat Infinity as something that will move the needle for the back half of 2021. The exec told FN that the company will invest in building a buzz around Omni-Heat Infinity for the rest of the year.
“We’ve been efficient with the marketing spend historically, but we just haven’t spent enough. The athletic companies — which are based in our city of Portland, Ore. — would spend north of 10% [of sales] on their marketing,” Boyle said. “Columbia generally averages around half of that or less.”
He continued, “We’re going to be focusing our efforts — which are larger than they’ve been in the past — across the spectrum of home, TV, digital or whatever medium we’re using to get these messages out. They’re going to be focused on our Omni-Heat Infinity launch, which is the next generation of lining materials, and it’s quite distinctive. We have a full set of marketing materials that are going to be used across the globe to emphasize this new innovation.”
Columbia confirmed today via statement that a series of ads will soon debut, which will “reflect an entirely new take on the role that gold plays in the outdoors.” The spots will launch on Oct. 1 on broadcast, audio, out-of-home and print channels throughout the winter.
Also, the brand launched a national sweepstakes today via Columbia.com/gold, and one winner will get a lifetime supply of jackets.
Although the tech will be featured primarily in apparel, Columbia will also use Omni-Heat Infinity in footwear, starting with the women’s Keetley Shorty Omni-Heat boots, which were created to deliver on lightweight comfort and versatility.
The apparel drops for the season will include the wind- and rain-blocking and Titan Pass Double Wall Hybrid Jacket, the mountain-ready Aerial Ascender Jacket and the packable Labyrinth Loop Hooded Jacket. Columbia will also deliver hats and gloves for both men and women featuring the tech.
The Omni-Heat Infinity pieces will be sold via Columbia.com/gold and at select retailers.