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Old 01-05-2012, 12:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Since getting involved in boarding I’ve become a big gear head and have begun to follow pro teams quite closely. I find the business side of pro riders changing sponsors very interesting. I’ve noticed with the significant consolidation of companies in the snowboard world, that riders with bigger companies have less variety in sponsors. What I mean by that is, if they sign onto a big name, it seems like the big name (and its subsidiaries) will provide everything.

For example, if a rider signs with Forum....he or she will ride forum hardgoods (boots, bindings, board) and SB or foursquare outerwear. I remember reading an interview from Eddie Wall saying he had to give up Grenade gloves b/c Forum was getting them to wear FS and SB outwear.

Burton is obvious…Burton hardgoods and Burton or Analog outerwear.

Salomon hardgoods…Bonfire outerwear.

Travis is decked in Quiksilver everything: Quik outerwear, Lib board (Owned by
Quik), DC boots (Owned by Quik) etc.

It makes sense from a marketing integration perspective for sure, and as a big corp...why would you not want to leverage this? I’m not arguing that, but I’m curious to know whether this is one of the “hidden” rules to signing with big brands? Say I ride for Arbor and Flux bindings with Holden outwear. If I sign with Burton or Salomon, will they make me drop everything and ride them as my sole sponsor for everything? Is it possible to be sponsored by Bonfire outwear and ride for K2 boards? (snow/ski competitor)

Obviously there are exceptions. And it only seems for those riders that are big enough where the corps can’t do anything. The most recent example being Muller; signs with Nike boots and outwear but maintains Burton bindings and board. Supposedly this is very rare. I guess Burton couldn’t stand to loose him and made a compromise.

Anyway, these are just things I’ve observed from a fan/consumer perspective and wanted to get more opinions on the matter. Thanks!

Last edited by jliu; 01-05-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think this is really interesting aswell and can't wait to see other people's perspective. Muller is one of my favorite riders and I'm really interested to see why he still rides Burton. Maybe he found something that works for him or burton made a deal, I'm not sure, hopefuly we'll see.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Each case is different, always.

Riders are signing for 10k, and are signing for 2500. Signing with a whole bunch of small companies, adds up fast. Commitment is, as commitment does, and you see that all the way to the top.

clearly the Nico M. case is unique as he is filming for everyone, and who would not want to ride his coattails?

Travis Rice should not looked to for sponsor examples, as he is a planet unto himself, lol.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jliu View Post
Muller; signs with Nike boots and outwear but maintains Burton bindings and board.

Don't forget Oakley. Three BIG companies and i bet three BIG contracts
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sick-Pow View Post
Each case is different, always.

Riders are signing for 10k, and are signing for 2500. Signing with a whole bunch of small companies, adds up fast. Commitment is, as commitment does, and you see that all the way to the top.
Yeap...no argument here. But what I'm wondering is whether the bigger companies block such activity...or at least try to deter such activity. My guess is that the rider will get exponentially more money if they side the full package than piece meal. That's just an educated guess...hence I wanted to see what others would say...
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Big company can and does do both, i.e., they can afford a more vertical integrated structure and wider exposure from big media events, to swaggin some locals. They have their main pro team and their farm folks they low dollar non exclusive deals to and then they flow swag to via reps (i.e., scouts for new talent) to up-and-coming groms. Smaller companies probably to ride shirt tails and go for , instructors, groms and local hill events. Its really about marketing structure, positioning and exposure...along with underlying marketing capital.

As far as blocking activity...that would be in the the implied levels, i.e., more at a contract, none at proform level, and reps' flow relationships.

Every company wants to sign the next biggest shit. But they want some one with marketing potential, i.e., photographs well, has good people presence, titanium balls and mad skillz... and willing to learn how to represent said company. However there are lots of tweekers that have mad skills but don't photo well or have shit for personality people skills and no balls. Its hard to find a person with the right combination.

Another thing...an enlightened company will see that its now necessarily about exclusiveness...you don't have to own the cat, just have the cat wave your flag...its about collaborative exposure. An example imo is smith optics...they are huge in several areas.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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weeding out the tweekers is job number one sometimes.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i think youre putting to much though into this. obviously a if a bigger company is gonna sponsor someone they would want that person on all there stuff but if the rider already has a sponsor that hes not willing to drop and the bigger company wants that rider bad enough they will work with him. if they dont think its worth it then they wont.
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