PHOENIX å—America Online and GORP.com (Great Outdoor Recreation Pages) today announced a broad agreement that will have GORP.com providing online adventure travel content and programs.
Under the alliance, customized co-branded GORP.com sites will be available across America Online, Inc. brands, including AOL, CompuServe, Netscape.com and AOL Digital City. This expands GORP.com’s reach to more than 28 million AOL and CompuServe members and the tens of millions of additional visitors to AOL`s other Web-based brands to research adventure travel options and access all of the world`s top outfitters.
Speaking at the PhoCusWright Executive Conference Tuesday and Wednesday, 14-15 November, are Wendy Foster, vice president of strategic services for America Online, and William w. Greer, founder and chief operating officer for GORP.com
The co-branded GORP sites will offer the same c content now available on the GORP.com Web site, along with access to all of GORP`s adventure and active travel packages. In addition, GORP content and applications, such as Trail Finder, Park Finder, Event Finder and Trip Finder Tools, will be integrated and linked within AOL`s Parks & Camping and Adventure/Outdoors areas. The America Online brands also will feature GORP`s highly acclaimed Top Ten features, and Getting Started sections for outdoor activities.
“This alliance is a very gratifying acknowledgment of the value and quality of our content and presents an exciting growth opportunity for the adventure travel industry,” said Jon Guttenberg, GORP.com CEO. “We`re looking forward to expanding our reach to a broader audience and developing marketing initiatives with the power of the top interactive services company behind us.”
GORP travel packages will be accessible from the America Online brands and will provide users with access to all of the world`s top outfitters and the tools to research trips and vacation packages from among the 4,000 GORPtravel active and adventure travel, dude ranch and wilderness vacations.
“GORP.com has a wide selection of outdoor recreation packages, as well as great vacation planning tools, and I believe they will be a great addition to our travel offerings,” said Mayo Stuntz, chief operating officer of AOL Interactive Services. “More people make their travel plans online every day, and this agreement will make it easier and more convenient for AOL members and visitors to our other brands to research vacation options and access adventure outfitters.”
GORP is generally considered to be the largest and most trafficked Web site dedicated to outdoor recreation and adventure travel. With 200,000 pages of content, GORP offers a complete package of authoritative, award-winning content; a large, active community of outdoor enthusiasts; and a full-range of e-commerce offerings drawing nearly 14 million page views per month.
Early this year, GORP.com, picked up $16.3 million in a second round of financing and is providing content to a new outdoor recreation site launched by Yahoo!, one of the top destinations on the Web. Participating in that round of funding for GORP were American Express Financial Advisors and Paribas Affaires Industrielles (PAI), a private equity house in Europe. Previous investors Capstone Ventures, FD5 and Peppers and Rogers Group also participated.
In announcing the additional financing, Guttenberg said at the time that the funds would be used for an “aggressive growth strategy.”
Last April, GORP.com announced that it had hired two advertising agencies, Mad Dogs and Englishmen and i-traffic, a division of Agency.com, to implement its offline and online advertising campaign.