So we're not huge fans of Nike being in the surfing business. They've cut ties with all surfers and moved them over to the Hurley brand, and pulled all sponsorship from contests this year. But apparently they still have a snowboard team...for now. And for 24 hours they are putting their latest snowboard film, Never Not, online for free. I like snowboarding but I hate winter, so maybe after watching this film the slightly cooler fall temperatures won't seem so bad compared to snow on the ground. The soundtrack for this film is pretty good too, it has the Rolling Stones, Black Rob, and T.S.O.L.
Following on the heels of Nike and Burton cutting team riders and brands, Quiksilver announced to today that it will be cutting riders, staff and brands from its lineup. COO and Global Brand President, Craig Stevenson, will leave later this year. Top athletes like Kelly Slater, Dayne Reynolds, and Tony Hawk will be safe. Rumors are all over the internet, but Transworld broke the story before all people were notified, so a full update may come tomorrow. As of now, Womens brands at DC and Quiksilver were cut (not Roxy), along with Quiksilver Girls. There is talk of the Quiksilver snowboard team being let go, except Travis Rice. Also talk of deep cuts in the DC family like the BMX team.
All of this seems to be an attempt to streamline the company, cut costs, and boost the stock price under new CEO Andy Mooney who joined last month. Quiksilver's stock price (ZQK) has rallied from $2.33 last summer to closing at $6.21 today.
O'Neill has announced that everyone's favorite South African, Jordy Smith, has signed another 5 year contract with them. Finally someone is sticking with their original sponsor instead of jumping ship to the Hurley/Nike oligopoly machine. It only makes sense, because I think O'Neill makes the best boardshorts which are all reviewed here.
After Nike's failed attempt at making inroads in the surfing industry, they have finally latched on the huge popularity of MMA. Nike's first big sponsorship deal was with current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones. But during his first fight sponsored by Nike in September, Jones' fight shorts were also covered with other logos in typical MMA fashion. The Nike swoosh was black and not easily visible on the back of Jones' shorts. These fighters don't make that much for each fight compared to other athletes so multiple sponsors are necessary, which makes each logo less prominent on the limited space of fight shorts.
However, last night Nike was clearly the main sponsor on the shorts of Junior Dos Santos (seen above) in his fight against UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. Either Dos Santos has a lack of sponsors (not likely), or Nike is starting to put up enough money that fighters don't need to scrounge around for smaller sponsors. Either way, it will be interesting to see if Nike sticks around or leaves the sport after a year or two like they did with surfing.
We have looked into our crystal ball, explored the Mayan tombs, rolled our chicken bones, and this is how 2013 will unfold....
5. Bob Haro will unveil his Ikonix bike, no one will be able to buy it, they will all be sold to collectors at obscene prices. Haro will use that seed money to start a retro line of Haro Master BMX bikes.
4. ZoSea Media will finally get a website, create a some sort of business plan, draft a mission statement, and basically let people know who they are and what they plan on doing with the ASP Tour in 2014.
3. Hurley will sponsor John John Florence (with Nike's money). If Nike couldn't get a world champ in 2012, they'll just sponsor as many surfers as possible behind the guise of the Hurley brand.
2. Areas devestated by Hurricane Sandy like the Rockaways, Long Beach, Coastal NJ will all rebuild and come back stronger than before.
1. Aliens will land on Earth and reclaim Kelly Slater as one of their own. Why do you think his wave pools are round? Perfect landing pads for the flying saucers. He will take surfing to new planets, thus preventing another year of him beating kids less than half his age on the ASP Tour.
That's right, as of January 1, 2013 all of Nike sponsored surfers will become sponsored by Hurley. Since Nike owns Hurley, this will just involve some new board decals and some new wetsuits. Now for the confusing part, Nike will be pouring more money into the Hurley brand in attempt to sponsor every surfer on the world tour (or at least 8 of them, and possibly 9 if John John Florence signs a deal). So Nike is basically using Hurley as a big front to pump more cash than ever into the sport.
This also means that Nike will no longer sponsor any contests, which we reported earlier when they pulled out of the 2013 US Open, but now the Nike Lowers Pro will need a new sponsor as well. No confirmation if Hurley will step in to sponsor any contests yet.
That's right, Transworld is reporting Nike, and its 2 subdivisions Hurley and Converse, will not sponsor the 2013 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. Why? Because it's expensive and Nike wants to use that budget elsewhere. Will Nike allocate those funds towards other sports or on individual surfers instead? Did they view their foray into surfing a failure despite Nike sponsored surfers Julian Wilson and Lakey Peterson winning this years US Open in the men's and women's divisions? Or maybe my negative review of their Legacy boardshorts made them realize they're not core enough? These are all questions we hope to see answered in the near future.
Day 1 of the Nike US Open is done and I'm shocked. So many good WCT surfers have been eliminated already. Taj Burrow, Taylor Knox, CJ Hobgood, Jadson Andre, and one of my favorites, Mick Fanning, are all gone. Sure Slater is the favorite as usual, but I have a feeling Josh Kerr and Adriano De Souza are going to give Slater a real challenge. So take our poll below, who do you think is going to win?
The Nike Us Open of Surfing starts today with trials, but the web broadcast won't start until tomorrow. The pic above is all the girl riders for Nike 6.0, what a coincidence! So if you like the pic above, click here to go to our facebook page and Like us! Or else bad things will happen.
I feel like I woke up in Bizarro world this week. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Billabong's ill timed retail outlet expansion in 2010 is straining financials and killing the brand. All this during the same week when Nike release's their Free Run +3 Hurley edition shoes, which sold out in 25 minutes today (don't worry I got a pair). Billabong is no longer a core brand. Nike drops the 6.0 name to sell a co-branded sneaker with a surfing company. Is this the new world order?