Industry News 8/1/2011

B$Z: S3 the new voice for Action Sports in China

S3 the new voice for Action Sports in China

As China‟s economy and culture have become more international, the sports and activities that make up the Action Sports lifestyle have begun to gain popularity in both participation and lifestyle fashion. For this reason a new trade association has been formed to help local authorities and core brand owners collaborate and benefit from increasing participation in these activities.

Following the success of the Surfing China organization in establishing events and competitions, as well as the China Action Sports Exhibition, CASE, leaders in the industry recognized the need for an organization that will include and service all of the sports and categories that fall within the Action Sports lifestyle.

Short for „Surf, Skate, Snow‟, S3 or S cubed or S Li Fang or S立方, reflects the sports now grouped under the term „Action‟ or „Board‟ Sports.

“The interest in all areas of Action sports has been phenomenal,” explained Lai En, one of the leading figures in Surfing China. “It was clear we needed to become an organized and dynamic force for the development of all these sports across China. We decided a trade association would bring all the different activities together and make it easier to achieve our target of increasing participation nationally.”

The new Association will be headed up by Andrew Manly who has more than 25 years experience in running international trade organizations, as well as having over 15 year experience in Chinese business methods.  Mr. Manly has also served as a senior representative on one of the UK‟s national sporting bodies for several years and has a professional background in the organization of major exhibitions.

“Our first task,” said Mr. Manly “Is to build a strong membership among the brand owners and suppliers of goods and services to these sports. Our research shows the enormous potential for growth but also the need to have proper structures in place for the effective development of Action Sports as a business.”

“One of the major aims of S3 is to help our members tap into the growing interest, commercial potential and to facilitate the growth of the market for these goods and services. We aim to provide market research and practical help of real value. Additionally we look forward to working with local governments and official organizations in China to help them introduce better facilities and so benefit from the social and commercial opportunities Action Sports can offer.” He added.

Glenn Brumage, Action Sports Industry veteran and VP of the International Association of Skateboard Companies added “Although Surfing, Skateboarding and Snowboarding are over a $10 billion business worldwide, they are relatively new to the Chinese consumer and retailer. Add to that the significant business culture, regulatory, language and social differences and you have a difficult landscape to navigate without people that understand both sides of the cultural pond. Finding the right “fit” in business partners is much more daunting than most western business leaders can imagine. S3 is exactly what this industry has needed.”

The immediate goals of S3 will be a major recruitment drive, the organization of the 2011 CASE show and establishing links with retailers and local governments to develop joint action plans and programs.