Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Action Sports In Schools Hits Devon

Students at a Barnstaple school are the envy of youngsters elsewhere in Devon - after skateboarding was included in PE lessons.

Skateboarding has finally made it onto the school curriculum - at one Devon school at least. Now, enthusiasts at other schools across the county must be hoping their teachers follow the example set by Pilton Community College in Barnstaple.

The college has incorporated skateboarding into the school's PE lessons - and, not surprisingly, it's been a popular decision! At the moment, it's only a trial period to see how the lessons go, but staff argue that skateboarding is a sport, so should be included in PE.

College teacher Wendy McQuillan believes that although it's not a traditional sport, like football and rugby, there's still a place for skateboarding in school PE lessons.

"For many of the students it's a sport they're trying for the first time, so it's developing a lot of new skills
. And for those who've done it before, they're developing a range of co-ordination skills. And there's also the physical aspect of skateboarding."

The skaters have now started a petition to try and get a skate park in the town, which, they say, would keep everyone happy. In the meantime, they're making the most of the lessons on offer at school.

For the full article visit

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dragon take the leap to independence

Dragon was started by Will Howard in his garage in San Clemente over 13 years ago when he saw an opportunity in the market for new blood. From this humble beginning Dragon grew and to fund the growth of the business brought in a number of investors who were also involved in the Oakley business. Dragon continued to evolve to become a diversified and global brand, deeply rooted in surf, snow and MX core/specialty distribution in over 35 countries worldwide. Meanwhile the ties with Oakley developed into a shared private partnership and with the purchase of Oakley by the optical giant Luxottica, Dragon became one of the portfolio of brands at the biggest player in the global optical market.

The purchase by Luxottica presented Dragon with two opportunities , one to remain part of the global leader and reposition the brand as a purely optical business, the other to regain its independance and continue with the development of the brand by offering a variety of products in the action sports market.

CEO Will Howard and General Manager Aaron Behle decided the time was right to to break away from the parent company. There were a number of strategic as well as passionate reasons as to why Dragon chose independence. Firstly Will got his baby back, nothing like being back in complete control of your own destiny to reinvigorate brand energy. Secondly Dragon's product mix was moving in a different direction from its parent. Oakley and Luxottica are fully focused on the optical market, whereas Dragon is positioned as more of a youth lifestyle brand connected with core retail specialty shops . This is reflected in their product spread with two thirds of Dragon's turnover coming from outside the optical market. Dragons more diversified product range was never going to fully benefit from being part of Luxotticas vertical optical business model.

So whilst there was always a lot to gain from being part of a larger company (eg. Lower production costs, increased distribution network etc...) there was a danger that Dragons brand development would stall.

With one of the most iconic logos in the industry, Dragon is now looking to build on its global branding mission and progressive product offerings and return to what Howard calls the “specialty power band of the action sports industry”.

“We have now restructured Dragon to fully leverage a decade of brand authenticity and capitalize on what we believe is a paradigm shift in the action sports market,” said Behle. “We have a unique position with a unique plan. More importantly, we have a young and passionate team with the ability to ‘zig’ while the market ‘zags’ and enjoy ourselves along the way.” Dragon now embarks on its independent journey with a familiar yet refined mission statement to be the leading eyewear and accessories brand in the youth lifestyle market.

This bold decision is in completely the opposite direction to what has been one way traffic as the major brands have been scooping up smaller independent brands in the boardsports market- Maybe this is the first of a wave of brands regaining their independence .

Article from Boardsport SOURCE