Vans’ Jared Bevens and Kevin Casillo on Strengthening its Snow Program & Fan Base
Vans is on the verge of celebrating 50 years as a brand. The company, which holds its original roots in skateboarding, has built a strong following in the snow space for the past 22 years. Jared Bevens, who was recently promoted last week to General Manager of Action Sports Canada, has been along for the ride with Vans for nearly 17 years, and sat down with us alongside Sports Marketing Manager: Snow & LXVI Kevin Casillo to discuss what’s new for the snow program.
In addition to building up its team with several new, up-and-coming athletes like Danimals, Dillion Ojo, and Mike Ravelson, Vans Snow is also making a concerted effort to grow its fan and consumer interaction through hosting more live events, like it’s House of Vans concert series, an iteration of which went down during SIA Snow Show in January and featured special guest performance by Run the Jewels, Metz, and The Blackouts.
“That’s more of what we’re bringing to the table now with the whole snow program,”Bevens continues. “It’s that two-way conversation—not just pushing out information but also engaging our consumers—that has been a big part of growth on that side.”
The brand’s snowboarding boot program stumbled last season, but is back with a strong offering, Bevens confirms, adding that everything they do is derived from the Vans skate DNA perspective: “When we started in snowboarding, the result was I want to be able to look down at my feet and feel like I’m wearing my favorite pair of skate shoes.”
Still the brand continues to walk a fine line between leveraging its history, while also paying close attention to the future of the sport and the direction needed to progress.
“It’s the blend of a heritage plus progression,” Bevens says. “We don’t want to shy away from what we stand for. It’s actually not a weakness, it’s a big strength for us. We’ve grown organically through our current distribution, it’s not like our growth has come through massive expansion of where we sell products. We’ve been able to manage that growth through our existing account base.”
Editors Note: The Sessions @ SIA is a video series produced by TransWorld Business in collaboration with SIA Snow Show, featuring some of the most influential snowboarding brands, executives, and athletes. Stay tuned to TransWorld Business as the next videos in the series roll out, including Zeal, Evo, Jones Snowboards, Burton, and Capita, to name just a few.