ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (July 14, 2009) – On Thursday, July 9, more than 105 members from more than 40 surf manufacturing companies reported for duty at Sales and Marketing Boot Camp, presented by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA). The room at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point was packed with sales and marketing executives who were engaged in seminars, question and answer time with panelists, and networking with industry peers.
“With member education being a core objective for SIMA, seeing the Boot Camp room packed with people, taking notes and asking thoughtful questions, was really fulfilling,” said Doug Palladini, SIMA President and Vice President of Marketing for Vans. “Being engaged with intelligent sales and marketing people from both inside and outside of the surf industry can only make us stronger.”
Michael Wood, Senior Vice President for TRU, kicked off the morning with a dynamic presentation on “Youth Truths: How to Connect with Today’s Millenials.” Wood’s presentation highlighted key findings from TRU’s research studies on teen trends and showed examples of youth marketing through case studies.
“The biggest tip I personally took away from Michael Wood’s presentation was a reminder you have to have your finger on the pulse about today’s millenials youth,” said Debby Martin, Sales Manager for L*Space. “It’s amazing how much our consumer behaviors affect our industry. You have to understand the how, why and when culture of your business to survive.”
From marketing to today’s youth to selling in today’s changing market, four top sales executives took the stage after Wood’s presentation for a panel discussion titled, “Salesmanship: Navigating Today’s Changing Market.” Rob Campbell, Publisher of Transworld Business, moderated the discussion and panelists included: Tom Holbrook, Executive Vice President of Brand Development, Quiksilver; Jeff Moore, Vice President of Sales, Vans; Greg Osthus, Vice President of Sales/General Manager, Atwater; and Mark Weber, Senior Vice President/General Manager of Mens, Hurley. Each panelist offered candid insights of what the market looks like in their day-to-day world and how they see sales evolving in the future.
The sales panel discussion led into the much anticipated unveiling of the 2008 SIMA Retail Distribution Study results, presented by Palladini. Attendees received the first look at the top line data in the report. The overall message of the presentation was the resiliency of the surf/skate industry during the recent global economic challenges. The study indicates that the surf industry experienced a slight dip in 2008 with retail sales hitting the $7.22 billion mark compared to $7.48 billion in 2006 (a 3.5% decrease). Palladini highlighted several bright spots in the report, including double-digit growth in both the footwear and accessories category. Footwear experienced the most growth in 2008 with sales of $1.5 billion – an increase of 15.6% from 2006 and accessory sales grew 13.1% from 2006 with a total sales of $561 million.
“The 2008 SIMA Retail Distribution Study presentation overview hinted at the significant changes that have impacted our industry over the past 24 months,” said Mark Price, CEO of Firewire Surfboards and SIMA Board Member. “I’m sure every SIMA member company is waiting with bated breadth for the details by brand. I know I am.”
Regular, Associate and Board Builder SIMA member companies will receive one complimentary copy of the 2008 SIMA Research Distribution Study. Each SIMA member company must submit a completed Data Request and Confidentiality Form to the SIMA office to receive their company’s copy. Reports are distributed on disc via mail only; not emailed. Discs will be mailed the week of July 20. The 2008 SIMA Retail Distribution Study is available to non-SIMA members for $5,000. For more information on the study, please visit www.sima.com <http://www.sima.com> or contact [email protected]
In its second year, SIMA Boot Camps are educational and intimate seminars that aim to provide valuable business tips and tools to help SIMA member companies improve a variety of daily business operations. The Boot Camp seminar topics change from Boot Camp to Boot Camp with the goal of reaching a variety of employees and departments within SIMA member companies. All levels of employees from any department who would benefit from the educational seminars and industry networking time are encouraged to attend. Future Boot Camps include PR/Communications Boot Camp on October 21, 2009 at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, Calif., and Product Design Boot Camp on November 12, 2009. Check the SIMA Web site for more information on upcoming Boot Camps and registration materials as they become available.
To receive information on future Boot Camps, please contact [email protected]
The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 19 years, SIMA’s Environmental Fund has raised more than $4.5 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund, also a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, was established in 2006 to award grants to various surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health and/or welfare of people. For more information on SIMA, please visit www.sima.com.