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…]
In an announcement today (October 4, 2016) Newell Brands stated that as part of their plans to reportedly “sharpen strategic focus for accelerated growth” they are putting their winter sports businesses up for sale. What are these winter sports businesses? Well, K2 Sports is one of them. You know, K2 Snowboards, Ride Snowboards, Morrow Snowboards, and 5150.
The businesses held for sale represent about 10 percent of the portfolio and include the vast majority of the Tools Segment, the Winter Sports businesses within the Outdoor Solutions Segment, the Heaters, Humidifiers, and Fans businesses within the Consumer Solutions Segment, and the Consumer Storage Container business within the Home Solutions Segment.
Newell hopes to have them all sold by early 2017. Anyone? Maybe they’d make a deal for someone who wants to grab humidifiers, fans, and a few snowboard brands? For the complete press release, please follow the jump.
As part of The Hundreds’ “Garage Brands” series Anthony Pappalardo (the writer) recounts the story of Dave Bergthold and Blockhead Skateboards. It is a good story of skateboarding, Sacramento, and staying true to a dream no matter what.
“I wanted to work in skateboarding, because that’s all I cared about,” he said. “Skateboarding was absolutely fucking dead at that point,” he [Bergthold] said of the industry landscape of the industry in 1985. “There were magazines and there was a scene, but you could count the number of skateboard companies on your fingers and toes. I was working delivering pizzas and saved up about $3,000. I ended up buying a batch of boards—about 60 decks total, because that’s what they [Uncle Wiggly] could make a day. I decided I needed an ad in Thrasher, so people would take me seriously. I don’t remember how much it cost, but it had to be around $800, so I spent almost a quarter of my budget just on this one ad.”
Thanks to his dedication Dave B. is still working in skateboarding and you can still buy a Blockhead skateboard. For a better understanding of why this is such a good thing, read the rest of the interview by clicking the link.