Industry News 9/13/2007

Burton Selects SPARC for Online Brand and Product Training

Burton Selects SPARC for Online Brand and Product Training

SPARC LLC announced today its set of networked brand and product training tools has been selected by Burton Snowboards, to create a 3,000 store global dealer training program.

Titled Burtonology.com, the project is an on-demand, self-guided, interactive training tool for Burton’s dealers and reps. Launching in September, Burtonology builds on Burton’s existing in-store clinics, adding 24/7 online access, to inform shop kids worldwide about new Burton, R.E.D., and Anon products and technologies, as well as the research, engineering, and people behind the brands.

Burton makes some of the most technologically innovative and advanced snowboarding equipment, outerwear and apparel in the world.  In order to keep dealers and shop kids plugged into the latest features and innovations, Burton selected SPARC to develop Burtonology to share this commitment to rider-driven progression.

“We debated online training for a long-time – other networks did not provide a platform with the right fit for our brand and we were concerned about the prospect of building a proprietary system,” said Emmet Manning, North American Sales and Service Coordinator at Burton.  “SPARC just gets it – from our brand experience and products, to the kids working in the shop.  SPARC gave us the flexibility to make it our own – but still use the full force of their know-how, technology, and dealer network to make it successful.”

Once registered, Burton dealers can select from one of over 25 modules spanning from Burton history and R&D, to new innovations like EST and Smooth Ride, as well as the latest on their R.E.D. and Anon brands.  After each module, the user can complete a short quiz to demonstrate their newfound mastery of all things Burton and have the opportunity to win monthly and seasonal prizes – from a Series 13 snowboard to tickets to the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships.  Online forums and contact links allow users to exchange ideas with other dealers and directly connect with the Burton staff.

According to Manning, Burtonology was created to share with their dealers what it takes to develop the best gear on snow.  Other than actually getting on the hill and testing all the new gear, Burtonology is the best source for learning about all the new advancements homespun from Burton’s Burlington VT headquarters.  The SPARC format was designed to engage shop staffs with a fast-paced multi-media presentation of information and entertaining material.  Using simple navigation, voiceover explanations, motion graphics, animation, illustrations, video clips, and even some home movies, users quickly learn about product updates and brands, company history, sales tips, and such complex theories as Vaportech™.

Duke Edukas, owner of Surfside Sports in Newport Beach agrees.  “We are totally stoked for SPARC and Burtonology.  We’ve needed this for a long time.  We’ve seen other programs, but SPARC’s approach is way more interesting and dynamic – which drives right to the bottom line in getting the message across.”

Manning explains, “Consumers in the market for a new snowboard or set-up rely heavily on the expertise of their local shop and the people who work there.  Shop employees eat, sleep, and drink snowboarding just like us.  Educating them about our gear will allow them to better hook riders up with what is right for them, and explain why it will benefit their riding.  In the end, it’s all about making sure everyone – no matter what their skill, style, or cash flow – gets the gear to ride harder for longer, and have more fun doing it.”

About SPARC:
Headquartered in Laguna Beach, CA, SPARC creates and hosts online training that keeps a sales force plugged into their manufacturers, allowing for clear transmission of brand and product information. SPARC and its creative partner Planet Propaganda, the force behind Trek Bicycle Company’s award–winning Trek University – online training for Trek, Gary Fisher, Nike Cycling, Bontrager, and LeMond, create immersive environments designed to deliver a brand’s truth and passion to create loyal crusaders on the front lines of retail.

www.sparcretail.com
www.planetpropaganda.com