Wall Street

Street League Gets Ready To Rumble

by The Editors on May 10, 2023

Through a new partnership Street League Skateboarding is streaming its content on Rumble, video home of pretty much every single right-wing nut job on the internet, according to a story in The Guardian.

“We are excited to partner with a growing platform like Rumble to create one truly global destination for action sports fans,” Thrill One CEO Joe Carr said in a March press release. “Our athletes have over 100 million social followers worldwide and that community will finally have the opportunity to watch every NRX and SLS event, live and free, for the first time.”

SLS will likely be right at home with Russell Brand, and fans of a certain former head of state. Ah, marketing!

[Link: The Guardian]


The Perils of Fiji’s Surf Paradise

by The Editors on May 2, 2023

A little reminder that in any tropical paradise there are many more pieces in play than anyone could possibly imagine, from Vanity Fair.

Five years ago, Ratu “Jona” Joseva, a 32-year-old Indigenous Fijian boat taximan, and two Aussie lifelong surfing bros, Navrin Fox and Woody Jack, bought an overgrown five-acre patch of coastline on Malolo, among the most popular of Fiji’s more than 330 islands. With its crescent beaches, Seussian palms, and proximity to the international airport, the roadless three-mile-long island has become a post-lockdown playground for billionaire yachties and privacy-seeking celebs.

What could possibly go wrong? Click the link for the rest of the horrifyingly complex story.

[Link: Vanity Fair]


Requiem For The Surf Industry

by The Editors on April 3, 2023

In one fell swoop, the entire surf industrial complex has disappeared from the world. Poof! All the stories, all the late-night parking lot parties and premieres, and all the dreams of kids from the dusty streets of middle America who longed to reach for the beach. Today, Jamie Salter’s oxymoronically named Authentic Brand Group has agreed to buy Boardriders (Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, DC Shoes, RVCA, Element, VonZipper, Surf Dive & Ski, and Honolua) from Oaktree Capital for a reported $1.28 billion, according to stories in the Chain Store Age and the Australian Financial Review. Here’s how Mr. Salter spins it:

Along with the great brands and impressive global reach that will come with this acquisition, we see Boardriders’ potential as a thriving online marketplace under Authentic’s ownership,” said Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic, whose brands include Reebok, Eddie Bauer, Nautica and many more. “With Boardriders’ proven retail playbook, we also see tremendous opportunities to accelerate the expansion of its shop-in-shops, branded retail stores, wholesale and e-commerce worldwide.”

By far the funniest quote is from Boardriders CEO Arne Arens:

We are proud of our deep connection to the global action sports community, industry-leading brands and world-class teams,” said Arne Arens, CEO of Boardriders. “Under Authentic’s ownership, Boardriders will be uniquely positioned to expand the reach of our iconic brands to millions of consumers, capture market share in our core categories and grow white spaces, including premium athleisure, training and lifestyle.”

We know Mr. Arens has to say this, but does anyone really believe it? We don’t. In the meantime, make sure you buy from. . . well, authentically authentic action sports brands that are privately owned and funded. If you know of any, please help us out and leave them in the comments.

[Link: Chain Store Age and Australian Financial Review]


Vail Shutters Retail In iKon Aspen

by The Editors on March 5, 2023

Looks like Vail Resorts is no longer interested in keeping their retail businesses running in ikon towns as they shutter retail operations in Aspen and Snowmass. They’re also closing their retail in Telluride (which is on their Epic Pass) bringing the total of closing shops to 19, according to a story in The Denver Post. Branded retail stores getting shut include Burton, Patagonia and The North Face.

“As our leases in the Aspen area came up for renewal at the end of the 2022/2023 winter season, we needed to make a long-term decision regarding the future strategy of our retail operations in the Aspen market. At that time, we decided to close down our retail operations in this market in order to focus company resources on (serving) our core retail markets,” said Glenn Stahlman, vice president and chief operating officer at Vail Resorts.

Looks a little like a tail-between-legs retreat and has nothing to do with Aspen Ski Co’s grabbing a new CEO from Vail’s Whistler Blackcomb. The only reason these mega-corps even get into retail in the first place is to put all the local/independent shops out of business–consolidate and conquer! So, hey, mission accomplished.

[Link: The Denver Post]


Vail Resorts Shorts International Workers

by The Editors on February 25, 2023

In what should come as a surprise to no one, Vail Resorts is being accused of cutting the hours of many of its international workers because, why not? According to The Summit Daily News, one worker has seen his hours cut substantially since the end of the Christmas Holiday.

When he began working as a back-of-house employee at the Timber Ridge restaurant in December, Queiroz said he was scheduled for 40-hour weeks, but by the middle of the month his hours began to get cut to 32. Then, he hit 24 hours in January. . . Copies of Queiroz’s work schedules, which he provided to the Summit Daily, show that for every week since Jan. 28, Queiroz was scheduled for two days — or 16 hours — not including an unpaid break. He said it’s barely enough money to cover his living expenses.

As in all business, the easiest way to cut costs is to trim labor, and if you already have everyone’s money from the super-mega pass, why provide quality services? That’s right. No reason. Vail has responded with more corporate speak about being “fully staffed” etc. . . but everyone knows what’s going on–too many employees is always better than not enough.

Even thought Vail Resorts in an offer letter (which Queiroz was required to sign) suggested that workers would get 32 hours a week, the company says it doesn’t use employment contracts. After Queiroz factors in the cost of getting to Colorado and his flight home to Brazil, he’s basically paying to work for Vail. Ah, capitalism!

[Link: Summit Daily News]


Burton Snowboards Under Hacker Attack

by The Editors on February 24, 2023

Burton Snowboards, the largest snowboard company in the world, has been under what local news station is calling a “cyber attack” since February 14, 2023, according to story on MyNBC5.com.

If you’re looking to buy some winter gear or a snowboard from Burton, it might take some time. . . The well-known winter gear Vermont company has been dealing with a major cyberattack since Feb. 14, impacting their abilities to process orders and refunds online.

Currently, there is no way to order products from the Burton website. Guess that’s one of the downsides of cutting out independent retailers and going direct. They still have 56 company stores serving the world, however, so that’s good. For all the details Burton has this posted on their website.

[Link: MyNBC5.com]


Jamie Salter Will Own Action Sports

by The Editors on February 24, 2023

The word from Sporting Goods Business is that the hilariously miss-named zombie brand reanimator Authentic Brands Group (controlled by Jamie Salter) is closing in on a purchase of Quiksilver, Billabong, DC Shoes, Roxy, and Element parent company Boardriders, Inc. For those keeping track, this would make Salter the undisputed king of action sports. No one else is even close.

Authentic Brands Group has proposed a new term loan that it plans to use to support a potential acquisition of Boardriders, Inc., according to a report from Moody’s. . . Boardriders, owed by Oaktree Capital Management, has long been rumored to be on the selling block. 

ABG already owns Vision Street Wear, Airwalk, and a very large piece of Volcom. And to think, he started out with the lowly Kemper Snowboards. Talk about tenacity in the business world. Someone hand Mr. Salter a medal!

[Link: SGB Online]


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.


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.


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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