Many of the biggest and most successful brands in action sports sell products to people beyond the daily/frequent participant, especially in surf and skate. This should come as no surprise to anyone… the biggest surf brands are apparel companies and in skate, footwear often dominates. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though… I wonder how many jerseys and New Era hats are sold versus baseball bats and gloves? And the MLB seemed to be doing a-ok last time I checked.
As the action sports participant (or lifestyle enthusiast) gets older, it’s important to realize where they are and what they’re reading. Flip open a Nylon, Inked or Complex and action sports brands are front and center with both advertising and editorial. Go to your favorite apparel brand’s web page and there’s a good chance they also back a few like-minded musicians or are sponsoring an art show, in addition to a team of upstart and veteran shredders. Why?
Besides the notion that the media landscape is more fragmented than ever (which I don’t have the time to prove, but trust me, it is), the action sports lifestyle enthusiast is reading media besides the endemics. Men’s Journal, Outside, Women’s Health, Shape, Cool Hunting, Radcollector, High Snobeity, etc. People are going here to get their news, just like they’re going to places besides skate shops to buy their favorite brand’s t-shirt.
The concept goes for other areas too. Car & Driver may be the authority on automobiles, but I’m personally more likely to read about a new car in Men’s Journal, Gear Crave or a similar publication.
Quite a few brands in the action sports industry are marketing beyond the endemic media and to people outside of the participant consumer. Be it through ads, PR, events or something else, these brands have realized that their potential customers may not skate or surf every day after school, but psychographically, they have a similar ideals and tastes. They just need to be shown what tastes good.
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