Skateboarding

Action Sports, Pecker & The Saudis

by The Editors on February 8, 2019


As if this whole TEN sale couldn’t get any stranger, a deeper dive into the backstory reveals a The New York Times story from March 2018 that hints at where the money used by American Media to purchase the TEN action sports properties (among other things) may have come from. . . Saudi Arabia.

The intersection of the tabloid publisher [David Pecker, pictured right with The Donald] with the Saudis, enhanced by the White House visit, is a previously untold chapter in the long, symbiotic relationship between the president and Mr. Pecker, which was forged in the 1990s. At the time, Mr. Trump was celebrating a real estate comeback after his casino bankruptcies and was both the subject and the source of much gossip in New York.

One action sports executive wonders if this all might be part of a plan to use actions sports as a way to improve the public’s perceptions of a county that, in addition to various human rights violations, has allegedly murdered at least one journalist:

Sports have been an increasingly viable way for despots to soften their image and market a national brand (Russia/Sochi; Qatar/World Cup; Saudi Arabia/PGA events). . .Doesn’t seem a crazy reach that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, et al. would have interest in creating action/participant sports events, promoting tourism, etc. And these would be cheap and effective markets for this purpose. . . It all does line up: money gets laundered, Pecker gets ass saved, Saudi’s get backdoor to Trump administration, and a bunch of cheap sports/travel media properties run influence campaigns.

Is this really why American Media had interest in a few small circ. action sporting brands? Click the link to read the rest of the story.

[Link: The New York Times]

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Bezos Accuses Pecker Of Dick Pic Blackmail

by The Editors on February 7, 2019

In a story posted on Medium today (February 7, 2019), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos claims that Surfer Magazine, Transworld Snowboarding, and Transworld Skateboarding’s new parent company American Media (through its tabloid The National Enquirer) has threatened to publish photos of Mr. Bezos’ penis “as well as nine other images” if Mr. Bezos didn’t call the Washington Post off its investigation of American Media CEO David Pecker’s relationship with Donald Trump, according to a story on the Huffington Post.

Here’s a little of what Mr. Bezos is claiming:

I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten. . . They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation.

Usually these stories that have nothing to do with skateboarding, snowboarding, or surfing would be well outside our “lane.” But last week’s sale brings it all home to our world. Think about it? This suggests that those left at what once was TEN are now in a not-so-roundabout way working for the Trump Administration, forcing action sports marketing people to ask themselves, “Do we really want to support Donald Trump by spending advertising and marketing dollars with American Media in light of all this?”

We can say this: if this is how American Media does business, then the people who had their jobs eliminated last week are the lucky ones.

February 8, 2019 Updates:

Jeff Bezos’ investigator suspects ‘a government agency’ intercepted Amazon CEO’s text messages
Could the National Enquirer—Bezos scandal end AMI’s federal plea deal?

[Link: The Huffington Post]

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Adidas Makes An Interesting Skate Shoe

by The Editors on February 4, 2019

It is, right? We’re not usually into the whole Adidas sporty spice thing, but look at that. The 3ST.004 doesn’t look too sporty, or too skatey. It looks like Adidas got their stripes going backwards on this one, but we’re okay with that. Tyshawn Jones will look smooth in these flip catchers, for sure. Here’s what Adidas says about them:

“Building off the design mentality of the 3ST family, the 3ST.004 is positioned to further progress and challenge skateboarding footwear. The low-profile forefoot and super tacky wrapping on the sidewall provide board feel like no other. With such great board feel, the intent is to never bail, but let’s face it, it happens. Therefore, we’ve placed BOOST in the heel of the shoe for protection and support when bailing.” says the brand’s Senior Footwear Designer, Scott Johnston. “Considering that Tyshawn Jones was the muse for the project, the shoe needs to not only perform, but look iconic and stand out. The shoe incorporates classic adidas aesthetics and modern design lines to keep you looking fly in the streets.”

And yes, we all want to be “looking fly in the streets,” Scott. We certainly do. The 3ST.004 will be in specialty retailers and Adidas online starting February 7, 2019. If you’ve got $120 they can be yours.

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News From A While Back Today

by The Editors on January 29, 2019

Links? We got ’em. Not much more to say about it than that, right? Follow jump for a whole slew of links.

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Vans Park Series 2019 Schedule

by The Editors on January 23, 2019

The Vans Park Series (our favorite skateboarding web show) has announced their 2019 Pro Tour schedule. This year the Vans Park Series will touch down in five major countries.

“Our mission to inspire youth and grow skateboarding participation around the world by promoting skateboarding’s unique and creative culture remains our number one goal,” said Bobby Gascon, global director of action sports, Vans. “With Vans Park Series now in its fourth consecutive year, we are dedicated to growing the foundation for park terrain skateboarding competition and cultivating an elite class of professional athletes who are deserving of international recognition.”

Even better news: The VPS World Champs will begin Salt Lake City, Utah on September 7, 2019. Stateside for the first time. For all the details, please follow the jump.

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The Homes Brigade: Hawk & McGill

by The Editors on January 22, 2019

Tony Hawk and Mike McGill are together again to help flat-fee real estate company Home Bay move some units. Home Bay’s CEO couldn’t be happier, according to a story on Inman.com.

Home Bay CEO and chairman Ken Potashner says the ad has caused an “explosion” in interest from consumers excited to take advantage of Home Bay’s automated process and the subsequent savings that average a little over $15,000, according to the company, which presently operates in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Colorado.

Okay. Seems like a pretty good idea. And it’s always good to see skaters act (bummer Lance couldn’t make it). Not sure if Realtor’s will go extinct or not, but we’re pretty certain no one is going to miss them.

[Link: Inman.com]

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Tony Hawk Making Moves on Broadway

by The Editors on January 17, 2019

Tony Hawk is reportedly joining a project to turn Nick Hornby’s book Slam into a Broadway musical, according to Broadway News, because now days every artistic, branded entertainment vehicle needs to be set to music — thank you Lin-Manuel. If you haven’t read the book (and you should) here’s the jist:

“Slam” follows Sam, a teenager with a troubled home life, as he finds out that his girlfriend Alicia is unexpectedly pregnant. He imagines having conversations with Hawk as a way of finding his way through the situation. Though the novel is set in London, the musical will be resetting the story in the U.S.

Skateboarding’s favorite musician Mark Motherbaugh is writing the music and Kyle Jarrow (of Spongebob Squarepants musical fame) will write “the book.” Tony will reportedly create some “skate choreography” for the project and we’ll all be humming along when it comes out. 

[Link: Broadway News]

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Benny Gold’s Peace Out Letter

by The Editors on January 15, 2019

In a farewell letter published on Hypebeast outlining exactly why he is ending the Benny Gold brand and handing his SF retail space back over to HUF, Benny Gold (the person) outlines the situation successful artists often get in when their “brand” becomes bigger than themselves — better in one paragraph than many have been able to do in 30 page Keynote projects. He explains exactly how it feels when the beastly machine begins driving the master and creating its own reality. Here is the paragraph from Hypebeast.

We have a beautiful flagship location in San Francisco and an outstanding staff that has helped me realize my full potential. The brand has become bigger than myself and I am forever grateful for this. . . But with this success comes it’s own set of challenges. I now find myself growing less creatively as my days are spent managing people, budgets, and production issues. I am feeling increasing pressure to follow trends and go more “urban” in the attempt to capture more market share. A brand becomes a living, breathing thing and every brand has a life cycle -— well it’s become increasingly clear to me that the Benny Gold brand is nearing its end. I would rather bring it to a close and celebrate it’s life with integrity rather than push it to become something I no longer believe in.

How’s that? It answers so many questions we’ve had about other emerging clothing brands. How do you keep doing the same thing over and over? Season in, season out? It’s nice to see someone admit it straight up — you can’t. Not unless you change everything that got you there in the first place.

Congrats Benny. Well done. We look forward to seeing what you’re working on in the next phase.

[Link: Hypebeast]

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Supreme’s $1 Milllion Skateboard Auction

by The Editors on January 15, 2019

We’ve always felt a strange disconnect between East Coast “streetwear” and skateboarding in general. Nothing brings our confusion into clearer focus than Supreme. Yes, James Jebbia has done a stellar job of appropriating all the right stuff to create a billion dollar clothing company, starting with artwork from Barbara Kruger and then logoing pretty much everything and marketing it to NYC’s label obsessed kids. But, really? Is a collection of 248 “limited edition” Supreme skate decks really worth $1 million dollars? Guess we’ll find out soon enough, at Sotheby’s, according to a story on The National

The 248 boards, which will be sold as one lot through Sotheby’s, offer a unique archive of Supreme’s work and present a rare opportunity to see all of the designs together. Not surprisingly, this adds to the value and, with no buyer’s premium, the collection is expected to sell on January 25 for between US$800,000 and $1.2million (up to Dh4.4m).

Go get ’em Ryan Fuller. What are the chances the new owner will be an EDM producer? Pretty high we’d guess.

[Link: The National]

 

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Rob Loriface Facing Drug Charges

by The Editors on January 9, 2019

Pro skateboarder Rob Loriface is facing federal criminal drug charges after a raid of his Encinitas, California home in September 2018 found “heroin, methamphetamine and hundreds of Xanax pills,” according to a story on NBC San Diego.

Scattered throughout the master bedroom of Lorifice’s home, deputies retrieved small plastic baggies, Roxicodone pills, Xanax, marijuana, mushrooms, packing materials, as well as a digital scale. . . In all, deputies seized 231.6 grams of heroin, 193 grams of meth, and 196 grams of marijuana, as well as $16,824 from the skateboarder’s home.

Loriface reportedly said that the drugs were “left at his house by someone else . . . and he was afraid to get rid of them” according to a federal complaint. Would be great if that is true. He is being charged with “possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute” and is currently out on bail. 

[Link: NBC San Diego]

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