Franchise Building, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, & Innovators DiscussionsAre you interested in starting your own lawn care franchise or are you interested in buying into one? Let's talk about different franchise opportunities and how to build your own franchise. Also we discuss different entrepreneurs who inspire us!
Franchise Building, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, & Innovators Discussions
Are you interested in starting your own lawn care franchise or are you interested in buying into one? Let's talk about different franchise opportunities and how to build your own franchise. Also we discuss different entrepreneurs who inspire us!
According to their website, there are 4 snow resorts that do not allow snowboarding. To help promote snowboarding further and open access to more mountain slopes, Burton is offerint $5,000 to the snowboarder or crew who can get video of them snowboarding on one of those slopes!
How about that for a contest! It's very creative and it makes you wonder how you can be creative with your business marketing.
A lot of times we talk about logos here and how many times we look for the perfect one because we think we have to stick with it for all time. Well here is an image that shows the different logos Burton has used on his boards since the 1970's. You can see they have changed quite a few times and yours can too! Experiment and grow!
A little before Jake Burton came onto the scene there was Tom Sims. Here is some background from wikipedia "Tom Sims is a pioneer and world champion of snowboarding, originally from Haddonfield, New Jersey. In 1963, he made what he called a the "skiboard," an early version of the snowboard, in the Haddonfield Middle School's shop room after failing to complete his intended project, a custom skateboard. Sims was the snowboarding stunt double for "007" (Roger Moore) in the 1984 James Bond release, A View to a Kill. He did not patent his invention and there is dispute as to whether or not he is the inventor of the snowboard."
Now a question you might be asking yourself is why did Jake Burton end up dominating the snowboard industry while Tom Sims who was there first did not?
The answer might lie in the way Tom got funding for his fledgling business.
What is your least proud moment? My least proud moment was probably when I got turned down by a half a dozen banks every time I went in to borrow money for my snowboard business and they would turn me down every time, and those are definitely the worst moments.
What is your role in the day to day of the brand now? Or have paid your dues and are you more of a “spiritual leader?” That’s probably pretty accurate. After my experience working with a multi-national company hoping they could do some good and then they ended up being a nightmare. And so since that experience I decided to go and partner with Collective Licensing in Denver to sort of manage the brand. So they are my agents, and they are managing the brand. And they are doing a great job. A lot of snowboarders work there so they understand the culture and they understand the sport and they were the ones who hooked up with Steve Fisher and he’s turned out to be spectacular. We’ve kept on Gaetan Chanut and he’s a great rider. We’re putting together a great team and launched a new website recently and so that’s all exciting. It’s all looking good for the future for Sims.
Collective International does Brand Licensing, Correct? Yes.
To someone who doesn’t really understand what Brand Licensing is, how would you describe it? Well let’s see, they manage several brands like Vision, Airwalk, and several other action sports brands. They find the right people to license to. And then they keep an eye on the licensee to make sure they’re doing a good job. This way we’re going to be able to re-launch the World Snowboard Championship down the road here in a few years and we’re going to launch Sugarboards, a specialty women’s line.
I think it’s important that Sims and especially Sugarboards gets a women’s specific line together because when I first thought of building a women’s specific board no one had ever done it. I approached Shannon Dunn and asked her what she thought of the idea and she said “that’s a great idea,” so when Sims launched the Shannon Dunn board that was the first women’s specific board ever made. Up until that point women had to go buy a junior men’s board and just hope that it was the right width and the right flex. After the Shannon Dunn board the women’s market took off, and all the other manufactures started making women’s specific boards, so that innovation is really part of the heritage of Sims and I’d sure like to see the Sugarboards do well.
How many times has Sims changed hands, officially? Oh boy. Well one of the problems was, going back to times when the banks wouldn’t lend me money, a lot of the brands from the early days are gone because they faced the same dilemma I did… they couldn’t get bank financing or any kind of financing, not even private equity money. So that forced me in 1986 to license to Vision and one of the problems back then was that I didn’t have approval rights if they were to transfer. So it ended up going from different hands to different hands to different hands as people had their various problems.
Was that pretty heartbreaking to watch? Yeah, because Vision would have been a good partner for me and the trouble was when they brought in millions and millions of dollars in defective sneakers, some Chinese factory screwed them over, and the LC’s went through and they were stuck with shoes they couldn’t ship to the stores. And my trademark got stuck in that mess. It’s things like this that are just out of your control that happen in the business world sometimes.
Do you think it’s going to be difficult for even an established and legendary brand like Sims to shake off any negative connotations of so many changes of ownership in the past? Yeah, it’s going to be a building process. We’re just going to go forward from here.
Jake Burton still owns Burton Boards and it is a private company. As a private company he can better embody the brand and do what he wants with it. He is the only chef in the kitchen and does not need to answer to anyone. This has the potential to keep the Burton brand clean and clear of all things 'non-Burton.'
Tom Sim's business however had changed hands many many times and it seems this never allowed the brand to catch like Burton's. Tom doesn't seem to have the infrastructure that Jake has and ultimately the Sims brand seems to have not been handled in a way it needed to in order to be the embodiment of the sport.
It is a fascinating case study. So think twice when you are considering giving up control of your brand in order to raise funding.