About Us//

This is where it all began. This is where Bill met Phil. Where Gert pushed Tim. Where Wieden partnered with Kennedy. What Hollywood is to the movie industry, Portland is to the athletic and outdoor industry.

The best brands in the category live here, with more relocating here all the time. Having this much talent concentrated in one region raises the bar for everyone. There has always been a spirit of friendly competition in this industry along with the humanity to collaborate when it helps everyone.

The City of Portland and the Portland Development Commission are working with the industry on programs and initiatives that support, encourage, and further the success of Oregon’s 800 A&O firms and the 14,000 people who work for them. These entities are as passionate about growing Oregon’s Athletic & Outdoor Industry (A&O) through collaboration, education and innovation as the brands they help support.


A series of peer-to-peer sessions with a select group of small to medium sized firms takes place on a bi-monthly basis. The sessions aim to help business owners learn from each other and focus on topics that are relevant to growing companies, such as social media, human resources and finance/accounting.

Supporting entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized companies is a top priority of the city’s A&O work. Our peer-to-peer sessions bring together CEOs of growing companies to share experiences and learn best practices from one another, as well as from experts in accounting, finance, social media, and other relevant areas. Each facilitated session focuses on a topic that the group selects and deems important to growing an A&O business. Peer-to-Peer is one of our most exciting and impactful programs.

The 2015 Peer to Peer class includes:

  • Bridge and Burn
  • Flipside Hats
  • Sweet Spot Skirts
  • Portland Design Works
  • Orox Leather
  • Make It Good/ Nell & Mary
  • Athlete’s Lounge
  • Bebee Company
  • Baseballism

Examples of previous sessions:

  • Choosing a Board of Advisers w/ Sean Beers
  • Financial Management and Accounting Best Practices w/ Tim Gillette
  • Effective Sales Management Techniques for Emerging Brands w/ Brian Chaney

Apply for 2015 Peer to Peer program!


Sustainability also serves as common ground and fosters industry cooperation, evidenced by the recently developed Outdoor Industry Association Eco Index.

The index offers companies a way to benchmark their environmental footprint throughout the supply chain, informing sourcing and product improvement decisions. Portland companies are at the forefront of implementation of the Eco Index (now known as the Higg Index). In 2011, five local companies- Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, KEEN, Icebreaker, and Korkers- participated in a phase one implementation program. The initiative was supported through a matching grant from the OIA and PDC. A phase two program is in development.