Quiksilver announced today the launch of Quiksilver Entertainment, a new intitiative that’s been in the works for more than a year. Tapping into existing relationships with athletes and capitalizing on the growing market interest in the action sports lifestyle, Quiksilver Entertainment has been established to sell its expertise in the action-sports lifestyle to television producers and networks and to produce TV programming, movies, events, music, publishing and corporate partnerships targeted at the youth market.
“Quiksilver has always been at the forefront of expanding and broadening the reach of the action-sports lifestyle,” says Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight. “We are a company of firsts: we were the first action-sports company to be truly global, the first to make men’s and women’s boardshorts and the first company to go public. With our strong roots in the boardriding culture and our wealth of relationships with many of the premier athletes, the creation of Quiksilver Entertainment was a logical step in the evolution of our brand.”
McKnight continued, “A key component to the successful launch of this division is the experience and leadership capabilities of industry pioneer Danny Kwock. Danny embodies our brand spirit and has successfully led our brand-building initiatives for more than 20 years. He will collaborate closely with VP Matt Jacobson, who brings invaluable media experience from his work with Creative Artists Agency, Fox, Newscorp, and The Walt Disney Company.”
Quiksilver Entertainment is currently developing action-sports programming for cable, including a series of athlete profiles, likely to be the first-ever such programming to air in a primetime slot. These formats will break from current event-driven programming, allowing viewers to get to know these athletes and the dynamics of the sports in a new way. A video-on-demand venture, Union* the boardriding channel, created in partnership with a collective of other leading endemic companies, will launch this summer via TVN Entertainment’s distribution platform, including Comcast, Mediacom and Insight.
[IMAGE 2] In addition to creating original programming, Quiksilver Entertainment will partner with leaders in consumer electronics and telecommunications, automotive and relevant packaged goods, to market to the youth audience. An initial summer-long integrated marketing initiative with Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment’s Screenblast(r) includes a range of co-branded, cross-media activities incorporating a strong call to action for this audience. In just two weeks, it has already resulted in nearly 300,000 page views to the co-branded website and close to 30,000 sweepstakes entries. A forthcoming partnership with Boost Mobile will target the booming youth market for pre-paid cellular phone cards and handsets.
“It’s important that this venture is good for the whole industry,” said Danny Kwock, president of Quiksilver Entertainment. “Just as Nike took a leadership role in expanding the sports market in the 70s, as the market leader we can take on that role for action sports. By conveying the aspirational appeal of this lifestyle to the broader youth market, this initiative benefits us all.”
“I have worked with Matt Jacobson for many years and consider myself and my family to be Roxy/Quiksilver enthusiasts,” said Yair Landau, president of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment. “We view their customers as our core demographic for many of our properties — our games, films and music are an integral part of their lives as they express themselves through action sports.”
The action sports lifestyle market represents a significant market opportunity. Snow, skate and surf “board” sport participation is expected to grow from 11.7 million to 15 million by 2005, according to American Demographics. Last year, Board-Trac Research calculated snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing alone were a $9.9 billion dollar industry.