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Utah Making Play To Be Action Sports Stronghold

Monday, January 5th, 2009

utahFor the most part, outsiders give the state of Utah a pretty bad rap. We’ve all heard it before. And while in many cases that may be justified (trippy liquor laws, crazy chicks, religious extremism) ,as far as action sport’s communities go, it holds one of the best, brightest, and diverse scenes that I’ve ever come across.

The massive interest and participation in everything from skateboarding, wakeboarding, bmx, fmx, and skiing & snowboarding culminated at the Dew Tour this past September when roughly 64,000 strong attended the festivities at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City over a four-day period. One of these days saw attendance reach a single day record for the Dew Tour as the crowd on hand numbered right around 26,000.

“We have 2,500 to 3,000 more total attendance than the next highest-attended city, so ticket revenue was up here. And they know Utah is a good action sports state, so perhaps there will be more opportunities for us in the future.” -Utah Sports Commission president Jeff Robbins

Zexsports mentions the “they” that Robbins is referring to “are two television heavyweights, NBC Sports and MTV, which earlier this month announced the formation of Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports.” But money mongering corporations aside, Robbins has a solid point. The level of interest and enthusiasm for action sports in the Beehive State is up there with the best of them. Any event done right in Utah is sure to draw a large and rowdy crowd.

World class mountains and terrain sparks, a healthy and vibrant skate scene, unreal terrain for fmx and wakeboarding can all be found alive and well in Utah. So while you may have to put up with nonsensical liquor laws and crazies, there’s no doubt that Utah is every bit as deserving to be recognized as an action sports stronghold as anywhere else in the world.

Posted in Industry | 6 Comments »

Gatorade Making Push Into Action Sports

Monday, January 5th, 2009

gatorade action sportsAs participation in action sports continues to grow, it’s only a matter of time before more and more mega brands make their push into the industry. Sometimes this is a good thing as some of these brands actually fit the demographic and can help our sports a great deal. Sometimes it’s not so good, as the products have no direct relation to the industry and it’s nothing more than marketers trying to capitalize on a new set of eyeballs. Gatorade getting into action sports is a good thing. It’s a good fit and if nothing else, brings more money to our athletes and the industry as a whole.

While energy drinks and soda brands have long been attached to action sports, Gatorade has stepped up to become the first isotonic beverage sponsor of action sports athletes and properties. The brand has begun a push into action sports by signing three athletes, including 14-year-old skateboarding phenom Chaz Ortiz…

…The brand also signed smaller deals with snowboarder Ellery Hollingsworth, a 17-year-old from Darien, Conn., and BMX star Nigel Sylvester, an 18-year-old from Queens, N.Y. The athletes will be featured in Gatorade’s action sports campaigns, which are being planned.

Ortiz’s deal is rumored to be in the mid to low six figure range annually, not bad for a 14 year-old.

I’m actually a little surprised Gatorade waited this long to hop on the bandwagon. Energy drinks and other beverages have long been a staple in our world. Welcome Gatorade, it sure as hell makes more sense to reach for one of your beverages when I’m out skating than it does something like a Mountain Dew. It’s time to get ‘Extremo’.

Posted in Industry | No Comments »

So You Want a Job in Action Sports?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

No, we’re not hiring. Not yet anyways. But the reality of life is that our economy has gone to hell and folks are being laid of left and right. Our industry is not immune. In fact, we’ve being hit extremely hard and many brands have been forced to layoff at least some portion of their staff. Other companies are folding by the wayside and combined, this has left many of you looking for work. Or, maybe you’ve just always wanted to work in the industry and instead found yourself working tirelessly on your TPS reports at some boring software company. Or worse, flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

Despite all the doom-n-gloom, there are still a lot of brands that are hiring. We’re not going to give you tips on creating that killer resume, or advice on how to ace the interview. Nope! Instead we’re going to break down a few of the action sports job sites on the web. There’s a new year coming and we think it’s about time you got yourself a new job. Here’s where you should be looking.

Malakye
Hands down, Malakye is the place to be if you’re looking for a job in the industry. They have, by far, the most job listings in our industry. They also have an industry news section, message boards, and even a resume craft section so you get help creating a resume that stands above the rest. They have an easy to use interface that makes browsing the list of openings a breeze. You can even subscribe to RSS alerts for openings, if that’s your thing.

malakye

You could stop reading right now and be fine just using Malakye. But lets pretend I didn’t say that and read on.

BoardSportsJobs.com
Despite being owned and even heavily promoted by Surfline, BoardSportsJobs is a major dud. Quite frankly, I’m surprised Surfline continues to push this service. It’s gotta be somewhat embarrassing for the #1 Surfing site that they can’t seem to get ANY traction with their job board, even with a partnership with SIMA. You might as well save your time, last I checked there was a grand total of one job listed on the site.

Time to throw in the towel, Surfline.

OutdoorIndustryJobs.com
As the name implies, it’s a job board for all outdoor industries and not necessarily specific to action sports. OutdoorIndustryJobs does have a specific section for action sports though. However, a quick glance reveals they only have four jobs listed in this category. At least it’s a better option than BoardSportsJobs, but still, don’t waste your time.

SportsIndustryJobs.com
Based on the name alone, you would think SportsIndustryJobs is a job site for all sports. It’s actually specific to action sports. The site seems to be new and I could only manage to find a handful of job listings. That could be because the user interface is hard to use or it could just be another dud. Next!

Action Profiles
Action Profiles actually has a little bit of twist to their job board. It’s free to post jobs. In comparison, Malakye charges $295 for their job listings. That doesn’t seem to matter though- companies would much rather pay to list their job openings where people will actually see them vs. wasting their time to list jobs on a site that no one uses. Not saying that no one uses Action Profiles, just doesn’t seem like anyone uses their job board. They only have a handful of listings as well and even though they list Volcom, Quik, and Billabong as featured employers, none of those companies are using the service.

Craigslist
Craigslist is, in my opinion, the only other site worth using to find a job. Depending on your location, you may actually find quite a few good openings. We actually found a couple of our staff members from using Craigslist and we couldn’t be happier. They only problem I have with Craigslist, is that it can be very time consuming to look through all the different cities. It would be nice if you could search the whole site instead of only one location at a time. Definitely worth a look.

Malakye is the far and away the winner. They have the most relevant results, the most results, and is the most user friendly. It appears the industry is only big enough for one job board to thrive and Malakye has the choke hold. Plus, anyone that holds a contest for the most coffee/donuts consumed, is a winner in our book!

PS – Thanks to iroc8210 for their feedback on Twitter.

Posted in Industry | No Comments »

Action Sports on Twitter

Monday, December 15th, 2008

action sports on twitterHere is a complete list of action sports brands, athletes, websites, and personalities you can follow on Twitter. We are trying to keep a list of them all. So please leave comments below for any that we are missing. If you’re not using Twitter yet, you should try it out.

Also if we add you to the list please Re-Tweet this link through your Twitter account or blog about it to help it become the master list of Twitter Action Sports.

5ones can be followed here: @5ones

Brands
Hurely – @HurleyClothing
Vestal – @VestalWatch
Ergophobia – @ERGOTwitt
IPATH – @IPATHfootwear
RVCA – @RVCA
Globe Skateboarding – @GLOBEskate
Globe Surfing – @GLOBEsurf
Birdhouse – @Birdhouse
Vans – @Vans_66
DC Skateboarding – @dcskateboarding
Santa Cruz Skateboards Cruzers – @Cruzers
Sullen Clothing – @SullenClothing

Athletes
Tony Hawk – @tonyhawk
Shaun White – @Shaun_White
Rob Dyrdek – @robdyrdek
CJ & Damien Hobgood – @cjgoods
Mike Vallely – @MikeVallely
Shane Beschen – @shanebeschen

Events & Causes
ASR – @ASRlive
Maloof Money Cup – @maloofmoneycup
Save Trestles – @SaveTrestles
Warped Tour – @warped09
Boarding for Breast Cancer – @b4bc
Billabong Pro – @billabongpro
Surf Expo – @surfexpo
X Dance – @xdance
Life Rolls On – @LifeRollsOn
Stoked Mentoring – @stokedmentoring
Mountain Film – @Mountainfilm

Magazines and TV
SURFER Magazine – @SURFER_Magazine
Snowboarder Magazine – @Snowboardermag
Fuel TV – @FUELTV
Freeskier Magazine – @freeskier

Places
Mammoth Mountain – @mammothmountain
Sierra at Tahoe – @Sierra_at_Tahoe
WinterPark – @WinterPark
Whistler Blackcomb – @WhistlerBlckcmb
Park City Mountain Resort – @PCski
Heavenly – @skiheavenly

Stores
Active Ride Shop – @ActiveRideShop
Swell – @swelldotcom
Robust Flavor – @robustflavor
PacSun – @PacSun
SurfSide Sports – @SurfsideSports
SnowSk8Wake – @SnowSk8Wake
ZJ Boarding House – @ZJBH

Websites
Surfline – @surfline
Go211 – @GO211
ZexSports – @zexsports
Girls Learn to Ride (GLTR) – @GLTR
Group Y – @groupY
TheConch – @Shellshocked
ExtremePods – @extremesenior
Something in the Woods – @sitw
Surftherenow – @surftherenow
CoreAction – @coreaction
Shred Union – @ShredUnion
MTNOPS – @mtnops_links
Shop-Eat-Surf – @ShopEatSurf
SoCal Action Sports Network – @bryanelliott1
Sponsor Space – @sponsorspace
The Alliance – @ALLISports
Surfing Stoke – @surfingstoke
YoBeat – @Yobeatdotcom
Surf Gawker – @surfgawker
DigitalBuilt – @digitalbuilt
LakeOwenCamp – @lakeowencamp
SurfingLive – @iTV360
Snowbroader – @snowbroader
SurfReel – @SurfReelcom
Imagine Marketing Agency – @imalife

Posted in Industry | 30 Comments »

2008 ASR Recap

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Twice a year the action sports industry comes together to showcase and display what they have in store for the upcoming year. ASR, the Action Sports Retailers tradeshow, brings together not only the big players of the action sports industry, but gives up and coming brands the opportunity to launch their brands to the industries who’s who. One major difference that’s notable this year is the absence of the major footwear companies. Brands such as Sole Technology (Etnies, ES, Emerica), and Globe have opted out of attending the show. Being that ASR is heavily influenced by skate and surf brands, the absence of these brands is quite apparent. But this may be a grand opportunity for other brands to step up and shine in their place. With such a void of the presence, other themes and brands are catching people’s attention.

Noticeable surf brands that were showing what they could bring to the table were your obvious contenders, Quik, Bong, Hurley, Volcom, and Lost. There were a lot of other notable brands that also were making an unexpected presence at the show as well. Smaller brands that focus on surf like Ezekiel, Lost, and Fox all made the push to showcase their spring lines.

Since the main focus of the show is to highlight the spring lines, there was no shortage boardshorts, swimwear, walkshorts, tanks and tees. Bright colors and geometric graphics still prove to hold strong and look to continue through until next year. Neons and fluorescent colors seem to still highlight the slimmer shorter silhouettes of boardies and shorts. Always leading the pack and pushing the envelope with the boardshorts is Billabong. All the boardshorts on display looked to be leaning toward the shorter length, veering away from the standard over the knee boardies that have been the standard in the industry for many years. Jumbo all over graphics, mixing geometrics with animal prints, the Billabong assortment proved to be new and exciting while stilling to their roots as clean and wearable boardshorts.

billabong boardshorts

One notably cool disply on the ASR floor was the Quiksilver compound. They had a total of 4 booths at the show to exhibit their range of men’s, core, and woman’s divisions as well as a full set up for Roxy. Between this massive layout they displayed their timeline in boardshort history. The lounge exhibit held cases of boardshorts from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today to give buyers and visitors a like a brief history not only of what Quiksilver has brought to the surfing community, but how it shaped and set the standard for the industry throughout time. Most interesting of all was to see how the styles of today can truly be accredited to how things use to be as fashion has seem to come full circle within action sports.

quiksilver boardshorts

quik boardshorts

Though the show was much calmer this year, there was nothing subdued about the brands and activity that was still in attendance. It will be interesting to see how the industry moves into the Fall 2009 season. This week the east coast gets a taste of what is to come for the Spring 2009 season as we move to Orlando, Florida for Surf Expo.

Posted in Industry | 3 Comments »

ESPN Out of Touch with Action Sports

Friday, May 9th, 2008

quiksilver x logoThe much publicized decision made by ESPN to file a lawsuit against Quiksilver over the letter ‘X‘ (silly, isn’t it?) is a decision that will continue to find ESPN and the X-Games painted into a corner all by themselves when it comes to the action sports industry.

In short, the lawsuit basically states that Quiksilver uses a stylized “X” emblem on clothing, labels and accessories that is “confusingly similar” to ESPN’s logo for the series of surfing and biking contests.

Aside from the fact that the basis of this lawsuit appears to be petty and childish, picking a fight with one of the biggest brands in all of action sports isn’t going to do anything beneficial for the continually sagging ratings of the X-Games. For most of us, Quiksilver is a brand that is near and dear to our hearts and one that we would side with over ESPN in a heartbeat.

It has been a gradual decline for the X-Games, but ESPN seems intent on speeding up the process of seeing the games go by the wayside altogether. We just witnessed how well the ‘let’s drop Vert, the event that put us on the map and gave us our signature moment’ decision went over with the masses. Hint: the decision was quickly reversed. They are even going as far as to infuse Hollywood actors into the games and having them judge sports that they know absolutely nothing about.

The thought process being used by the decision-makers at ESPN and X-Games over the last few years is highly questionable. With the direction they’ve taken it’s hard to know what their intentions for the future are. Surely these aren’t the types of decisions made by people who are at all in touch with what makes their fan-base tick.

x-gamesquiksilver

Posted in Brands, Industry | 10 Comments »

Does Anyone in Actions Sports Use Twitter?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

We were all wandering if anyone in the action sports world uses Twitter? Whether for your company or website or just for personal use. Twitter is growing unbelievably fast and while most of us at the 5ones staff think it can be more of a time waster than a powerful branding tool we have seen some really good examples from friends of ours on growing a blog or audience via Twitter.

As posted before we set up a twitter account for us, http://twitter.com/5ones

So go and follow us to keep up on news and events and to talk to us directly, or if you want to tip us on any news or things you would like us to cover.

I think actions sports people could be one of the coolest groups to twitter as we can post things like, “just got out of a raging session at blacks” instead of some of the more common things like I just ate a tuna sandwich.

Twitter could become a cool place to notify people of breaks that are going off, or skate spots where people are meeting up at or which mountain has the most powder.

If anyone out there is remotely interested in Action Sports and has a twitter account add your account in the comments so we can follow you and so other related readers can follow you.

And don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed via email or RSS reader

Posted in Industry | 12 Comments »

Group Y: Event Recap

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Group Y recently held their third industry panel discussion at Oakley HQ in Irvine . Having wisely made the decision to seize the opportunity and attend, I came away from the event very impressed.

They without a doubt know the keys to our hearts, as anytime you combine Wahoo’s, an open-bar, with 100 or so of the industry’s finest and put them together inside a batman-esque compound like that of Oakley, you have pretty much sealed the deal on making it an enjoyable evening . On top of the classy digs, it was just an all-around great opportunity meet the faces behind some of your e-lationships(just made that up, not even kidding), and learn from some of the best in the industry.

With representatives from Fox, Circa, Oakley, and Roxy all on stage it was fun to watch the card-holding that was going on as each wanted to be informative and helpful without showing too much. What was easily noticed is that the action-sports industry in general is still a ways behind when it comes to utilizing the web and tapping into a medium that Danielle Beck(Roxy) labeled as “untappable.”

Perhaps it’s not so much ‘untappable,’ as it’s just that many within the industry haven’t quite figured out how to fully take advantage of the massive influx of online opportunities to build and interact with their audience . With the correct web strategy there is no doubt that brands, riders, and online publications will see exponential growth previously unheard of. Fans and enthusiasts alike will be closer than ever to their favorite pros they emulate every day, as well as hear the stories behind their preferred clothing labels. The ‘untappable’ can become ‘tappable’, you just gotta do it right. The days of getting your message out once a month through print are moving behind us, and it is as exciting a time as ever for the action-sports industry.

A special thanks goes out to group Y, as well as Oakley for opening up their building. It was an incredible time and I strongly recommend participation in future events. April’s gathering is to be held in Carlsbad. With that being the location of the Factive headquaters (which isn’t quite as cool as Oakley’s) we are charged up to be in attendance and enjoy another informative evening with group Y. We are also going to be holding either a pre or post event party here at the office, so stay tuned. Cheers!

group y

Posted in Industry | 1 Comment »

Talk Radio in Action Sports: Revised

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

After recently posting the “Talk Radio in Action Sports” article I was soon made aware that I violated one of the rules taught to me by my mother many years ago- Never use words lightly. In the post, I used the phrase “With the first and only talk-radio program in the world that is dedicated to action-sports, its athletes, and the lifestyle” while talking about Todd Weatherill’’s action-sports radio show. I was soon reminded by two readers (both using very different methods of letting me know) that in fact I had erred when using the term “first and only”. I flubbed that post and am here to make a correction.

I’m stoked to see there are more outlets for the coverage and discussion of action-sports then I was previously aware of. Hopefully this can be a growing trend and there will be more opportunities provided for the millions out there who make it part of their lives.

Here are a couple of links to other action-sports radio shows. Both are solid productions and I recommend tuning in and checking them out…

Down the Line – Sunday morning, 8AM PST.
Extreme Scene – Saturday evening, 6PM PST

Posted in Industry | 2 Comments »

Branding in Action Sports: Keeping Brands Relevant In Rapidly Changing Environments

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

I’ll be attending the group Y Gathering and Panel Discussion up at Oakley Headquarters in Foothill Ranch tonight. The topic, “Branding in Action Sports: Keeping Brands Relevant In Rapidly Changing Environments,” followed up with an all-star line-up of guests has me super excited and ready to bravely take on the infamous Southern California traffic on my trek north.

In an industry that has new brands popping up with every passing day (and possibly hour), finding a way to maintain relevancy and holding the attention of your target audience is vital to sustaining any level of success. The panel assembled for this group Y event all hail from companies who have found a way to keep themselves afloat over a period of time that has surely seen a countless number of brands rise and then fall before they even know what hit them. The action-sports industry is as fickle as any, but if you are able to captivate the minds of those you set out for there is no limit to how far you are able to take your brand. The line between success and failure is now as thin as ever before.

This sold-out event is providing an incredible opportunity to listen to and pick the minds of some of the industries finest. I am looking forward to posting a review tomorrow on what I was able to soak up. (Disclaimer: the phrase ’soak up’ refers to taking in the information provided by the panel and discussion, and is in no way a reference to the open-bar. With that being said, who doesn’t have a soft spot in their hearts for open-bars?)

Here is the panel for tonights event:

Pat McIlvain, Global Sports Marketing Director, Oakley
Jim Anfuso, Director of Marketing, Fox Racing
Danielle Beck, Director of Entertainment and Sports Marketing, Roxy
Carl Harris, Director of Global Marketing, C1rca
The discussion will be moderated by Sean O’Brien, Online Marketing & Communications Manager for Surf Expo.

Posted in Industry | 1 Comment »

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