Action Sports At ‘OR’

With the infamous end of ASR, the face of tradeshows is changing.  Arguably, the outdoor sports category and action sports is experiencing more crossover-innovation and sharing of markets that we've ever seen before. The lifestyle factor, as well as a common platform of natural resources, is bringing these two similar worlds together at tradeshows.

Outdoor Retailers (OR) tradeshow has seen a steady progression of action sport brands attending the August and January shows over the past few decades. Brands like Reef, Patagonia, Dakine, and Smith Optics have frequently attended the show over the past 20 years. "Quiksilver, Surftech, Havaianas, IPath, and other core AS brands have been at OR over 5 years…in hardgoods, footwear, accessories, and apparel," according to a recent post on the OR blog.  With that said, the merge of action sports at OR has focused, quite literally, on "outdoor," natural sports. "The full suite of ‘Action Sports’ is not represented at OR, for example BMX or Moto elements" are missing.

The OR blog post points out, "…action sports happen outdoors on the natural (and public) land and waterscapes we use… therefore the resource at our very foundation is shared.  Whether we are talking the waves at Trestles, or the single-track trails at the Syncline, or the gazillion flatwater lakes perfect for kayakfishing and wakeboarding, we share the same access platform."

The more 'industrialized action sports,' (for lack of a better way to say it), like BMX, Moto, and even resort skiing/snowboarding is not well represented at OR. "It [industrialized action sports] doesn’t happen on a primarily open space platform; when it does, it’s on modified land and is more closely tied to the real estate and development business."  Compared to surfing, big-mountain snowboarding, or even mountain biking, these other sports are for a different demographic, and has a more expensive 'cost of access' to enjoy.

Most recently, Burton and Billabong announce attendance at OR. Burton plans to make their OR debut at the January Winter show, revealing their 2012/13 line with an emphasis on their technical and backcountry products called "The Family Tree."

It will be interesting to see the representation at OR as action sports and outdoor sports, being called 'Action Outdoors,' begin to merge.

For the original quotes from this story, visit the OR blog post.