The ski and snowboard manufacturer K2 Sports has confirmed its plans to launch an expansive outerwear program. The company, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, will introduce a men's and women's winter sports outerwear program a year from now that will complement its current all-mountain, park, and backcountry focused hard goods offering.

K2 has signed a license agreement with W. L. Gore & Associates to collaborate on product development and to ensure premium performance throughout the outerwear collection. K2 will preview the collection with its dealer base spanning more than 60 countries beginning in late 2012.

In 2011 the company was heavily invested in recruiting a complete product creation team that fast-tracked the program to achieve its delivery goal for the 2013-14 season. Mark Valdez, who spent the past 20 years in sourcing, product development and production at Nike, has joined K2 as Apparel Director. David Peterson, a ski industry veteran who spent the last 16 years in merchandising at Eddie Bauer, has been named Category Merchandising Manager. Rounding out the team is Senior Outerwear Developer Diane Sheehan Egnatz, who brings eight years of experience developing technical outerwear in an athletically-focused environment.

“K2 is established as a global leader due to its unique and fearless attitude, athlete-driven mentality, and long-time commitment to building high-quality, innovative products,”said Anthony De Rocco, K2 Sports President and CEO.“K2 will stay true to form by introducing an outerwear line where our fun-loving attitude meets serious performance.”

Iconic athlete, artist, and filmmaker Eric Pollard, who has progressed the sport over the past decade by bringing his fluid park-style riding to the backcountry, has signed a long-term contract as K2 Outerwear's first flagship athlete. Pollard, who resides near Portland, Oregon, is heavily involved in the look, fit and function of K2's initial apparel collection.

“I'm excited to get the opportunity to help shape every aspect of the K2 outerwear program,” Pollard said.“Working through each stage of product development is key to creating something fresh. It is easily the most well-prepared release I have ever been a part of. When we finally introduce the line I will already have been working toward it for close to two years.”