Wall Street

Patagonia Gives It Away Now

by The Editors on September 15, 2022

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard (and his family) have decided to do an end around on the normal life cycle of a clothing brand in the action sports space. They’re not going public, they’re not selling out to private equity, and they’re not just shutting it down ala Grubby Clark. Instead, they’re splitting up the $3 billion company into two different entities: first, the Patagonia Purpose Trust, which owns two percent of the companies shares and ALL the voting rights, and second, 98 percent of the shares (and no voting rights) is going to the Holdfast Collective. The “collective” is a non-profit organization that will distribute Patagonia’s future profits to combat climate change, according to a story in The New York Times.

“Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,” Mr. Chouinard, 83, said in an exclusive interview. “We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.” . . . By giving away the bulk of their assets during their lifetime, the Chouinards — Yvon, his wife Malinda, and their two children, Fletcher and Claire, who are both in their 40s — have established themselves as among the most charitable families in the country.

They’ve also saved themselves a boat load of taxes, but who’s counting. It’s a wonderful thing to do. And they still get to run the company as controllers of the Patagonia Purpose Trust. Win win. For all the details, click the link.

[Link: The New York Times]


VF Corp Slices Off 600 Office Jobs

by The Editors on September 4, 2022

When the spreadsheet doesn’t look good adjustments must be made, and apparently, VF Corp (parent company of Vans, Supreme, The North Face and more) has decided the company will run much better without 600 of its “positions,” according to a story on Footwear News.

VF Corp did not specify which departments and locations would be impacted by the layoffs. The company employed 35,000 people around the world as of the end of fiscal 2022. According to Denver Business Journal, these cuts will impact 1.7% of the company’s existing workforce.

Looks like it’s 300 people losing their jobs and 300 empty positions being eliminated. Business is business.

[Link: Denver Business Journal via Footwear News]


Forester, Jankowski Exit US Snowboarding

by The Editors on August 29, 2022

It’s been a rough go for the official Olympic snowboarding body US Ski and Snowboarding since allegations of sexual assault within the organization surfaced during the Beijing Olympics in February 2022. Now, USSA Director Jeremy Forester and freeskiing and snowboard head coach Mike Jankowski are gone from the organization as well, according to a story on ESPN.com.

USSS director Jeremy Forster. . . resigned from his position on Aug. 14, and freeskiing and snowboard head coach Mike Jankowski’s position was eliminated on Aug. 15. . . “With Jeremy Forster’s resignation, we are restructuring the freeski and snowboard teams and Mike Jankowski’s position was no longer needed,” USSS said in a statement to ESPN.

Forester had been with USSA for 30 years and Jankowski 19 years.

[Link: ESPN.com]


Olympic Surfing Officials Visit Teahupo’o

by The Editors on August 21, 2022

When France hosts the Olympic Games in 2024 their surfing venue is going to be a short 22 hour plane ride away in French Polynesia a.k.a. Tahiti, home to the monster wave Teahupo’o. Of course you already know this and we just watched the mostly boring contest from there last week. That said, the leaders from the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (including Owen Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Tony Estanguet, Italo Ferreira and Jean-Philippe Gatien, pictured above) visited Tahiti during the contest to officially check things out.  According to the ISA:

The ISA and Paris teams held productive discussions on key elements of the surfing competition in Tahiti and toured core elements of the planned Olympic surfing location. Agenda items for the meetings covered major topics such as the 2024 event format, competition schedule, infrastructure, sustainability, athlete accommodation and broadcast services.

Nice work if you can get it. For the rest of the official details, please follow the jump.
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Burton For Sale? Donna Says “Fuck you!”

by The Editors on August 18, 2022

Bloomberg, a company known for running with pretty much any business rumor they blindly stumble into, announced yesterday (August 17, 2022) that Burton Snowboards was looking for a buyer with the following: “The owners of snowboard gear manufacturer Burton are exploring a sale that could value the family-run business at as much as $800 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.”

Oddly, it appears that people with knowledge of the matter may have been a bit mistaken with their information as Burton Snowboards Donna Carpenter imediately set the record straight on IG with the following.

Since the beginning of owning this company, there’s always been rumors about us selling. So many that one year we made t-shirts that said, “Not for sale!” A recent report came out that we’re for sale. It’s 100% bullshit. It was for a nice price, but as I’ve always said, we are family-owned and will remain family-owned.

Wanting to know how much someone would pay for your company and wanting to sell it are often two different things. Not saying anyone was looking around for valuations, but Donna’s message seems pretty clear. That said, with the current state of the world (and weather), it might not be the worst time to take some money from the private equity clowns. Glad to see that isn’t happening just yet.

[Link: Bloomberg]


Vans Battles On With Copycat Walmart

by The Editors on July 25, 2022

Walmart, the massive, big box, retailer, and obesity promoter, is a hulking bag of putrescence for so many reasons that it’s not worth listing any of them. But here’s one anyway. Back in February 2022 we mentioned a story about Vans filing a lawsuit against the monster retailer for knocking off most of Vans shoes.

Vans won an injunction against the company in March 2022 that required Walmart to stop selling the infringing shoes. But did Walmart follow that injunction? Of course not, according to a story on Reuters.

Vans told the court Friday that Walmart was “doubling down” with new shoes that are “even more similar” to its designs. It also said that Walmart was still selling other shoes that had been banned by the order. . . Vans’ court filing said Walmart has told the company it would stop selling the infringing shoes but “has not shown that it is actually putting its words into action.”

Vans wants Walmart to be fined $3,000 a day until they stop selling the shoes. But that probably won’t even stop the retail whale from continuing to plow ahead through the waters of copyright infringement, because why should they stop? They’re making boatloads of money. And they do the same thing in almost every category they sell in.

[Link: Reuters]


Suicide Six Resort Changes Name

by The Editors on July 14, 2022

We’re all soft. We get easily triggered. So it’s nice to see that the Vermont resort formerly known as Suicide Six is changing its name to “Saskadena Six,” a name that celebrates the indigenous people of Vermont, and is more sensitive to mental health issues, according to a story on VT Digger.

“Much time, care and thought has been invested in the process to choose a name more representative of our values, one that celebrates its 86-year history, honors the Abenaki tradition, and will welcome future generations,” Courtney Lowe, president of the Woodstock Inn & Resort, which owns the ski area, said in a statement. “While the name might be changing, the experiences offered on this beloved mountain are not.”

The new name reportedly means “the standing mountain” in the Abenaki language. But how will the new name affect people who can’t stand? And is this simply another appropriation of Indigenous cultures for business gain? If these questions are in your lane, please weigh in.

[Link: VTDigger]


FIS Finally Adds “Snowboard” To Official Name

by The Editors on May 27, 2022

It’s only taken 28 long years, but the Federation International de Ski, the governing body of Olympic snowboarding since 1994, has finally added the word “snowboard” to the official name of their organization.

At the 53rd International Ski Congress, held May 26, 2022 in Milan, Italy, the delegates “approved changing the official name of FIS to include ‘Snowboard’.” The new official name of the organization is the International Ski and Snowboard Federation, however, they don’t want to confuse anyone by adding an “S” to the logo so the acronym will stay the same: FIS. Otherwise, it might look like the logo on the right.

For all the details and more amazing stories from the still inappropriately named 53rd International Ski Congress please click the link.

[Link: FIS]


A Simple List Of News Headlines

by The Editors on May 16, 2022

By clicking the “continue” link at the bottom of this blurb, you will encounter a list of headlines that refer to our topics, namely, skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, fashion, and finally, business. Many of these stories have been read by “The Editors,” and many have not. 

The list of headlines style is evidence of the slow evolution of this site and The Editors themselves. Snark has been annoying for nearly a decade (deja vu from last month), and The Editors realized there is no longer any reason to restate what other people have written to make it funnier. Few have time for witty nor funny when it slows the speed of information consumption.

Nothing is getting in the way here. Follow the jump and read the list. If there are brands, people, or topics that interest you, please use the search function in your browser and jump to it straight away. Enjoy.

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Gunny Is The New President of Woodward

by The Editors on April 16, 2022

Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, the guy who long ago built a business out of shaping snow at resorts around the world (Snow Park Technologies), has been named the new President of Woodward, the “action sports experiential” company owned by POWDR, who also own Snowbird, Park City, Mt. Bachelor, Copper Mountain, Killington, and six other mountains.

POWDR’s CEO, Justin Sibley, commented, “Woodward is an amazing brand with world class facilities and a focus on safe progression that are a critical ingredient to the future of action sports. I don’t know anyone with a better track record in the action sports, snow sports, and youth programming than Gunny. He is an invaluable advisor to our leadership team, and I look forward to his vision and counsel going forward as we continue to strive to grow, expand, and unify the Woodward brand.”

Yes, indeed. It looks like Gunny is doing well these days. Big job. Woodward now consists of Woodward Park City, Woodward PA, Woodward Copper in Colorado, Woodward Tahoe, and Woodward West in Stallion Springs, CA. (And yeah, Woodward PA still does dance, cheer, and gymnastics camps among other things.) For the official word from POWDR please follow the jump.

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