Wall Street

Boardriders Shuffles Titles and Stuff

by The Editors on September 19, 2019

The commercial entity that owns half the action sports clothing industry (Boardriders and their brands Quiksilver, Billabong, ROXY, DC Shoes, RVCA, Element “and others”) announced yesterday that they are “launching a multi-year growth agenda and repositioning. . . key executives.”

A quick read-through of the release resulted in exactly one data point that even remotely interested us and it is this: Kevin Meehan is leaving RVCA. Of course, the way they said it is epic: “Kevin Meehan has decided to take the opportunity provided by this transition to pursue new opportunities.” Congrats, Mr. Meehan.

The rest of the news can best be summed up by this quote from the boss.

“The long-term strategy for Boardriders has always been to build a solid foundation by integrating the Billabong acquisition onto a common back-end platform, to continually improve our operations through more disciplined business practices, and to achieve significant synergies that could then be invested back into the brands,” said Boardriders CEO David Tanner. “After a decade of headwinds and restructuring, Boardriders now has that strong foundation and is ready and able to invest strategically at scale in our brands, our people, and these targeted growth initiatives.”

Right. You know all that bad stuff that’s been happening for the LAST 10 YEARS? That’s all behind them now, and everything is looking up, up, up. If that doesn’t make you smile, follow the jump for the rest of the release.

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Bollé Brands Buys Spy Optic

by The Editors on September 18, 2019

After losing money each year for most of the last decade, the investors behind the Carlsbad, California based Spy Optic have finally secured an exit in Bollé Brands, according to a press release from the company. The terms of the deal were not announced.

“We are excited to have acquired such an amazing brand. SPY Optic has its own unique and irreverent identity with huge growth potential in North America, its home market, and internationally where SPY Optic will leverage our Bollé Brands international distribution network,” said Peter Smith, CEO of Bollé Brands. “Our dedicated approach, support, and investment will drive exciting new developments in product innovation and design which will form the basis of considerable global growth. This new acquisition establishes Bollé Brands as one of the key players in the premium performance sport and lifestyle eyewear and helmets markets.”

Bollé, which was formerly owned by Vista Outdoor (they sold the brand in September 2018), is currently owned by A&M Capital Europe, SCSp: a France-based private equity arm of the Greenwich, Connecticut based A&M Capital Partners. (Nice that someone is smart enough to find value in all this, right). For the official word form Bollé please follow the jump.

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LaMotte New Brand Chief At Jackson Hole

by The Editors on September 11, 2019

Former Salomon/Bonfire and Patagonia marketer Tyler LaMotte is the new chief brand officer at Jackson Hole Resort, according to a story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide.

“It’s great to come back and be able to experience this place and get so close and be able to do all the things that we love to do,” he said. “One of the main draws and attributes was the fact that, you know, there’s only one Jackson Hole.”

For the rest of the story and a pretty detailed dive into where he’s been and how Tyler ended up in Jackson, Wyoming, click the link

[Link: Jackson Hole News and Guide]

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Soft Drinks Increase Chance Of Death

by The Editors on September 5, 2019

Thanks to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association it has been shown that drinking sodas (like the brands that sponsor skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing events) is bad for your health and increases your changes of dying sooner rather than later, or as they put it there is an “association between soft drink consumption and mortality.”

In this population-based cohort study of 451, 743 individuals from 10 countries in Europe, greater consumption of total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drinks was associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality. Consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks was positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks were associated with deaths from digestive diseases.

In other words, rather than trying to encourage people to drink more, we should encourage them to drink less. That’s the main reason why we’re not into seeing action sports brands partnering with caffeinated, carbonated, high fructose corn syrup poison peddlers. Drink water. Duh.

[Link: JAMA]

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Hurricane Dorian Blows Out Surf Expo

by The Editors on September 2, 2019

Tradeshows have been closing their doors for all kinds of reasons lately (consolidation, no exhibitors, etc. . . ), but Surf Expo has the best one yet: a massive hurricane named Dorian. Anyone who has weathered a hurricane party at Surf Expo in the past will wonder, “Hey, we’ve survived them before, why not this year?” And really, what’s more fun that getting drunk with all your East Coast industry friends while some poorly named storm blows your trunks off with hot rain blasting in from the Atlantic at 112 MPH? Well, sadly the State Florida no longer has a sense of humor when it comes to storms. What with the whole place predicted to be four feet underwater in 20 years, they’re just not fooling around anymore. 

“We understand that Surf Expo plays an important part in connecting buyers and sellers in the Boardsports Beach & Resort industries and that many rely on our marketplace for filling their commerce needs, but travel and logistical difficulties and, more importantly, our customers’ safety is at the forefront of our minds.  Given the state of affairs regarding Hurricane Dorian today, we had no choice but to cancel Surf Expo. We recognize that many of our customers will be directly impacted by Hurricane Dorian and feel their focus should be on their families, businesses and community at this time”, said Roy Turner, SVP, Surf Expo Show Director, Emerald Expositions.

So sip your Margaritas somewhere else this September and pray this wasn’t the final nail in the Surf Expo coffin. For more info click the link.

[Link: Surf Expo]

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A New Wave Garden In Oceanside, California?

by The Editors on June 5, 2019

Developers in San Diego, California (home to some of the best surf in the world) have announced plans to turn an old drive-in movie theatre turned swap-meet into a Wave Garden surfing pool. Yes, it’s a 15 minute bike ride to the Oceanside Pier, yes, it’s a 35 minute drive to Trestles, but developers are chasing the same dream that has sidetracked many developers in the past — perfect waves all the time, according to a story in the San Diego Reader.

The Oceanside Swap Meet, launched in 1971, held its last weekend event April 28 Its 90 acres on Mission Avenue in the San Luis Rey Valley, was originally built as a four-screen drive-in movie attraction. It was purchased by Zephyr Partners for an undisclosed sum. . . Weiss says the early plans offered by Zephyr call for 35 acres to be devoted to the wave park and accompanying restaurants, businesses and hotel rooms that would all be aimed at the surf culture. Another 20 acres would be set aside for open space, while the remainder 35 acres would be devoted to residential homes, public roads, and other public needs.

Let’s just say we’re looking forward to seeing it completed, but we’re not expecting much.

[Link: San Diego Reader]

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Plug Pulled on Dirk Ziff’s Palm Beach Pond

by The Editors on June 4, 2019

You might expect someone who inherited a massive fortune to be more frivolous with their money, you know, like blowing it on fringe sporting leagues, or building surf ponds on hot, dusty Central Californian farm land, but not the backer of a certain privately owned entertainment company specializing in event and online streamed content production (mostly surfing sport). No, Dirk Ziff is a savvy businessman who knows when to call it quits, and that’s exactly what his organization did with their plans for a wave pond in West Palm Beach, Florida recently.

More importantly Ziff is wise enough not to harm the rest of his surf interests by admitting in the press that his wave pond business model is terminally flawed. No, when Mr. Ziff pulls the plug on a project, he does what many businessmen have done before him, he blames the location. Here are the details in a story posted on Florida Today.

“The WSL is disappointed to confirm our decision to cancel the development of the wave basin planned for West Palm Beach, Florida. . . .The nature of this site, including the extremely high water table, exposed unforeseen challenges that made the decision around this unique project clear. These projects are complex and, in many ways, without precedent, and we have learned important lessons in this process.”

Seems the local “water table”  would have been the first thing wave pool planners would have investigated, however, often times the majority of the benefit of a project like a wave pool is the press announcement that it will be built, not on building it, or losing money running it. We’re bearish on the Dirk Ziff wave pond model in general. Let us know if they build another one anywhere in the world.

[Link: Florida Today]

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This Month’s News List Today

by The Editors on May 30, 2019

This is the list of the news stories we didn’t have time to read, comment on, and/or pass on to you in a more visually pleasing format. Follow the link and enjoy! If you read something you like, leave a comment. It’s certainly okay to speak your mind every now and again.

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SI Joins Salter’s Zombie Brand Portfolio

by The Editors on May 29, 2019

It’s official, Jamie Slater and his Authentic Brands Group of zombie brands (which now include Volcom, Airwalk, Vision Street Wear, and 47 others) has purchased the softcore skin and sports magazine brand Sports Illustrated from Meredith Corp for $110 million dollars, according to a story on Variety.com

Under terms of the deal, Authentic Brands acquires the rights to market, develop and license Sports Illustrated and its kids’ edition as well as its swimsuit and “Sportsperson of the Year” franchises, along with the magazine’s photo archive. Meredith will pay a licensing fee to operate the editorial operations of Sports Illustrated in print and in digital for a minimum of two years. Editor Chris Stone and Publisher Danny Lee will continue to lead Sports Illustrated at Meredith.

So, Meredith is selling the brand and then paying to run the print magazine into the ground while ABG gets to re-animate  Sports Illustrated by slapping it on all kinds of products until no one remembers what SI was all about in the first place. Chalk that up as another win-win for ABG.

[Link: Variety]

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Jamie Salter Buying Sports Illustrated?

by The Editors on April 30, 2019

In the continuing saga of strange zombie brand shenanigans, it is being reported that Authentic Brands, the company that just purchased Volcom is very seriously considering purchasing Sports Illustrated, the fading print magazine known most widely for it’s annual bikini issue, for $110 million, according to a story on Pitchbook.com.

If Authentic Brands ultimately wins the auction, it would keep SI’s print product alive for at least another two years, per retail-focused website WWD. But its bigger play would be licensing SI’s brand, which could reportedly include launching kids’ sports camps and injury rehab clinics. That sort of cross promotion is what Authentic Brands has specialized in while building consumer brands for celebrities such as retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neil and ex-pro golfer Greg Norman. Here’s to hoping this strategy could produce a viable business model to preserve SI’s journalistic aspirations. 

ABG has enough women’s wear brands to pack that bikini issue, and when you look at print advertising costs, it may be cheaper to just buy the magazine. We’ve said it as a joke before, but it’s looking more and more like Jamie Salter really will own everything soon.

[Link: Pitchbook]

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