In an effort to provide retailers with valuable insight and useful tips for June 20 and June 21, TransWorld Business presents the International Go Skateboarding/Surfing Day Resource Center. Make sure to check out what Skate events and Surf events are happening near you .
International Go Skateboarding Day (GSD) was founded in 2003 in Southern California when a few skateboarders held skate sessions and barbecues, but over the past seven years the event has steadily grown and taken off in countries worldwide. It’s become not only a day to shred, but also a great source of marketing for skate retailers everywhere. Last year, more than 32 countries participated and 2.5 million media outlets picked up coverage of GSD events, according to IASC’s official Web site. Go Surfing Day started under similar circumstances and has also grown into something much bigger, and will celebrate its six-year anniversary this Saturday.
TransWorld Business caught up with Don Brown, Sole Technology’s senior vice president of marketing and IASC’s chairman of the board, to ask him a few questions about the significance of International Go Skateboarding Day. Here’s what he had to say about GSD 2009:
Sole Tech’s Don Brown. Photo: Sole Technology
Besides giving everyone a great excuse to drop everything and skate, why should skate retailers be motivated to create and get involved in GSD events?
This year will be the 6th year for IASC’s Go Skateboarding Day. It’s amazing to see how the day has gotten bigger and better each year. This year will be the biggest year due to it being on a Sunday. It’s also on Father’s Day which will make it a perfect day to get your dad on a board and go ride! Go Skateboarding Day is really important to retailers as it has become the busiest day of the year for skateboarding and this drives skaters and non-skaters to their local skate shops to get both hard goods and soft goods, while inquiring about what is going on in the local skateboarding community. IASC encourages retailers to think of ways to increase sales when they have more attention and traffic coming to their stores. Go Skateboarding Day is mostly a great way for retailers to create their own local events and then have the local media promote and cover their event. These events really help to promote their skate shop and skateboarding as a whole in their local community – it’s really a win-win for everyone.
How can retailers measure the success of events they hold on Go Skateboarding Day?
It’s really up to the individual store. I think the key measurements would be how much exposure they received on the events they created, how much store traffic increased or how much in store sales grew on the day or the weeks prior to June 21. Henry from Slam City Skates, London just told me that their sales on Go Skateboarding Day are always the strongest of the year with business 400-500% more than an average day in June. It’s important to think of Go Skateboarding Day like Christmas – get the local community coming in and buying stuff weeks before the day for the preparation, maximize on the traffic on the day and then look at having after Go Skateboarding Day sales promotions to keep the momentum going. Don’t make the mistake of just focusing on June 21st!
I personally measure the day by how big the smiles are on skaters faces, on our Sole Technology “Wild on the Strip” event in Las Vegas that we did with Pharmacy and Industrial skate shops I had 3 kids tell me that this was the greatest day of their lives, hearing anyone say that is priceless.
What type of feedback have you received as a board about GSD over the last few years? Has it served as a successful gauge in measuring participation and the overall state of the skate industry?
The feedback we’ve received has been really, really strong I would say Go Skateboarding Day is one of the top initiatives for IASC as everyone has seen the energy that it’s created for the skateboard community. I do feel that it helps to promote and increase participation of skateboarding which are two of the biggest IASC goals. I’ve been told amazing stories of the local skate community coming together and protesting outside of the City hall for a skate park resulting in the mayor seeing the need and putting a new skate park in the plans. Last year etnies helped raise money for the Johnny Romano cancer foundation working with Jack’s, New Wave, Jokers, HSS skate shops in Huntington Beach to sell raffle tickets and raise money – it’s amazing how much positive stuff can come out of Go Skateboarding Day and IASC encourages stores and manufacturers to raise money to give back to their community in the name of skateboarding. This year I got a call from one of my friends in Argentina saying he wanted me to write some comments on Go Skateboarding Day for the mayor of Buenos Aires to read as he unveils a new skate park in the city. Go Skateboarding Day has really created a huge amount of positive energy for skateboarding around the world.
If you could give skate retailers one piece of good advice that they could take along with them for the rest of the year that would help generate as much enthusiasm as Go Skateboarding Day does, what would it be?
The key for retailers is to start planning early. If you’re having an event at your store make sure you work with the city early. Steve from World of Toys in Reno had issues in the past when he struggled to get permits to shut off the street a few years back. I feel Trent in Cowtown does it best – he has backed Go Skateboarding Day since the beginning and always has great events, contests and interacts with the Arizona skate community. Probably the most important thing though is to make sure everyone has as much fun as possible…at the end of the day that’s what skateboarding is all about.
What are your plans for Go Skateboarding Day?
I’ll be up in Vancouver for the Emerica Wild in the Streets. There’s a whole weekend of madness, mayhem, and good times waiting to happen!
Ever wonder if there were steps you could take to prepare for International Go Skateboarding Day and Surfing Day? Check out our cheat sheet of tips on the next page by clicking through to page two directly below…