Posts Tagged ‘RVCA’

Tossed On Stormy Financial Seas And Seeking A Leash, Billabong International Ltd. Eyes A Private-Equity Life Ring

September 24, 2012

The surfs of capitalism are a-froth down under, where action sporting goods developer Billabong in recent weeks has found itself courted by Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital and a rival private equity enterprise, TPG Capital, both of which eyed plans to acquire the ‘Bong, buff out its financial dents, slap on a new coat of paint and present a trimmer, more profitable extreme enterprise to the capital markets. Billabong, purveyor of the eponymous boardshorts supplier as well as tree-hugging-and-then-cutting-down skateboard maker Element and the glasses company Von Zippa, already has mapped out a path to enhanced earnings power but the investment mavens of the private equity world bring to the table their own ideas. Boil the Ocean has put its own venturing capital war-chest away in the attic in favor of more economically conservative armchair critiques of the contemporary scene, but nonetheless proffers a few strategic alternatives that Billabong’s management squad and its new partner may take under consideration in this heady season of risk-taking and risk-making.

Incentivize multiple disciplines among RVCA signess. The unpronouncable alternative sporting clothes unit already keeps one foot on the board and the other in the proverbial octagon of mixed ultimate fighting, a scenario that represents an elixir for investors thirsting after operational synergies. Thought leaders such as Jason Ellis already have paved the way for pro skateboarders to test their capacity for head injuries within the fighting pits of Las Vegas and elsewhere, and RVCA already counts within its skate ranks well-known aggressor types such as Kevin ‘Spanky’ Long, Josh Harmony and Nestor Judkins.

Set an aggressive hurdle rate for Mike V’s next contract with Element. Multiple stints with Powell and a record of high attrition among his own hardgood ventures virtually ensure that Mike V has another nature-future ahead of him at some point, plus he already got the tattoo. Vallely’s ceaseless grind, grassroots efforts to reach the kids and willingness to tackle new projects like pro wrestling have seen his board-selling abilities endure, but striking a deal that would require a certain number of pachyderm-printed decks, wheels and shoes to move before alotting incentive pay would be one way to maximize income before Mike Vallely roams on toward life’s next green pasture.

Sell more $46 t-shirts. New Billabong CEO Launa Inman last month identified a AUD40 million sales target for the Element, Da-Kine and RVCA brands. At the current conversion rate, you would only have to sell 909,091 such shirts to make up the difference, compared to about 2 million regular shirts at like $20, less than half the work.

Harness Element’s ‘back to nature’ vibe. “Just to give you a little bit of a sense, Element is very much a skate brand. It’s all about urban,” said CEO Inman, remarking to analysts on a conference call last month. “It’s a brand that has done well in America, we just need to refresh it.” This makes sense — the U.S. launched ebonics, rap music and the career of Keith Urban. However, it leaves another segment of the marketplace untapped: rural. The hinterlands match up well with Element’s rootsy ethos but there is also a smart business move to be made here, as there seem to be far less competitors. Google returns about 127,000 results for “urban lifestyle brand” compared to just 4,200 for “rural lifestyle brand.” There may also be opportunities for a smaller, more nimble retail competitor to entrenched big-boxers such as Fleet Farm, Farm & Fleet and Runnings’.

Avoid global financial crises when possible. Responding to a shareholder query in August, Billabong CFO Craig White acknowledged that the worldwide financial meltdown of 2008 may have set the parent company back some 10 years in terms of earnings, which had to be a bummer. Now the European sovereign debt crisis is afflicting Billabong’s wholesaling business in that region, all of it highlighting the import of extraplanetary diversification.

Hey, Leo Romero Also Is Back On His Bullshit

May 20, 2009


Shoot the gun

So this RVCA* promo: basically it’s what you would expect, a load of longhairs in tight pants and red shoes, banks, jangly guitars, 5-0s and so on. It’s kind of less interesting to me than the company itself, as I’ve seen honest-to-god rappers wearing RVCA hats (I think in the XXL with Rawss on the cover) which made me wonder if RVCA is maybe far deeper in terms of, you know, cultural reach than I ever suspected, or perhaps they’re just the post-Vans revival DC except a clothing company. Which probably makes zero sense at all. Regardless Nestor Judkins has some really great tricks here, if that’s him hopping up on the backside lipslide and jumping the handrail into the bank, but otherwise this is all kind of by-the-numbers.

That is til 3 minutes in when the stage clears for Leo Romero to unleash the great Baker footage firehose, or at least the stuff that’s not worth saving for the Emerica vid, logo boards be damned. The fakie frontside blunt** opener was a good one I thought, back to the “That’s Life” part where he’d occasionally throw in random difficult ledge tricks in between gliding down gaps. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen any footage in a while but in this promo Leo Romero seems like he’s skating faster and angrier and at times (such as the humpty-hump to backside 180 and the tight-spot kickflips), seemingly for the sheer “fuck” of it, which is kind of a tough thing to communicate in an age awash with so much urban creativity. This is a good section, not great unless you look at it in terms of what he’s still sitting on, namely all the uphill handrail battles which are apparently contesting Heath’s white period for “Stay Gold” bragging rights. Not sure how rare this vid is supposed to be, but worth the free admission for the long slides, flashy frontside flip and artfully selected slams — which actually work for once, following the landed tricks toward the end of the part.

*Am I supposed to write it all in serious capital letters?
**And did I get it right this time? If I had things my way this would be a fakie ollie switch backside noseblunt because it’s totally different than a frontside bluntslide and everybody’s stupid anyway.

Man of faith

July 8, 2008


Don’t tell him what shirts he can’t wear…

Nosing around TSM’s blog-o-zone earlier I ran across this photo Dave Swift shot of Terry O’Quinn last winter in Hawaii, rocking a probably-too-tight-for-his-age RVCA shirt, as you can clearly see. Now I’m a fan of Lost and all, but unless TOQ’s kid is getting flowed this stuff I personally prefer my graying celebrities a little more classified. Probably his stylist pushed it on him, and at least it’s not riding way up on his gut. Still it reminds me uncomfortably of the batty old lady I saw at the bus stop last week wearing some beat-up 2002 DCs with no socks. If I may: Nah, brah. (Or ma, if you like.)

Since I’m on about Lost here this gives me an excuse to link Jorge Garcia’s blog for no real reason. Highly entertaining reading, as well as the occasional, bizarre drawing. There’s a lot about farting, and hanging out with his mom. So awesome.

And to throw this admittedly non-skateboarding post completely into Lost territory I’ll go ahead and post this video too (via the Hood Internet).