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Wooly, others react to White/Target news

Industry consultant PT Townend
Industry consultant PT Townend of ActivEmpire
By Tiffany Montgomery
January 22, 2008 12:27 PM

The news today that top snowboarder Shaun White is creating a line for Target makes me wonder: How do the action sports brands that sponsor Shaun, like Volcom and Burton, feel about one of their athletes creating clothes for a mass retailer?

Little did I know that Shaun White doesn't ride for Volcom anymore, Richard Woolcott just informed me. Shaun's contract with Volcom expired at the end of December.

"It's a bummer to see Shaun move on but I'm happy for him and wish him the best with his new project. We had a great run together and we certainly enjoyed a lot of good times!," Richard said via email.

I also wanted some perspective from the industry as a whole, so I asked industry consultant/insider P.T. Townend what he thought of the deal.

P.T. said Tony Hawk did a similar thing when Quiksilver moved the Hawk line to Kohl's. "In a way, that paved the way and will make this easier."

One big difference: Shaun White is young and in his prime, P.T. said.

"The bottom line, is how much is Target paying, and you have to think it's a lot of money."

It's probably a good move that Volcom isn't sponsoring Shaun now, because P.T. thought Volcom had the most to lose in the Target deal. In the marketplace Volcom is still considered a core brand even though the company is publicly traded, P.T. said.

The bright side of the announcement is that it shows the world of action sports is growing up and becoming more of a factor in our culture if a store like Target is associating with the industry, P.T. said.

Here's the Target/Shaun White press release:

January 22, 2008 - Target today announces the future Shaun White for Target collection. The line will feature clothing for young men and boys and will be available in late July.

This collection will build on a significant relationship between Target and Shaun, as he has been riding for Target for nearly six years. A professional skateboarder and snowboarder, Shaun is considered by many to be the most recognizable athlete in action sports.

Additional information, images and sample product will be available in July, 2008.


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