Remember this Lily video? It was a drone that magically followed you wherever you went and shot epic follow cam footage without anyone at the controls. Yeah, we do, too. And when we first saw it we thought it was a bit of a dream product — great in the promo video, but never something that would actually work. In fact, we never even posted anything about it.
Apparently, many others believed the hype and threw down big money on pre-orders. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well during production of the drone and the company has now closed up shop and is trying to return money to those who pre-ordered. Meanwhile, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office has filed a civil consumer protection suit “alleging the company had intentionally lied to potential customers with its launch video” according to as story in Forbes.
An interesting side note is that legendary snowboard filmer Brad Kremer has been sucked into the story as he was the recipient of emails that are being used as evidence in the case against Lily.
In an email cited by the lawsuit, Lily CEO Balaresque wrote to Brad Kremer, a video producer who specialized in snowboarding shoots, that shots from the Lily Drone will be using a “Gopro mounted to a Lily prototype. . . . However, we do not feel comfortable telling people that we shot [view from Lily] scenes with a Gopro (because the whole thesis of our product is that you do not need a Gopro),” he continued. “Can you modify a Gopro image in post-processing so that people cannot tell that it was taken from a Gopro…”
According to the story, Kremer declined to discuss the case with Forbes.
As if Oakley’s corporate parent Luxottica couldn’t get any larger, the company today announced that it has merged with French optics giant Essilor in a deal reportedly worth $49 billion, according to a story in the Orange County Business Journal.
The $49 billion deal, expected to close in the second half of the year, will create “EssilorLuxottica,” with total revenue of about $16 billion and more than 140,000 employees. Luxottica’s Executive Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio will serve as executive chairman and chief executive, while Essilor Chairman and Chief Executive Hubert Sagnières will be appointed executive vice-chairman and deputy chief executive of the new entity.
Thanks to the new deal, Oakley is now siblings with Foster Grantas well as nearly every other eyewear brand and retail outlet on the planet. Guess they’ve got the entire spectrum covered now.
The CEO of a privately owned entertainment company specializing in event and online streamed content production (mostly surfing sport) announced yesterday (Wednesday, January 11, 2017) that he is leaving the company that he helped create.
“It has always been my intention to pass the baton to someone at the right time to lead the next phase of what we have all created,” he said. “I believe that time is now. With the acquisition of the Kelly Slater Wave Company, we are at a remarkable inflection point in the League’s history and we are ready for a new leader who can guide the organization to even greater accomplishments.”
We did not have high hopes for the organization when it began, however, it has done an amazing job of packaging and presenting pro surfing to the global audience. We still believe the global audience which they are selling sponsorship against is much smaller than their business (and their high production values) can viably support, but they have survived for five years and likely will keep going as long as their current interim CEO wants to.
As we have mentioned before, this CEO appears to have a knack for leaving companies just before they implode. This could be because he’s such a great leader that the companies are unable to survive without him, or maybe it’s a sixth sense for getting out just in time. Either way, it will be sad to see him go — especially for those who enjoyed making fun of him.
For the official exit message from the CEO, please follow the jump.
The dream of the perfect artificial wave is turning into a nightmare for Coors brewing heir Doug Coors and his crew at Autin, Texas’ NLand Surfpark.
After clearing numerous legal hurdles regarding dunking people into a pond of standing water, the Wave Garden park opened on October 7, 2016 only to close three weeks later after they were forced to drain the pool to make repairs (flooding local streets in the process), according to a story on KXAN. The park hasn’t been open since.
“While this is disappointing for us all, we turn our focus to 2017 and the exciting plans we have in store. One hint: hops,” founder Doug Coors, whose relatives started Colorado-based Coors Brewing Company, said. In an email to KXAN, a spokesperson confirmed there will be a brewery on site sometime in 2017.
Ah yes, beer — the international problem solver. Sounds like an NLand Brewery might have been a better idea than a surf park. If there’s one thing everyone loves it’s beer. Wave pool surfing in brown water? Not so much.
Transworld Snowboarding, Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder etc.’s parent company Ten: The Enthusiast Network has just hired Micah Abrams (handsome man on the right) as the company’s Group Content Director. That’s a good sign, right? We’re always happy when media companies invest in editorially minded content people.
“Micah is an important senior addition to our team as we continue to evolve and expand our content offerings across multiple channels of distribution,” said Norb Garrett, Executive Vice President and General Manager of TEN’s Sports and Entertainment Group. “His experience in the digital space coupled with his deep knowledge of the action/outdoor world enables him to have an immediate impact on how we maximize our content strategies and grow our audiences.”
Micah isn’t exactly new to this media family. He was editor of Transworld’s freeskiing magazine Freeze, until its demise in November of 2004. Most recently he was editorial director at Fatherly, a mommy blog for daddies, and he’s written the script for Warren Miller’s ski movies for over a decade (we never held that against him). For the official word from TEN, please follow the jump.
The guys in the suits (SurfStitch’s new CEO Mike Sonand and chairman Sam Weiss) are running Australian retailer Surfstitch and they’re cleaning up the board of directors including kicking off executive directors (and company founders) Lex Pedersen and Justin Stone, according to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald.
None of the board members who signed off on last year’s acquisition binge, which has since been written off, survived the blood-letting announced on Tuesday by new chairman Sam Weiss. . . To help make up the numbers, Weiss has had to collar Quiksilver veteran Harry Hodge, who joins the board this week. . . Surfstitch’s new boss Michael Sonand scored the remaining board seat.
Will be interesting to see if these changes make any kind of difference when it comes to the company’s performance.
What has Troy Eckart been up to since peacing out from Volcom after the big sale? It appears that he’s been doing what a lot of people with the time to do what they want do — he’s been flexing around on padded mats striking poses. So much time, in fact, that he decided he needed some clothes to wear “in his practice.” That is apparently why he and Derek Sabori founded a new yoga clothing company for men called Kozm, according to a story on Observer.com.
“When I decided to shop around, on a search for products that might be better suited for my practice, I realized I didn’t personally connect with much; from aesthetic to business ethics. I kept looking and came up short. That’s what really sparked the idea to do something on my own,” he [Eckart] told the Observer.
Seems like reason enough, right? Can’t keep Eckart and Sabori out of the garment game for long.
‘Tis the season for consolidation and with K2 and Ride Snowboards for sale it’s no wonder that other brands aren’t doing the same. We’d all heard about it awhile ago, but it’s official now: the Swiss snowboard originators at Nidecker have picked up Flow Snowboards.
“NIDECKER’s roots run deep with Flow as NIDECKER and FLOW did a cross license agreement for the use of a certain Technology that contributed to the “Speed Entry Bindings” revolution for which FLOW has become the world leader of, ” says Henry Nidecker, CEO of the Nidecker Group. “This acquisition is very complementary to our existing brands and will help drive revenue and other core initiatives in the coming years helping the NIDECKER GROUP reach a new level of competitiveness in the global market.”
Flow joins Jones Snowboards, Yes Snowboards, and Now Bindings in the Nidecker family. Handshakes and shakas all around. For the official word from Nidecker, please follow the jump.
Dave Lee and the crew at Signal Snowboards have figured out a way to let people pay for a snowboard in monthly installments (you know, just like the iPhone Upgrade Program) in what what Lee is calling “the world’s first snowboard subscription.”
“We love snowboarding and want to see the sport continue to grow and flourish with the changing retail landscape. We have created a direct online platform that allows snowboarders — both new and old — to easily buy a quality USA-made snowboard for the cost of a dinner out or a few beers a month,” said Signal Founder Dave Lee. “It also gives subscribers a direct line to us and our brand. We want them to feel totally taken care of. In addition to providing the best boards at the best price, we are building an online community of snowboarders.”
Which is a great way of saying, ride now, pay later. Sounds pretty good, huh? Click the link for all the details.
The developers of NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas aren’t going to let the financial deaths of roller skating rinks, pay-to-skate skateboard parks, nor indoor ski domes slow down their plans to get the hordes on board with the grand opening of what they are calling the “America’s first surf park,” on October 7, 2016.
“This is an historic moment for surfers around the globe as our second Wavegarden facility is launched. Together, we have scaled this project to a level never before seen,” Wavegarden CEO Josema Odriozola said. “The NLand Training Center is a state-of-the-art surf school with a talented staff of surf coaches from around the world who offer accelerated training for surfers of all levels.”
For now they’ve gotten around a series of ordinances regarding water quality and filtering (according to a story in the Houston Chronicle) and all they have to do is get people to come surf. That may be the tough part because like it or not surfing is hard. Luckily, the park was built by Coors brewing heir Doug Coors.
Current rates to surf the “reef” waves are one hour for $90. Pretty cheap when compared to a trip to Tavarua. Mabye Mr. Coors has something here. Wonder what the “birthday party” package costs? It’s gotta be better than a trampline park, right? For the official word from Nland Surf, follow the jump. [click to continue…]