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Tiffany Montgomery
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Mada: Riding a boost from Bede win

By Tiffany Montgomery
January 27, 2008 7:13 AM

Mada is flying high after scoring a coup for a small brand. In September, owner Vince De La Pena signed surfer Bede Durbidge, who went on to win the Pipeline Masters and the Triple Crown of Surfing title in December.


That means tons of editorial coverage for Mada, and retailers have told Vince that exposure is already boosting the brand's profile.


Signing such a big surfing star is hard for a small brand, Vince said.


"In a world of public money, it borders on a miracle," he said.


Vince was able to sign Bede by creating a licensing partnership with him. Bede will own the license to Mada in Australia, Vince said.


Vince started Mada 3 1/2 years ago, and is forecasting a profit for 2008. He has silent partners in the apparel business that encourage him to run "lean and mean."


"It's tough to do," he said. "I'd love the opportunity to do a little more volume to take our infrastructure to the next level."


That could happen this year. Mada is talking to some bigger accounts that could give Mada the boost it is looking for, he said.


I keep hearing that big companies are looking for acquisition targets. Could Mada be on the list?


"I've communicated with quite a few people," Vince said. "We'll see where that goes. You hear a lot about it, but it comes down to ‘show me what you got.' If I found the right relationship, it could work."


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