Wall Street

So That’s Where Doug Palladini Went

by The Editors on January 30, 2023

Ever since Doug Palladini disappeared mysteriously and suddenly as Vans global brand president on March 17, 2022, we’ve had a nagging sense of “wonder what happened to Doug?” And not being close to Doug it was not a story we pursued with anything nearing tenacity. We’d ask here and there, some would make hints, but no one seemed to have the details, or was willing to share them with us.

Well, last month, on December 28, 2022 Doug shared his story with his Instagram followers. It goes something like this:

On December 28, 2021, I went to see the cardiologist with a strange “twinge” in my left shoulder. Two hours later, I was in the cardiac ICU and two days later I was recovering from quadruple bypass open heart surgery. Today, exactly one year later, as I watch the sun come up over the Sierra’s, I am overcome with gratitude: gratitude to still be here, gratitude for the doctors and nurses who literally saved my life, and gratitude for all of the friends and family who got me through a very difficult recovery. Because of your love and support I am today the healthiest I have been in 20 years, because without health, nothing else matters.

Great news. According to his most recent Insta post, Doug is now an adjunct professor at San Diego State University (his alma mater) teaching, no surprise, brand marketing and communications. As so many have pointed out, those seniors are lucky to tap into a wealth of in-the-trenches wisdom from someone who has done it all and done it well. Seriously.

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Apple Watch Gets Into Surfing

by The Editors on January 27, 2023

A certain privately owned entertainment company specializing in event and online streamed content production (mostly surfing sport) has just announced a deal with Apple Computers that will see their event participants wear Apple Watches while out in the water.

The specially-developed app on Apple Watch syncs with the scoring system in real time. This provides athletes in competition with the information they need including scores, wave priority, and time in the heat directly to their wrist. Apple Watch is uniquely suited for this task due to its large bright screen, durable design, and cellular connectivity.

Surfers will have their choice of the Apple Watch 8 or Apple Watch Ultra while surfing their heat. Not the worst move this entertainment company has made in the past.

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Alterra Gobbles Up SoCal’s Snow Valley

by The Editors on January 20, 2023

It is sad to see them go. It really is. Snow Valley, one of California’s last independent snow resorts (a quiet, fun place where neither super mega pass was accepted) has been devoured by the Alterra Mountain Company, according to a press release from the Denver, Colorado based mega resort corp.

“Snow Valley Mountain Resort has been a treasured destination since 1924 and together we will continue its incredible legacy,” said Kevin Somes, Vice President and General Manager of Snow Valley Mountain Resort. “By becoming a member of the Alterra Mountain Company family of destinations, Snow Valley will continue to deliver exceptional guest experiences to ski and snow enthusiasts in Southern California and beyond.”

Sadly, it will also limit the ability of Southern California snowboarders to ride a mountain without handing over all their shred money to the Alterra Mountain Company a year in advance in the form of a super-mega pass. If business goes a usual, Alterra will raise the prices at Snow Valley so high that only super-mega pass holders will be able to afford a visit. Resort consolidation is bad for everyone. Snow Valley, we will miss you. But, we guess somebody’s gonna have to jump. For the official word from Alterra, please click to continue.

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The Corpse Of Action Media Sold Yet Again

by The Editors on December 14, 2022

Honestly, we haven’t been paying much attention to the action sports media space lately, because there really aren’t any action sports media in the space (yeah, props to Thrasher, always). But, someone sent us a link to Emerald’s Shopping Blog and a story about A360 selling the old TransWorld Media and Surfer Publications titles (along with Men’s Journal) to The Arena Group, the current owners of Sports Illustrated, The Street, and Parade for close to $29 million dollars. The purchase includes the brands Skateboarding, Skateboarder, Snowboarder, Surfer, Powder, and Bike.

“For years, consumers have trusted Men’s Journal for exclusive lifestyle content and guidance on travel, gear, the outdoors, style, food & drink and more,” said Ross Levinsohn, chairman and CEO of The Arena Group. “Additionally, the titles within the Adventure Network have long stood for excellence with passionate enthusiasts within the Ski, Surf, Biking and Skateboarding communities. There are natural synergies between these brands and our existing audiences we can leverage and enhance through integration, distribution and our playbook, driving incremental value, growth and profitability. This strategic investment underscores our commitment to diversifying and devoting resources to opportunities where we see the most value across The Arena Group.”

As we all know, online media sites aren’t exactly killing it these days, but apparently The Arena Group (Where The Action Is™) knows some secret to getting paid. But as one industry insider told us, “Honestly, this seems like more bad media consolidation. Just stacking lots of money-losing things together rarely results in making money. They seem like they’re just building towards an acquisition by Hatchette or Condé Nast or someone bigger.” It doesn’t look like this insider is alone. Arena’s stock dropped 11 percent on today’s news. (Or was it that half percent rate hike.) You be the judge. For the official word from The Arena Group please follow the jump.

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Hawaiian Tropic Founder’s Mansion For Sale

by The Editors on December 12, 2022

The estate of Hawaiian Tropic tanning products founder Ron Rice (who died in May 2022 at age 81) is selling his home on the beach in Ormond Beach, according to a story on Entrepaneur.com. It features 12,414 square feet of 80s splendor on a one acre lot. They’re asking $5.9 million, or about what you’d pay for a two bedroom, one bath home on the beach near us. Here’s how it’s pitched:

Situated on a highly desirable stretch of Ormond Beachside along with other multi-million-dollar residences, the home sits high on the no-drive beach making it your private oasis. Expansive outdoor decking links 3 pools — one of which is both indoor and connected — to the extravagant main house where ocean views abound. In the great room, floor-to-ceiling windows provide unobstructed Atlantic vistas; of the 4 total bedrooms, 2 are opulent direct-oceanfront owners’ suites with their own private views; even the kitchen with its… its wrap-around breakfast bar offers its own vantage of surf and sun.

For a deeper dive into Ron’s personal life, you must click through to all the photos because it really is crazy. That’s all we’re going to say.

[Link: Entrepreneur.com]

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Mt. High Owners Buy California’s China Peak

by The Editors on December 12, 2022

The consolidation of California’s smaller ski resorts moved forward today as Invision Capital, owners of Mountain High and Dodge Ridge, announced that they had purchased the Fresno adjacent China Peak from long time owner Tim Cohee.

“As of Friday I have completed the sale of China Peak Mountain Resort to Private Equity firm, Invision Capital, based in Chicago,” said Cohee. “I have agreed to remain General Manager for the foreseeable future. We weren’t anxious sellers but Karl and Invision were very interested in having a resort group that covers most of California’s market geographically.”

We’re big fans of resorts that are not part of the “super mega pass” industrial complex so we’re not sure if this is good news exactly. Bundling smaller resorts into larger bites makes it easier for the big guys to hoover them up, but until then this is a great little group of California resorts to spend some time with. For all the official details please follow the jump.

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Kanoa Igarashi Goes Suntory Time

by The Editors on November 29, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi is Southern California’s favorite local surfer with a Japanese passport so we shouldn’t be surprised to find him moonlighting as the face of Delta Airlines advertising in Nippon. But they’re not using ripping hot surf action of Mr. Igarashi. Nope. They’ve got a photo of him sitting on a plane and grimacing in pain just like every other poor sap suffering through a 12 hour flight from Detroit to Chubu.

As Japan eased travel restrictions in October and leisure travel demand from the Chubu region is expected to increase, Delta kicked off the campaign at the Chubu International Airport, with the support of the airport authority, hanging large-sized banners from the ceiling of the lobby. Delta launched additional OOHs at Kanayama Station and at Meitetsu Nagoya Station.

There he is. Just sitting. Will anyone who doesn’t surf even know who he is?

[Link: Branding in Asia]

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ESPN Dumps the X Games On a Billionaire

by The Editors on October 26, 2022

After decades of spending money on their action sporting franchise, ESPN has finally found an exit to the X Games by selling “a majority interest” in the brand to a private equity firm called MSP Sports Capital (owners of McLaren Racing and more.)

“We are bringing our deep-rooted sports expertise to continue the progression and excitement around athletes, competition, fans, and X Games partners,” said Jahm Najafi, Founder and Chairman, MSP Sports Capital, and Founder and CEO, The Najafi Companies.

MSP founder Jahm Najafi, a billionaire who (aside from owning a large piece of the Phoenix Suns basketball team and entertainment company STX Entertainment,) also has investment dealings through Najafi Companies with Shaun Neff. Remember his first brand Neff Headwear?

We’ve never understood the calculus behind PE/VCs interest in action sports. Rarely have the numbers worked for anyone (Jamie Salter is an obvious exception), yet the “sexiness” of boardsports seems to keep the money managers flocking like vultures. They’ve enlisted Tony Hawk as “a brand steward,” and that’s not a bad first move. But the only real synergy the X Games brand ever had was ESPN’s somewhat aging TV/Internet distribution system, so it will be interesting to see what MSP does with the brand outside of that. Najafi is obviously a business genius, so this should be good.

For the official word from MSP, please follow the jump.

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Rough Around The Edges: The Ride Story

by The Editors on October 20, 2022

Nothing makes us feel older than a 30 year retrospective of pretty much anything. In this case it’s Ride Snowboards. For their new docco Rough Around The Edges they put a who’s who list of OG shreds from the 90s into a Corbusier and let them run. Every single somebody from the era is represented. Can’t wait to see the entire thing. 

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Annoyed Lenders Can Sue Boardriders

by The Editors on October 19, 2022

Lenders have been given the legal go-ahead to sue Quiksilver and Billabong’s parent company Boardriders after the lenders accused the company of “unfairly” benefitting from a rescue financing deal back in 2020, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

A New York judge said Tuesday (October 18, 2022) that loan funds managed by Intermediate Capital Group PLC and other investment firms can move ahead with claims against Boardriders Inc. and another group of lenders over a 2020 debt transaction that provided $110 million in capital to the company.

The lenders seem to be bothered because they believe Boardriders got a better piece of the $110 million than they should have. Apparently, they posit that more of said money should have gone to paying them back. We’d read the rest of the story, but we don’t have access to WSJ Pro. If you do, let us know what it all means.

[Link: WSJ Pro]

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