Archive for July, 2009

Aint nothin’ to it…

Posted in Inspirational with tags , , , on July 30, 2009 by Artform

But to do it…

nikejustdoitSure, Nike was on to something when they said- Just Do It! We see a lot of brands and companies around these parts from start-ups to well established businesses. Some are on their ascend while some are plummeting. I don’t believe that a company is ever truly at a stand still. You’re either coming or going, profiting or lossing (not a word I know). I see a lot of great ideas that never get off of the blocks. I see horrible ideas and concepts that are enough to make you cringe (I’ll everyone off the hook here and not mention any names). But regardless of where your business is at whether booming, launching, or declining one thing is for certain, at all times you need to be “Doing”. Remember that you can’t grow moss on a rolling stone.

I was having a conversation with this young man the other day about how to “come up”. Although I think that is a vague and ambiguous term, I understood that he was referencing establishing himself in the music industry and make some cheddar in the process. My answer was simply this… there are those that do and those that don’t. If you are one of the people that “do” you will surpass many in the process that “don’t”. Now, that is not a recipe for success, but it is an element of success.

In these uncertain times, we all need to do as much as possible to ensure the future of our businesses. Start a checklist, an idea list, a to do list or any other list that can keep you in line with “Doing”. Because the only way to get it done is to “get ‘er done”, plain and simple…

Ain’t nothin to it!

TM~

Agenda and beyond…

Posted in Perspective with tags , , , , , , on July 28, 2009 by Artform
Deth Kills wall @ Agenda

Deth Kills wall @ Agenda

What can be said about the Agenda Trade Show that hasn’t been said about every other trade show in the industry?
A trade show by definition (trade fair or expo) is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent trends and opportunities.

Hurley + Converse wall @ Agenda

Hurley + Converse wall @ Agenda

I hear a lot of speculation about the future of ASR or how Crossroads is changing the skate industry. I hear similar conversations when talking about Surf Expo, Magic or the new Moat show. Beyond the speculation, I think what’s most important to note is simply this, Brands need a place to show their products, retailers need to be current on what’s new and everyone in the industry should know what trends are coming and going.

Flud Watches Booth

Flud Watches Booth

I ran into an old friend of mine at the Agenda show and he gave me an “over it” look, saying something along the lines of being tired of the events and wandering why he even went to trade shows anymore. I realized then and there that that is such a negative attitude. I was there to see new brands, shake hands, make new contacts and try to help businesses grow and establish themselves in the marketplace. I also needed to educate myself on what new trends, styles and brand are coming up, not to mention I think Agenda is doing a good job and I just wanted to be there to show support. No, I’m not a retailer or brand, but yes I do find use for trade shows in my business.

Mr. Strubing spotted @ Agenda

Mr. Strubing spotted @ Agenda

I think “Trade Shows” hold an important place in our industry. Each expo offers something different and unique and if utilized properly they can be a very effective tool to help you increase your understanding of the market place.

TM~

Nike Stages a Takeover of Fuel TV for 6.0 Line

Posted in Perspective with tags , , , , on July 19, 2009 by akila004

This article from AdAge titled “Nike Stages a Takeover of Fuel TV for 6.0 Line”, shows how Nike stays away from TV commercials to get more value with sponsored-programming, product placement, and Nike 6.0 athletes integration into other Fuel TV shows. My question is “What is Fuel’s strategy for its endemic advertisers then? Is this type of partnership going to affect Fuel TV’s relationship with Nike’s competitors?”

~ CG

Everyone is now the new media

Posted in Perspective with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2009 by akila004

I just came across a very interesting article on MediaPost in regards with sports and new media. Just to give you a quick rundown, the article, titled “Everyone is now the Sports Media” talks about how “reporters aren’t the only ones who can comment on a late-inning rally, break news about a trade or evaluate draft picks”. For writer Howard K. Brodwin, the Fan is now the Media, the Player is now the Media, the Team is now the Media, the Owner is now the Media and the League is now the Media. Well it is extremely true and applies to action sports even more than to other sports.

A few months ago, I was having a conversation with my buddy over at ASG, and I was telling him that Brands became a serious competitor of all the media companies, including large groups such as Transworld and ASG. He was not agreeing so much. Brands don’t give all the news in the industry, but they give more relevant news with exclusive video content and photos. And that’s what our market is after. Media companies will all talk about the same events, news, etc. but Brands will give them insights on what their favorite skateboarders are up to, or where their next beach cleanup is.

Nonprofits are also news providers. Look at Surfrider Foundation. I get their weekly newsletters, and it is always very insightful and relevant to what I am looking for. If I want the most progressive skate content out there, I can just go onto TheBerrics.com (Eric Koston and Steve Berra). The 2 pro skaters created a huge hype around this site and has now million of viewers that come to the site to feed themselves with the corest content.

Then, of course, you have the sanctioning bodies, such as the ASP, that gives consistent event news, pics and videos.  More recent sites such as allisports.com are new platforms that provide info on specific events they partner with. They let you know about event locations, tv schedule, and keep you updated with plenty of video content and photos.

And finally you have the thousands of bloggers and social media freaks out there that blog, twitt, facebook a few times a day.

So, my question is “what are traditional media planning on to survive this increasing competition?”, and “as a Brand, how do you separate yourself from your competitor and how do you best utilize your assets to make your fans more loyal than ever before?”

Social media has without a doubt became an amazing tool to communicate to your target market, but it also put up many barriers: lack of control, content consistency and relevancy, easy access for everyone to be the New Media, etc.

As a marketing guru for the action sports and lifestyle markets, we cannot stress enough the importance of being part of this trend (yes, you have no choice), but without forgetting to not do it for the sake of doing it. Bring up authenticity, utilize your best assets in the most creative way, be creative and impress your crowd. Always wonder what they are in search for and what will make them come back to you.

~ CG

Surf or Die…

Posted in Perspective with tags , , on July 13, 2009 by Artform

In my younger days I used to surf religiously. There was probably a solid ten year stretch where I was consumed by it. But over the course of time, there were many circumstances that I let get between me and surfing. Before I knew it the surfboard I lent out didn’t return and I just never got around to buying another one. Eventually I realized it’s been over ten years since I’ve been out in the water. My brother, bless his soul, is my constant reminder that I need to get back out there. Although it had been a decade, I always felt there was something missing, which is simply the joy of dropping in on a glassy left.

Recently I was passing the time by hunting around Craigslist for used office equipment and I stumbled upon a brand new longboad for $250 8ft with soft racks. Something possessed me to pick up the phone and before I knew it, I was the proud owner of a surfboard, again. I told my brother and he was so excited he gave me his wetsuit. So apparently I had no excuses now.

This past Friday rolls around and I figure it’s time to blow the dust off. I check the wave report and i see a solid 3-4 down at the HB Cliffs (my old home turf). I pull up and it’s going off. Without hesitation I start paddling out. By the time I got out to the line-up I realized my arms were so dead, I didn’t know if I’d have the strength to catch a wave. When I did finally catch a wave, I bailed and my leash broke. I spent the next 20 minutes swimming in and nearly passing out on the shore. Such a kook:( By this time it was I needed to pack it up and get back to work. Unfortunately I had drifted close to a mile, but it made for a nice and looong walk back.

As I’m walking back to the car, all the old memories of beach/surf culture started coming back to me. Little nuances like talking to another surfer about the temperature of the water or the smell of salt water in the air. I remembered calling a 1-800 number for the wave report before heading out (now I have the Oakley iPhone app for that). It’s comforting knowing that the surf is there anytime you want it.

My great realization from my recent surf adventure was that it strengthened my belief in the fact that you cannot lump people together under the term Action Sports. Reaching surfers requires a completely different and authentic approach than let’s say reaching Skaters or Moto X guys. Each one of these activities/disciplines has so much history and without really knowing the intricacies of each you’ll never really be able to integrate yourself into the core community.

If you really want to know who surfers are, what they like, why they buy what they buy and how to best reach them through your marketing efforts, here is my honest suggestion – suit up, paddle out, bail, have your leash break and then spend the next 20 minutes swimming in a riptide towards the shore… that’s just the starting point. Good luck!

TM~

Changing Tides…

Posted in Perspective with tags , , , , on July 9, 2009 by Artform

My Father lent me a book the other day that he thought I’d enjoy. When I got it I was excited not because of the subject/topic but rather because I realized that I hadn’t read a book since the beginning of the year. I then felt disappointed in myself for never reading. But then I realized that I read all day long. It’s all I do. I may not read books, but I read blogs, websites, magazines, emails, blurbs, twits, etc… Not only am I reading, but I’m writing all day as well. I’m responding to emails, twitting, blogging, etc… (I also work, don’t get it twisted).

Then it dawned on me. Everyone else is doing the same thing these days. In my Father’s day in age as a sales man in the graphic arts industry, his work revolved around in person interaction. He picked up the phone and talked to a prospect, the then set an appointment, he’d drive to the office and physically meet the person. They might have lunch and if it was a good day, they’d do business together and often times for many years to come. If he operated in 2009 he would have sent an email and either gotten a positive or negative response. Chances are he would never have to meet the person face to face and phone calls would be kept to a minimum. His customers would be able to place orders online and his job would have been centered around the laptop versus the phone. He used to read books at lunch almost every day, because that was the only time he had to read. I purposely don’t check emails on my phone at lunch because that is the only time I can give my eyes a rest… My, how things have changed.

My realization through all of this is that we operate at a completely different level in terms of social interaction. Who knows, in the future there may even be a new mode of communication outside of emails and cell phones. But one thing is for sure, nothing will ever beat a handshake and a smile.

TM~

Made in America…

Posted in Review with tags , on July 6, 2009 by Artform

Made in America - Movie

Made in America - Movie

Last week I rented Made in America, Stacy Peralta’s documentary about the history of Gangs in Los Angeles with focus on the Bloods and Crips. The film is shocking and I highly recommend everyone watches it and tells a friend. Gang violence has gone on for far too long not only in Los Angeles but all across America. As we all know it is the impoverished areas that are hit the hardest. These are the areas with extreme lack of Role models, Resources, Jobs, Programs, etc… I commend Stacy for exploring this area and showing the world that we need to pull together if we are every really going to make a change in these communities. Unfortunately every year new children are given guns and join gangs because they have no hope and are looking to latch onto anything that gives them a sense of belonging.

Again, please watch this film and get involved however you can.
Click here for more info

TM~