SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 16, 1999–Cold FusionSports, owner of fusion.com, has finalized the purchase of the Kingpinbrand name from Chicago-based Kingpin, Inc. this week.
Kingpin has been a familiar micro-brand in the snowboard industryfor over ten years.
Cold Fusion Sports, based in San Francisco, has alreadyestablished contracts with OEM Manufacturers to develop products underthe Kingpin trademark. Their Kingpin line will consist of quality,moderately priced snowboards, bindings, boots, boardbags, wakeboards,clothing and accessories.
“Participation in extreme sports is on an explosive rise,” saidTom Williams, President of Cold Fusion Sports. “In addition tocarrying a variety of products from well-known manufacturers, we feltthe timing was right to throw our own brand into the mix.”
Indeed, the number of U.S. snowboarding participants increased by29.1% to 3.6 million in 1998, according to Mt. Prospect,Illinois-based National Sporting Goods Association (www.nsga.org). Awhopping 5.8 million Americans, aged 7 and up, skateboarded at leastonce last year, and 1.3 million rode the waves on a surfboard.
During the Summer X-Games in San Francisco, Cold Fusion Sportsexpanded its snowboardshop.com into a comprehensive online shoppingsite, fusion.com, that sells a full range of extreme sporting goodsand products for skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding andsnowboarding.
The vast majority of extreme athletes are teenage males.According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) 93%of snowboarders and 94% of skateboarders are male. Whats more, 40% ofsnowboarders and 56% of skateboarders are 12 to 17-year-olds.
For Cold Fusion Sports, adding its own proprietary product lineand expanding its selection of extreme sports gear made a lot ofsense. After all, the nations 70.2 million teens spent $122 billionlast year, according to Teen-Age Research Unlimited.
Fusion.com is in a highly competitive position to attract theseyoung eyeballs to their site. Early on, the company locked up largequantities of prime keyword inventory like “snowboarding”,”skateboarding” and “extreme sports” on major Web directories likeYahoo! and AOL. Input any of these keywords and up pops their adbanner.
“This is prime online property that we have bought up for ourcompany’s exclusive long term use,” says Williams. “We have found thatthe Internet is, by far, the most effective means of reaching ourtarget group.” Cold Fusion Sports has contracted nearly 35,000,000guaranteed pageviews through banner advertising this year on Yahoo!,AOL, Infoseek, Excite, Goto.com, and OnTheSnow.com.
In addition, the company has invested in a year-long advertisingcampaign with Times-Mirror’s Transworld Snowboarding and TransworldSkateboarding, the country’s largest circulation magazines coveringAmericas two most popular extreme sports.
“The strength of our marketing campaign has attracted topsporting gear manufacturers to the table for online dealerrelationships,” says Williams. To date, the brand names being sold onfusion.com include Silence, Morrow, and Avalanche Snowboards; Shorty’sSkate Gear; Spy, Arnette and Smith Sunglasses and Goggles; Spoon(Watches); Vernor Surfboards and Iconn Wakeboards to name a few.