Adidas recently decided that it was time to get serious about the snowboard game and they put together their own team and announced their gameplan.
As you can see below, the response from the general snowboard community has been less than excellent:
To be honest, this reaction makes me a little ashamed of how close minded our snowboard community can be at times.
I actually think Adidas did a great job with assembling a team of riders who love snowboarding and I’m excited to see what happens next. I interviewed Helen Schettini back before she joined Adidas and you could clearly see she has a natural love for snowboarding.
If the rest of the team has the same passion and values as Helen, I can only assume they’re going to come up with some great stuff in collaboration with Adidas.
Hating on Adidas just because they’re a big company is stupid and makes our community look like a bunch of 10 year olds who don’t understand basic economics and business.
You even have industry veteran Bob Klein stepping up to defend Adidas against the haters, and he’s done more for snowboarding than any of us:
Adidas did not kill your childen.
People seem outraged as if Adidas killed their first born child just by entering our sport. I’m sorry, but I think it’s ridiculous to flame Adidas for entering our sport when we enjoy the benefits that these companies have been bringing to snowboarding by fueling growth.
Sure you may not like that snowboard is getting more commercial, but don’t hate on a company just for trying to join our sport, especially when it seems like they’re trying their best to do it right by our riders and by our sport.
The benefits we take for granted
Things like Shaun White branded lamps and Burton quilt covers are a little wack to say the least, but what about the pluses of all this big business entering snowboarding?
Do you want to have awesome new tech every year? Do you want amazingly well groomed parks with flawless jumps and rails? Do you want your local resort to keep growing and building more chairlifts?
Well kiss most of that goodbye if you want to kick every big name out of our sport.
Do people think you’d have cool tech like GoPros if big companies like Red Bull didn’t commercialize the coolness of action sports? Heck no. GoPro couldn’t have survived in a world without commercialized action sports.
Big companies getting into our sport makes it grow. I’m sorry, but as fun as the old days may have been, it’s insanely rare for a sport like snowboarding to grow without a lot of money behind it fueling the expansion.
If you want to kick every big company out of snowboarding then you better be prepared to go back to building hand built halfpipes and riding wonky hand built 5 foot jumps all day.
Forget about developing new camber technology, let’s all go back to riding snurfers.
Forget about big goggles with amazing lenses like the Electric EG2s.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You either enjoy the cool things that come as our sport becomes more commercial or you go return your GoPro and keep riding snurfers to stay core.
Heck, basically all of the supposedly cool ‘core’ snowboard brands are all owned by big brands anyway. It’s all marketing people, stop falling for it.
Another look from a different angle:
Let me give you an example. Look at Porsche. They pride themselves on making amazing handling driver focused sports cars, yet they still make the Porsche Cayenne SUV for rich soccer moms:
Know what happens to that money they make from their SUVs? They use it to reinvest into research and development and build cool things like their Porsche 918 electric supercar:
The notion that snowboarding would be 100 times better without any money in the sport is interesting, but I’d wager to bet that 99 out of 100 people complaining about big brands like Burton, Adidas and Nike would not like to give up the benefits we get from all the money and growth in our sport from these big companies.
I don’t think people even realize just how many brands would disappear overnight if you wanted to eliminate every big name brand. Once again, don’t forget that most of these so called core brands are owned by a big name brand anyway.
Oh and I’m not saying these big companies are angels, they sometimes go too far and over commercialize snowboarding to make money, but that doesn’t mean we should automatically be hating on every big company that tries to get into our sport.
Don’t fall into the trap of being ‘core’ just because everyone else is hating on the big brands.