On this past Friday night, Burton Snowboards wrapped up the North American leg of its global tour by throwing an industry party in its West Coast showroom and office in Dana Point, California. For the throngs of people who were able to hold off their plans to see Jackass, The Movie the party was a no-brainer. Burton teamriders, SoCal industry heads, media people, and even a few Strokes look-alikes all showed up to shake hands, say hi, check out some artwork, and even ingest some free super-charged vodkas, beer, and Wahoo’s Tacos.
Burton’s California über rep Laurent Vrignaud helped host the party, turning his regular showroom/office into a mixed-media art gallery showcasing photos by Embry Rucker, paintings by Mike Alvarez, and more. Two souped-up Dodge’s provided the sound system for the space, while DJ Salomon spun tunes outside. Riders fresh off the Global tour were there to sign some autographs and check off another stretch of the tour-Gigi Rüf, Shannon Dunn, Dave Downing, Ross Powers, Victoria Jealouse, Keir Dillon, and Shaun White-all soaked in the festivities before heading off on the next segment of the tour in Japan.
According to Liam Griffin, promotions and events coordinator for Burton’s marketing department, the team tour has gotten a great response in each city. In North America, the team visited shops and showed its team video in New York, Montreal, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Orange County.
“It’s amazing how each shop we stopped at prepared differently,” says Griffin. “Some really took advantage, doing radio spots, sending out flyers, and advertising in the weeks leading up to the event-kids were coming out in droves. People who were Burton fanatics were there waiting in line for hours with old Feelgoods for Victoria Jealouse to sign. It was pretty cool, and I think the shops that worked it saw great results.”
While insiders were invited to head to Dana Point early in the night to feed on the Wahoo’s, the real party didn’t start until nine that evening. In the weeks leading up to the event, the guest list was being touted as strict so, those who showed up were surprised to see that no one was checking names at the door. The red-rope buzz kept the crowd down to about 250 people, enough to be fun, yet guests could still talk to each other and move around. Even so, there were plenty of people to attract the attention of the local police force who showed up around 11:30 to shut the place down. Not to worry though-there was a bar across the street.
As the party shifted to Coconuts, while a few of the Burton hosts were bummed, others were seen breathing a sight of relief. “It was good and bad,” reflected SoCal rep Linda (Hubbs) Hoefer. “It’s nice to know our party was worthy of a visit from the cops, but it also allowed me to get home semi-early and not be totally hung-over for my clinic in the morning.”