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News: Last Month This Week

by The Editors on November 14, 2019

Call it a beacon of laziness, or a blinding neon sign of boredom, but we’re still at it. Putting up a list of headlines for stories we might have read over the past who knows how many days.

It takes us back to when we were just starting out. Each week we built an HTML page of links with a bit of commentary. Then the commentary took over, and now, it looks like we’re back to just blasting out an occasional list of links for you to chew through all by your lonesome. Just the ebbs and flows of action sporting news dissemination. Enjoy.

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RIP: Columbia Sportswear’s Ma Boyle

by The Editors on November 3, 2019

We are saddened learn that Columbia Sportswear’s guiding force of nature Gert Boyle died today (Sunday morning, November 3, 2019), according to a story in the Oregonian. She was 95.

Boyle’s dedicated work with product and more importantly her full embrace of quality advertising and willingness to be the face of her company inspired thousands.

A resilient, demanding, charismatic woman in what was long an outdoorsman’s world, Boyle ran Columbia Sportswear from 1970 to 1988, firmly establishing the company’s brand. . . Before her son, Tim, took charge as president and CEO, Gert inspired the 1984 ad campaign, “One Tough Mother,” a catch phrase that also graces her 2005 autobiography.

Seeing her at the old SIA Shows will remain one of the highlights of our time on the show floor. Our thoughts are with the entire Boyle family. 

[Link: The Oregonian]

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Jeff Galbraith: The Flylow Profile

by The Editors on October 31, 2019

Leave it to the skiers to properly appreciate the work of a snowboarder. In Flylow’s most recent video profile we get the best, most succinct explanation of the Snowboard Journal, Funny Feelings LLC, and its co-founder Jeff Galbraith that we’ve seen yet.

As the founder and publisher of three print titles, based in Bellingham, Washington, Galbraith has provided endless pages of high-quality content, including top storytelling and world-class imagery, during an era when everyone else has said that print is dead. He’s out to prove them all wrong. All three magazines celebrate the rich history and culture of their respective sports, as well as look to the future.

Anarchy indeed.

[Link: Flylow]

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Hurley Stumbles Deeper Into Zombie Horde

by The Editors on October 29, 2019

After 17 years with their pinkie toe dipped into the surf industry wading pool, Nike has finally jettisoned Hurley out into zombie brand land by selling it to Bluestar Alliance for an undisclosed sum on October 29, 2019. Bluestar, owners of other zombie labels like bebe, Brookstone, and yak pak, seem very excited about the licensing opportunities ahead.

“We have always admired the Hurley brand as it has maintained its leadership role and premium positioning in the surf world,” stated Joey Gabbay, CEO of Bluestar Alliance. “This is a transformative acquisition for Bluestar as Hurley’s international footprint will enhance Bluestar’s reach around the world. We look forward to building upon the existing Hurley network and expanding to additional countries with the deep relationships that already exist within the Bluestar portfolio of brands. We see Hurley continuing to evolve into a 360-degree lifestyle brand, with action sports playing a key role.”

We see this as one more reason to never, ever, name your startup after yourself (not saying that fellow OCers Paul Frank, Shawn Stussy, and Mossimo aren’t great Zombie company for Bob and the boys). For the official word from Bluestar Alliance, please follow the jump.

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Academy Welcomes Back Kennedy

by The Editors on October 14, 2019

Academy Snowboards is “absolutely stoked” to announce the return of former sales manager Kyle Kennedy to the brand.

After a sojourn through the dying side of the winter sports industry that included stops at Snowboarder Magazine, Kids KNOW Distribution, Snowboard Magazine, and the SnowSports Industries of America, Mr.Kennedy is back to making sure the Auburn, California snowboard company’s distribution is “on point” and that sales are on the up. What a crazy round-trip tour that has been.

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News For The Week Ahead

by The Editors on October 14, 2019

Here is the sometimes weekly list of stories that showed up in our feed. For a quick scroll, please follow the jump.

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Vans Steps Into Hong Kong Quagmire

by The Editors on October 8, 2019

The downside of holding an open design competition is that someday, someone is going to design something that someone else has a problem with. Well, Vans experienced that this week, according to a story on CNN. The someone is “a Canada-based user named Naomiso” and the someone else with a problem just might be the People’s Republic of China. Vans reportedly pulled the design (along with others) from their Custom Culture design competition on Saturday, October 5, 2019 saying in a facebook post: 

“As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition,” the statement said, without referring specifically to the protest-themed design.

The shoe, shown above, features “a red bauhinia, the flower on Hong Kong’s flag, and one of the yellow umbrellas synonymous with the city’s 2014 pro-democracy protests.” The designer was told the submission was pulled for the following reason:

“Not allowed: Trademarked or copyrighted material, business or brand logos, images of celebrities, professional team logos or mascots, nudity, images of weapons/violence, images referencing drugs, alcohol or smoking, offensive contest, obscenity or hate.”

Obviously, there are a few people upset by the shoe’s removal, and now a #boycottvans movement has apparently started. According to CNN, one Hong Kong shoe retailer has closed three of their stores because of “the controversy created by the contest.” Rough going for a contest about creativity and expression. For the rest of the story, please click the link.

[Link: CNN]

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SIA Lets Pretty Much Anyone Join

by The Editors on October 7, 2019

In his October letter to what’s left of the Snowsports Industries of America, President Nick Sargent announced that the SIA is now opening membership to “include retailers, reps and resorts,” because, well, what else can the organization do to increase revenue?

With our mission to “help the industry thrive, “ we believe that it is imperative to truly speak to the entire industry so that together, we can find common areas of alignment within our key initiatives: climate advocacy, participation, research, education, and B-to-B events to drive the entire industry forward. We are excited about this new, more collaborative direction for SIA. 

Hopefully, there are still winter sports retailers and reps left who will ante up. What do they get exactly for this membership? You’ll have to read the rest of the letter to figure that out ’cause we have no idea. 

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Authentic Brands Guts Sports Illustrated

by The Editors on October 4, 2019

It was only a matter of time before old media sports titan Sports Illustrated felt the bite of digital publishing, and that time was yesterday according to a story in The New York Post.

Zombie brand collector Jamie Salter’s Authentic Brands Group, which purchased the venerable Sports Illustrated brand in May 2019, ended up cutting 40 of the magazine’s 150 staff members on Thursday October 3, 2019 through their contract publisher Maven.

As news of the impending cuts circulated, about three-quarters of the staff signed a petition calling on SI’s new owner, Authentic Brands, to rescind its 10-year licensing deal with digital publisher The Maven, headed by Jim Heckman. . . “The Maven wants to replace top journalists in the industry with a network of Maven freelancers and bloggers, while reducing or eliminating departments that have ensured that the stories we publish and produce meet the highest standards,” read the petition, which was first reported by NPR.

Why is this interesting to us? Well, Mr. Salter was involved with Kemper Snowboards, co-founded Ride Snowboards and, in addition to Sports Illustrated, currently owns Airwalk, Vision Street Wear, and most of Volcom. And if things keep going in this direction he will eventually own everything. Yes, he’s seems to have a knack for reanimating profits from dead brands.

[Link: The New York Post]

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Rip Curl Goes to Kathmandu For $350 Million

by The Editors on September 30, 2019

Rip Curl, today (September 30, 2019) announced that they have sold the company to New Zealand camping gear company Kathmandu for a whopping $350 million Australian dollars, according to a story in the Daily Mail.

Kathmandu, headquartered in Christchurch, is buying 100 per cent of Rip Curl for $350million, it told the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday morning. . . The acquisition will create a $1billion outdoor recreation company.

Kathmandu? If I ever get out of here, that’s what I’m gonna do. Oh, sorry. Ah, we’re right happy for the Warbricks and Singers, but it is sad to see the last independent surf fashion rat launch a massive swan dive off the sinking surf industry ship. We are, however, looking forward to Rip Curl canteens and camp chairs for lounging on the slopes of Mt. Cook. For the rest of the story, please click the link.

[Link: Daily Mail]

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