Industry News 10/28/2011

B$Z: SDSI News


SDSI presents: Why SDSI? Registration now open!
Join SDSI Executive Chairman Bill Walton and the SDSI community in welcoming its new Executive Director, Lisa Freedman. Hear first hand from the SDSI team - both staff and members - as to why they choose to be a part of an organization that has become the front-runner for collaboration, innovation, business mentoring and business development across Southern California’s sports industry. Along with Bill and Lisa, the panel will feature John Sarkisian, CEO of SKLZ and SDSI advisory board member since its inception in 2008 as well as John Vance, SDSI’s most recent board member and former president of Sanuk.  Lisel Ferguson, partner of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP and longtime member of SDSI’s parent organization CONNECT will moderate the panel. Learn how you and your company can get involved with the growing organization and how SDSI’s programs can help accelerate your business growth. Don’t miss this high quality networking opportunity with an eclectic group of sports industry movers and shakers on the back patio of Yogi’s Bar and Grill. Register for this November 15 event here.

John Vance joins SDSI advisory board
“Engaging with entrepreneurs who bring a new and fresh perspective to the market has always excited me,” said John Vance former president Sanuk. “This is the engine that drives America’s leadership position in design and innovation worldwide. To be able to help these incredibly creative people as a part of SDSI is both an honor and one of the most exciting things I do.” John Vance brings to SDSI a 40-year history in the action sports business, beginning as a surfboard manufacturer in 1970 to John’s most recent 8 year role with Sanuk which successfully ended when the company sold in July for $163M. “His extensive knowledge of building and running successful companies, such as Sanuk, will further solidify SDSI’s commitment to inspire sports innovation in Southern California,” said Bill Walton SDSI executive chairman. “He will be an excellent addition to the SDSI board.” Read full press release at and Shop-eat-surf.

Springboard updates
Over the last six months, SDSI has developed its sports specific arm of the CONNECT Springboard program.  Springboard pairs entrepreneurs with seasoned executives who provide hands-on business mentoring to solidify a company’s business plan in preparation for investor presentations. Check out some of the more recent up-and-coming companies SDSI is working with: 
Shaper Studios is California’s first surfboard workshop, giving surfers a home outside the water where they can shape and design their own surfboards. EIRs Peter ‘PT’ Townend and Ed Cleary are co-leading Shaper Studios’ Springboard mentoring team.  Chris Clark, Founder and CEO of Shaper Studios shares the following:
“We have been working really hard to prepare Shaper Studios for the Springboard Program and couldn’t be more excited to start the next chapter of development with SDSI. This alignment will allow us to work closely with some of the great business minds in Southern California as we grow and add value to the San Diego sports community.”
~ Chris Clark, Founder & CEO Shaper Studios, read full press release here.      

Frends is all about creating a brand and products for the youth and lifestyle marketplace and is setting out to create headphones that serve as living, breathing extensions of what the company represents. EIRs Steve Mariucci, Jay Gilberg and Jayla Siciliano are co-leading Frends’ Springboard mentoring team. Keir Dillion, CEO of Frends shares the following:

“Since we began this journey, nothing has compared to the fortune of what we gained from our relationship with SDSI.  Their EIRs give up valuable time to make a difference in the lives of our local business owners.  They are committed, passionate and genuinely driven by seeing us succeed.”
~ Kier Dillion, CEO Frends

SKLZ sponsors final day of CAF’s Million Dollar Challenge; Skullcandy pumps tunes
This past Friday 100 riders, each who raised $10,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) by peddling 620 miles from San Francisco to San Diego, crossed the La Jolla finish line and arrived at the SKLZ sponsored Closing Party.  The finish line party included games and obstacles for friends and families to enjoy as cyclists arrived and reflected on lessons learned over their six-day journey.  SKLZ CEO, John Sarkisian not only rode the 620 miles, but co-chaired the event raising 1.4 million dollars for CAF.  Follow the daily Challenge recap at the SKLZ blog here

Congratulations go out to Skullcandy, who not only had two riders in the week-long Challenge, but surprised riders with a DJ and swag in the parking lot of its San Clemente head quarters as the cyclists rode towards their final destination in SD.

Shaper Studios CEO interviewed on product development innovation
Chris Clark, CEO and founder of Shaper Studios, sat on a panel with fellow product development innovators last month.  The panel focused on new product development processes in the action sports industry and how they can be utilized in our local businesses.  Product Development and Management Association LA (pdmaLA) President, Dave Oventhal interviewed Chris Clark post panel. Check out the video here to learn how Shaper Studios started and how Chris turned his love for shaping into a business that celebrates that passion.  Shaper Studios is California’s first surfboard workshop, giving surfers a home outside the water where they can shape and design their own surfboards. Visit Shaper Studios here.

Skullcandy and Rip Curl team up on Mick Fanning signature audio-enabled hoodie
Skullcandy and Rip Curl both sponsor Mick Fanning, a two-time ASP World Champ.  Recently, the two companies decided collaboration around him made sense and an innovative new product was born. The conceptual product combines a Rip Curl hoodie with Skullcandy's sound technology creating the “Mick Fanning Signature Audio-Enabled Hoodie.” Skullcandy is the first endemic company Rip Curl has ever collaborated with and  you can see it first at the product launch at the Rip Curl Pro Search “Somewhere in San Francisco” on November 3.  Read full interview at Shop-eat-surf.

Luce Forward attorneys take top awards by Best Lawyers
Michael T. Andrew and Louis A. Mezzullo, attorneys with Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps, LLP., were recognized with two awards by Best Lawyers, the oldest peer-review publication producing peer-review surveys in the legal profession for more than 25 years.  Congratulations to Luce Forward in receiving San Diego's 2012 "Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law Lawyer of the Year" and "Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law Lawyer of the Year" respectively.
Read more at The Daily Transcript.

CAF rises nearly $1.2M in Triathlon
More than 200 of the world's top physically challenged athletes and 550 able-bodied athletes participated in the 18th Annual San Diego Triathlon Challenge in La Jolla on October 23. The Triathlon is an annual fundraiser for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and this year raised nearly $1.2 million to benefit physically challenged athletes. Bill Walton, SDSI executive chairman and proud supporter of CAF, competed in the event. “This is a day that inspires like no other,” said Walton. “It is the ultimate illustration of the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle.”  Read more and view event photos 

Surf Expo parent organization announces new tradeshow, Launch LA
The team behind Surf Expo is throwing a mixer into the current state of the ‘cookie cutter’ trade show market. LAUNCH LA will offer press and key retail buyers a distilled, first look at game-changing products at the true beginning of the buy/sell cycle. LAUNCH LA will showcase brands that prioritize product innovation.  To be a part of this unique event, companies and their products are selected by jury.  Initial jurors include Gotcha Founder Michael Tomson, Pirate Surf and Modern Amusement Owner/Designer Jeff Yokoyama and the owners of Saturdays NYC, Josh Rosen, Morgan Collett and Colin Tunstall.  The inaugural event will be held in the historic Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on July 25-26 of next year.  Read full story at TransWorld Business.

Forty Under 40 nominations still open
SportsBusiness Journal/Daily is taking nominations for the Forty Under 40 Awards Class of 2012. If you know someone deserving, submit their name for consideration by completing the on-line nomination form on their behalf. The Forty Under 40 Awards program was created to identify and honor the most promising young executives in sports business under the age of 40. Winners will be announced in the March 12, 2012 issue of SportsBusiness Journal and honored at the black-tie gala - the Forty Under 40 Awards Banquet - on March 22nd at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point. Nominations close November 4. Complete nomination form here.

The TransparentSea Voyage hits Dana Point Harbor: video and photo recap
This journey’s mission is to promote awareness of marine life and the need for its protection to people not only along the California coast, but all over the world. Pro surfer Dave Rastovich and the TransparentSea Voyage crew started off the coast in Santa Barbara and journeyed down the California coastline into Baja Mexico following the migration of grey whales. Video and photo recap of the Dana Point docking and auction at TransWorld Business.

The Rise of Firewire; factory closure due to Thailand flooding
Firewire, known for its stringerless boards with increased flex, has made a sizable mark on the industry in just five short years.  According to CEO Mark Price, two contributors to the company’s success include the board’s differentiating factor along with the company’s expert team.  Shop-eat-surf caught up with Mark to get the full story on the company’s five year rapid growth.  Read full interview here.

Even with devastating floods in Thailand that have Firmware’s factory temporarily shut down, the company will keep the momentum going with a solid amount of boards in stock in retail locations and over 1,000 of the brand’s boards already en route to the US for distribution, prior to the flooding. The industry responded overwhelming to Firewire’s relief-request for apparel and accessory item, and goods will be air freighted in the coming weeks.
Read full story with comments from CEO Mark Price at TransWorld Business.

SIMA and BRA Bootcamp recap
Sports Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) and Board Retail Association (BRA) came together this past Monday for a full day Industry Boot Camp at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Huntington Beach, CA.  One highlight was the State of the Industry panel which included Nick Cocores of Thalia Street Surf Shop, Bruce Cromartie of BC Surf and Sport, Mark Price of Firewire Surfboards and Charlie Setzler of Rusty. The panel was moderated by Michael Tomson, former pro surfer and Gotcha founder. The panelists discussed the importance of taking risks in retail, brand innovation, segmentation strategies and how to survive in these tougher economic conditions.

Read full event recap and view photos at and TransWorld Business.

U.S. Olympic Committee to help disabled Vets with V.A. grant
The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded $7.5 million to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to provide recreation and sport activities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. “The grant builds upon VA’s commitment to provide adaptive sporting opportunities for Veterans in communities nationwide,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. Read the full story here.

Mizu official B4BC water bottle
Mizu has been selected by Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC) to be the Official Stainless Steel Bottle Partner. Mizu stainless steel water bottles have been custom designed for B4BC and will be incorporated into B4BC’s new “Be Healthy. Get Active. Ride!” initiative that encourages participation in board sports and healthier living overall. The bottle makes its debut October 29 at B4BC’s Fifth Annual Skate the Coast longboard-a-thon event in Los Angeles. Read full press release here.

NFL plans to start venture capital fund
NFL Owners are in discussions to form a more than $32 million venture capital fund to invest in start-up media, technology and entertainment businesses that tie back into football. Owners were briefed on the concept earlier this month and the subject is expected to come up for a vote at the next Owners’ Meeting, in December. The NFL would be the first league to pool owners’ money to invest in outside businesses. Each team would be called on to set aside a sum of more than $1 million, to be available when the venture is ready to invest. The funds would be the owners and it would not be taken out of money shared with players. Read full story at SportsBusiness Journal.

10 ways to size your company’s value for funding
Once you have a potential investor excited about your team, your product and your company, the investor will inevitably ask “What is your company’s valuation?” Many entrepreneurs stumble at this point, losing the deal or most of their ownership, by having no answer, saying “make me an offer” or quoting an exorbitant number. In this article Greg Horowitt, of T2Ventures, recommends the components and “rules of thumb” to start-ups in justifying valuation.   Read the full article here.