A recent article at ESPN.com detailed the recent Action Sports Retail tradeshow (ASR) show in San Diego. The article, “Dude, Where's My Trade Show?”, reminds us all that the surfing industry is feeling the pinch in the economic downturn.
The ASR was 50% smaller this year with many of the big names in the industry vacating the $80,000 spots on the main floor. Only Billabong and Volcom footed the bill for the prime locations, and the idea that these two diametrically opposed companies shared the floor seems akin to putting sweet little Mary Johnston from the Human Resources department in a storage closet with a badger.
One of the most startling admissions in the article is that some of the cuts that the companies will be making might be aimed at their teamriders. This seems ludicrous. Why would a company go and cut a rider who has been on the team for years to save money when that rider is probably the only reason anyone is buying your company's clothes? Then again, I am not an executive so what do I know.
I'll leave you with the final tally at the ASR:
Orders for trucker hats down 120%
Bro-shakes, fist-pounds, man-hugs down 47%
Appearances made by hootchie “spokes models” down 63%
Booths hosting “cocktail hour” down 98%
Alcohol consumed up 78%”