Kiss Of Death Surf Sponsors | When milking a career goes bad
Athletes have to be careful out there. Sure a random sponsor may seem like a cash cow, especially at the twilight of a career, but is that sponsor going to make no one else want to touch you? It’s a very real possibility that STAB dissected.
The moto/lifestyle brand Fox picked him up. In a brief flurry, they also picked up Bede Durbidge, Bruce Irons, Ian Walsh, Chippa Wilson and Caroline Marks. For a moment, before the company hired a CEO from Boston, they seemed like they may have dialed in some odd chemistry.
Like a lot of poorly managed action sports brands, as sales slumped at Fox and the CEO leveraged his “vision,” the brand was forced to start offloading excess inventory at big-box retailers. Obviously, it’s hard to be core when you’re shit is on the rack at Marshalls or some other discount retailer.
The Fox surf program was shuttered. Keanu lost the sticker on the nose of his board, and while he’s still got the support of Local Motion, he has yet to be able to recover that vital revenue stream—even after his herculean effort to get back in tour.
Bede didn’t fare much better. He was also a Billabong acolyte in his early years on tour. At one point he stood shoulder to shoulder with Parko, Andy and Taj in two-page spread ads in the mag. Then he got clipped. Then he rode for Matix for awhile. Then Matix died. Then came Fox. About the time Fox cut its surfers, Bede retired from the tour. Now he’s a boss with Surfing Australia, but nonetheless, lacks a big-name sponsor.