June 3, 2002
The O’Neill snowboard division flew in a group of eight retailers to Whistler in April for a big party and concert by the upcoming band 3rd Strike. All the retailers had to do was to turn in orders at the regional shows this spring, and then they were picked at random by O’Neill management.
“We’ve close to doubled our business for the division this season, says Johnny West, sales and marketing/brand manager for O’Neill Snow. “We’re in the process of relaunching the O’Neill snow line and we’ve got a five-year plan with the program. So far we’re above target. We’re up this year, when a lot of brands are down.
The retailer event was dove-tailed into a bigger promotion that O’Neill held during the season with Hollywood Records. That featured a nationwide radio promotion where stations gave away O’Neill swag including wetsuits, outerwear, and sportswear to listeners who were trying to win the grand prize of attending the 3rd Strike show at Garfinkels in Whistler Village during the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.
Retailers who won trips included Larry Ruppe from Ski Pro in Arizona; Jessica Scott from Mammoth Sporting Goods and Michael “Squeely Healey from P3/Kittredge Sports (both in Mammoth, California, Jesse Bayer from Coontail Sports in Wisconsin; Chris Kennette from Pelican Sports in New Jersey; Matt Patton from Tactics Boardshop in Eugene, Oregon; and Steve Kelly from Out Of Bounds snowboard shop in Killington, Vermont
In addition to the retailers and O’Neill staff, there were numerous industry VIP’s in attendance including Rob Souriall and Stacy Satz from Hollywood Records, Karen Lewandowski from Zumiez, and, of course, the band 3rd Strike.
The promotion was just one of many upcoming events that will support the snow brand. “We don’t want to be flavor of the month company, says West. “We’re solid product company. We’re looking at a long-term commitment. We’ve got some of best snowboard athletes like Jeremy Jones and Tommy Czeschin. We’re going to be here for a long time.