Feb 4, 2008

January Industry Buzz

The group Y crew has been out and about over the last month, at Surf Expo, ASR, Winter X Games and SIA. Here's the scoop we got on the streets....

• Target announced that it will be expanding its relationship with Shaun White, via a Signature clothing line bearing his name. His long-standing Volcom contract quietly (and conveniently?) expired at the same time. And, Burton announced a ten-year deal with Sean as well. As far as we know, that could be a record for the longest athlete contract (in our small world at least). Oh yeah, and he won gold at X, again...

• Color is in (especially en force at SIA), and artist collabs are still going strong. group Y projects artist collabs will have run their course by this time next year, but bold patterns, prints, and neon are here to stay. Us old types aren't cool enough to rock a patterned kit head-to-toe, but a little pop on our goggs or gloves or binders makes a mellow statement...

+ Our Gubernator has belied his enviro-friendly leanings by endorsing the 241 toll road extension that will dump onto the 5 right at Trestles. A big enough turnout to the February 6th Coastal Commission hearing is expected that it has been moved to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. They will be voting soon thereafter on whether or not to support the project. For up-to-date info from opponents of the project, click here...

• The tradeshows seemed mellow in general, but weren't exactly ghost towns either. Even with retailers being threatened with a recession, we heard that sales and traffic were still solid. Maybe the quiet factor has to do with the first generation of industry types slowing down on the evening activities. We cant remember ever hearing so many complaints about hangovers, exhaustion and that nasty Vegas cigarette smoke. We're getting old, dammit!

• We were lucky enough to score an amazing vantage point to watch the ladies throw down at X Games in the Superpipe finals. Huge airs, 9s, and 1080 attempts by Clark, switch BS 7s by Torah, and stylish cripplers and back-to-back 7s by Gretchen raised the bar exponentially for women's snowboarding. Huge props to all the girls who braved and conquered both the pipe and the monstrous slopestyle course in Aspen last week.

• A big buzz at ASR was the news that PacSun was dropping ALL of their skate shoes (though they may keep carrying sandals). The big guns wont be disabled but they will definitely feel the hit, while the smaller co's who are in PacSun--Osiris, DVS, C1rca--could be thrown for quite a loop. We'll have to wait and see how it all shakes out.

• Lastly, there is a recent emergence of MMA and Ultimate Fighting apparel brands into the Action Sports space. Action Sports is unquestionably exclusive, and most people are hard-pressed to truly explain exactly what dictates an action sport and what doesn't. However, we have a hard time figuring out how beating the bloody *&!%# out of each other DOES qualify it as an action sport. We believe the essences of our sports are skills, passion, friends, and interacting with mother nature. If anyone wants to explain otherwise, feel free...

We're off to the on snow retailer demo in Mammoth next week, then to the Dealer Expo Powersports tradeshow in Indianapolis. Be back just in time to join you all on February 20th for our first gathering of '08! Send us your thoughts on all of the above and/or anything else you'd like to share. The Save the Date will go out this week.

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1 comments:

bb said...

Good post, here are my unsolicited thoughts:

1) Pac Sun: We deserve what we're getting there. Over-growth in action sports has caused certain brands to sell the lifestyle to people who do not participate in the lifestyle.

2) MMA as an Action Sport: I agree, MMA is not an action sport. It's closer to boxing or traditional martial arts. Why does ASR have them in the show then? Is it a money thing? See 1) above. ASR is turning more into a "youth brand expo" in my opinion. I think the only reason we don't see BMX @ ASR is because there are existing bike shows. MMA gear, from what I can tell, isn't sold in the same places as snow/surf/skate apparel.