CEO Jonathan Nielsen issued a response to the backcountry community stating, “We made a mistake. Backcountry has never been interested in owning the word “backcountry” or completely preventing anyone else from using it. But we clearly misjudged the impact of our actions.”
The response came days after a whirlwind of angry comments started flooding in on social media. Hashtags like #boycottbackcountry, #scrapethegoat, and #backcountryboycott are also being used widely across Twitter.
— Mikayla Moors (@mikaylasmores) November 5, 2019
The controversy sparked a massive boycott and garnered more than 16,000 followers for a Facebook group that was set up to draw attention to the lawsuits filed by Backcountry.com. The group description reads, “trademarking backcountry is like trademarking camping or mountains. No one should own or enforce the trademark to it. It belongs to the community and shall not be appropriated. They are abusing the standards of the outdoor community. ”
Nielsen also announced that they will be withdrawing the lawsuit filed against Marquette Backcountry. He states, “It’s important to note that we tried to resolve these trademark situations amicably and respectfully, and we only took legal action as a last resort. That said, we know we mishandled this, and we are withdrawing the Marquette Backcountry action.”
— BoycottBackcountry.com (@boycottbcdotcom) November 5, 2019
Backcountry Babes, a women’s group focused on offering avalanche safety courses and backcountry adventures across various destinations including Colorado, was also under fire for the use of the word “backcountry.”
Along with Nielsen’s response, a turquoise banner featured above the apology statement highlights a promotional offering allowing for 20% off one full-price item – a possible strategy to win back lost customers for the large online retailer, who sells a variety of outdoor gear including snow sports, hiking, camping, paddling, biking, climbing, trail running, fly fishing, rock climbing, and much more. Backcountry.com also operates four additional online specialty stores including Competitive Cyclist, MotoSport.com, Steep&Cheap, and Bergfreunde.de, which is based out of Germany.
What We Believe
We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More