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Fox Sports To Broadcast Surfing Sport

by The Editors on February 12, 2019

Fox Sports today announced that they have signed a deal making them the exclusive U.S. television broadcaster for shows produced by a certain privately owned entertainment company specializing in event and online streamed content production (mostly surfing sport).

FOX Sports will telecast more than 500 hours of [surf event] programming, including live contests and highlight shows, across FOX, FS1, FS2 and the FOX Sports app in 2019.

This just might mean we’ll end up watching some of the surfing sport shows this season. Haven’t for quite some time. . . we’ll see. We were surprised to see no mention of the Oprah Winfrey Network? Maybe that deal isn’t done yet. For the official word from Fox (including all the details we’ve purposely ignored in light of our own sad, tired, anti-establishment proclivities), please click the link.

[Link: Fox Sports]

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Action Sports, Pecker & The Saudis

by The Editors on February 8, 2019


As if this whole TEN sale couldn’t get any stranger, a deeper dive into the backstory reveals a The New York Times story from March 2018 that hints at where the money used by American Media to purchase the TEN action sports properties (among other things) may have come from. . . Saudi Arabia.

The intersection of the tabloid publisher [David Pecker, pictured right with The Donald] with the Saudis, enhanced by the White House visit, is a previously untold chapter in the long, symbiotic relationship between the president and Mr. Pecker, which was forged in the 1990s. At the time, Mr. Trump was celebrating a real estate comeback after his casino bankruptcies and was both the subject and the source of much gossip in New York.

One action sports executive wonders if this all might be part of a plan to use actions sports as a way to improve the public’s perceptions of a county that, in addition to various human rights violations, has allegedly murdered at least one journalist:

Sports have been an increasingly viable way for despots to soften their image and market a national brand (Russia/Sochi; Qatar/World Cup; Saudi Arabia/PGA events). . .Doesn’t seem a crazy reach that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, et al. would have interest in creating action/participant sports events, promoting tourism, etc. And these would be cheap and effective markets for this purpose. . . It all does line up: money gets laundered, Pecker gets ass saved, Saudi’s get backdoor to Trump administration, and a bunch of cheap sports/travel media properties run influence campaigns.

Is this really why American Media had interest in a few small circ. action sporting brands? Click the link to read the rest of the story.

[Link: The New York Times]

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Bezos Accuses Pecker Of Dick Pic Blackmail

by The Editors on February 7, 2019

In a story posted on Medium today (February 7, 2019), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos claims that Surfer Magazine, Transworld Snowboarding, and Transworld Skateboarding’s new parent company American Media (through its tabloid The National Enquirer) has threatened to publish photos of Mr. Bezos’ penis “as well as nine other images” if Mr. Bezos didn’t call the Washington Post off its investigation of American Media CEO David Pecker’s relationship with Donald Trump, according to a story on the Huffington Post.

Here’s a little of what Mr. Bezos is claiming:

I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten. . . They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation.

Usually these stories that have nothing to do with skateboarding, snowboarding, or surfing would be well outside our “lane.” But last week’s sale brings it all home to our world. Think about it? This suggests that those left at what once was TEN are now in a not-so-roundabout way working for the Trump Administration, forcing action sports marketing people to ask themselves, “Do we really want to support Donald Trump by spending advertising and marketing dollars with American Media in light of all this?”

We can say this: if this is how American Media does business, then the people who had their jobs eliminated last week are the lucky ones.

February 8, 2019 Updates:

Jeff Bezos’ investigator suspects ‘a government agency’ intercepted Amazon CEO’s text messages
Could the National Enquirer—Bezos scandal end AMI’s federal plea deal?

[Link: The Huffington Post]

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Did American Media Just Buy TEN?

by The Editors on January 31, 2019

American Media, the parent corporation of Men’s Journal, Radar, US Weekly and more famously the National Enquirer (you know, the company run by Donald Trump’s friend David Pecker) is reportedly purchasing all the action sporting brands from TransWorld Skateboarding, SnowboardingSnowboarder, and Surfer Magazine’s parent company The Enthusiast Network. TEN employees were apparently informed today (January 31, 2019) during an all-hands meeting at TEN’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California. 

According to reports the new owners sent the staff of Transworld Snowboarding, Snowboarder, and Powder magazines home from the OR/Snow Show in Denver, Colorado as quickly as they’d arrived.

Things may not be looking all that bright for current TEN employees. As one media executive who is not involved with either company told us, “I would assume this is going to be brutal. American Media has tons of debt, so I doubt they’re going to invest in anything. They probably see synergies and cost-cutting as a quick way to shape up the bottom line.”

According to a post on Transworld Motocross’s website (which has since been taken down) the magazine has been shuttered. Here is the entire note from TWMX’s Donn Maeda:

I founded TransWorld Motocross in November of 2000. At the time, the motocross magazine marketplace was crowded and we were the eighth title joining in on the fun. It was an exciting time, paired with my good friend Garth Milan and teamed with Revolution Advertising – a freelance agency that laid out the magazine – we built the foundation for what would become the world’s best-selling motocross magazine within only a matter of months.

It’s hard to cover all the highlights that I’ve enjoyed over the past two decades… there have been too many. We’ve produced over a dozen great motocross movies, successfully launched the largest local race series on the west coast…heck we even had a one-year stint helping produce TransWorld Motocross Japan. Most of all, the memories I treasure most are of all the places I’ve visited and the friends I’ve made. Watching racers I’ve met as mini riders grow up, rise through the ranks, and go on to be champions, has been a privilege…

Today, our parent company was purchased by another media entity that sadly, has no interest in moving forward with TransWorld Motocross, in spite of our overall success and profitability. That said, our magazine, web site, and race series are on hold. I say hold, because the same group of dedicated editors and salesmen who have built this brand alongside me are still committed to creating the same great content. We are actively working on a plan to resume business as usual.
So, as cliché as it sounds, this is not a goodbye…it’s a see ya’ soon!

Stab Mag has some inside scoop from TEN’s Surfer Mag side that goes something like this:

All up, more than 50 percent of TEN’s staff was culled, which was reportedly part of the deal between TEN and AM. In other words, if TEN wanted to be bought by AM, they’d have to slash a significant number of employees first. . . Included in the termination was the renowned South African photojournalist, and the magazine’s longtime Photo Editor, Grant Ellis, who spent nearly two decades under the Surfer Mag banner, and worked through its most successful years, often putting out 200+ page mags each month through the mid-’00s.. . Writer Ben Waldron, sales manager Brent Reilly, and long-time publisher Tony Perez were also reportedly laid off from Surfer’s staff, along with dozens more employees from TEN’s other publications. . .“It was shocking,” said a source from the Carlsbad office. “It was like the whole building got the air sucked out of it.”

Anyone who thinks this shocking, doesn’t know the history at TEN. The brands involved have been through decades of interesting times not much different from today. Yes, it is hard on the employees who get cut, but it seems the brands will live to fight a few more battles before this whole action sports media thing is over.

Forbes had the following story up for a minute, took it down, and now it’s back up with all the quotes.

New owner. New people. New plans. Have a great weekend, ya’ll. Oh, and if you’d like to read the official press release from American Media about their purchase, please follow the jump.

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News From A While Back Today

by The Editors on January 29, 2019

Links? We got ’em. Not much more to say about it than that, right? Follow jump for a whole slew of links.

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Circe Wallace On The Business of Weed

by The Editors on January 29, 2019

Yeah, yeah, we know, weed is the new snowboarding. Over the years we’ve been prone to making repeatedly lame, cliched jokes about weed because, well, we’re not all that into artificially altered states in general.

There are, however, those who take the legalization of marijuana and the business surrounding it seriously. Action super agent Circe Wallace is one of these. And her Hot Nife line of cannabis products has put her right back in the spotlight where ever she goes.

Last weekend she was in Aspen for a cable TV stunt sporting extravaganza and the local paper interviewed her on her business and weed in general. If you’re interested in an intelligent discussion on the topic, please click the link to read the painfully titled High Country: Snowboarding legend Circe Wallace carves her way into cannabis. Get it? High and carving. . . 

[Link: Aspen Times]

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The Homes Brigade: Hawk & McGill

by The Editors on January 22, 2019

Tony Hawk and Mike McGill are together again to help flat-fee real estate company Home Bay move some units. Home Bay’s CEO couldn’t be happier, according to a story on Inman.com.

Home Bay CEO and chairman Ken Potashner says the ad has caused an “explosion” in interest from consumers excited to take advantage of Home Bay’s automated process and the subsequent savings that average a little over $15,000, according to the company, which presently operates in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Colorado.

Okay. Seems like a pretty good idea. And it’s always good to see skaters act (bummer Lance couldn’t make it). Not sure if Realtor’s will go extinct or not, but we’re pretty certain no one is going to miss them.

[Link: Inman.com]

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Burton Expanding Into Live Entertainment

by The Editors on January 17, 2019

Following on the heels of House of Vans and Apple’s “Town Squares” concept comes Burton Snowboards hopes to create an entertainment hub in a new space that has become available at its global headquarters in Burtonton, Vermont, according to a story in Seven Days Vermont.

Burton Snowboards wants to repurpose warehouse space at its global headquarters in Burlington for an entertainment hub anchored by an 8,000-square-foot concert venue. . . Justin Worthley, the company’s senior vice president of human resources, envisions food and beer options that would complement the band space and turn the South End campus into a destination for visitors.

Beer is always important. Lots and lots of beer. Because drunk people are the best. Sadly, Burton will first have to get the zoning changed, as music venues are only allowed on Burlington’s Pine Street and must be under 5,000 square feet. Party on, Burlington.

[Link: Seven Days VT]

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Chip Wilson Slides Back Into Winter

by The Editors on December 9, 2018

Billionaire Westbeach co-founder Chip Wilson (his other little start-up was Lululemon Athletica) has joined forces with Chinese sportswear giant Anta Sports Products Ltd and some others to purchase Finland based Amer Sport, owners of Salomon, AtomicArc’Teryx, Suunto, Mavic, Percor, and Wilson for $5.2 billion, according to a story on Bloomberg.

The consortium, which includes Chinese buyout firm FountainVest Partners, will offer shareholders of Finland’s Amer Sports Oyj 40 euros a share in cash, or about 4.6 billion euros. The deal is the largest struck by a Chinese acquirer for a European asset since China Investment Corp. agreed to buy Logicor Europe for almost $14 billion in June 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Guess Chip just couldn’t stay away from the snow any longer.

[Link: Bloomberg]

 

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Last Month’s News (or so) Today

by The Editors on November 30, 2018

We were planning on doing these super list news link updates on the weekly, but last month seemed a bit shorter and our slow typing fingers failed the task. Take this as a catch up on all the news that caught our eye lately. we’ll attempt to do better moving forward. . . or not. Follow the jump for all the stories. Happy Friday.

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