Today, Shop-Eat-Surf reported that Rob Dyrdek would be partnering with Anthem Media Group with support from La Jolla Group (home of Metal Mulisha and The Berrics) and that DNA Distribution which has been based out of Dayton, Ohio for almost all of its existence, will be moving to Irvine, CA.
You can read the full press release in italics below, but the nuts and bolts of it seems to be that the partnership aims at opening up Alien, Habitat and Reflex up to a broader (IE non-skate) audience and using that new market to fund more projects for their core appeal through new artist collaborations and better product.
That’s all well and good, but what’s curious about the press release is how it doesn’t really mention what’s to happen with the guys who have been at the head of DNA’s brands since their start other than they’d be staying in Ohio.
In past DNA ownership exchanges, the creative direction of each of its brands remained the same, with Chris Carter, Mike Hill and Joe Castrucci. When Burton bought DNA, its operations remained the same. Team riders like Heath and AVE said in interviews that the only thing that really changed with the new ownership was that there was a Burton logo on their paychecks instead of Workshop. With Dyrdek purchasing DNA from Burton earlier this year, it seemed that the creative direction of the brand would remain where it always had, but with the introduction of Anthem and especially La Jolla, a licensing brand, that doesn’t seem so certain.
I’ve got a line out to a couple people at DNA, so I’ll post more once I know.
Anthem Media Group Signs Partnership with DNA Distribution, Merges Rob Dyrdek-Led Brands Under One Roof
Skate brands Alien Workshop, Habitat and Reflex will operate with support of La Jolla Group from Irvine, Calif. HQ
Irvine, CA (July 31, 2012) – Anthem Media Group (AMG), a multi-dimensional action sports apparel, media and technology company, has partnered with DNA Distribution (DNA) to continue the growth of skateboarding brands, Alien Workshop, Habitat and Reflex. DNA was acquired by skate industry veteran, TV personality and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek earlier this year from Burton Snowboards. The suite of brands under the AMG-DNA partnership will be managed and operated under the DNA name in conjunction with a services agreement with La Jolla Group (LJG) from the company's headquarters in Irvine, Calif.
Recently launched by a group of investors, among which include action sports industry vets Toby Bost and Matt Cook, AMG's partnership with DNA aims to elevate the company's three iconic skate brands and build on the experience of founders Chris Carter, Joe Castrucci and Mike Hill.
By enhancing the brands' hardgoods, softgoods and footwear offerings, the teams will introduce an expanded collection of apparel and accessories segmented for a wider consumer audience, while serving core skate fans with new artist collaborations and product innovations.
"This partnership merges great talent and great brands with a proven operator suited for the youth lifestyle market," said Bost. “By combining our expertise in design, manufacturing, marketing, operations and technology, this relationship creates a joint venture that is not only relevant, but game changing. These brands are very well respected within the core channels, work with some of the best athletes in the sport and produce best-in-class content, so the time is right to give them the additional support needed to take them to the next level."
According to Cook, the collective efforts of the teams will help Alien Workshop, Habitat and Reflex execute a cohesive marketing strategy, create new business opportunities and offer a point of differentiation in today's fast-changing retail landscape.
"With Habitat's eco-based efforts and Alien Workshop's knowledge of the market, DNA plans to add new ingredients and combine the best of all brands, so consumers can be excited about the future of skateboarding," said Cook, who has spent the last 12 years in the digital media space, and currently serves as CEO of Supercross.com. "Bringing my digital experience to the table, together with Toby's operational and brand building expertise and Rob's media background, we've created an incredible formula for success."
Additionally, DNA plans to merge strengths in traditional media with the major marketing platform of Rob Dyrdek Enterprises, The Fantasy Factory, Ridiculousness, Street League Skateboarding Series and a multitude of other projects currently in development.
According to Dyrdek, speaking directly to the consumer with creative and multi-faceted branding and events is what the 21st century retail environment will be built upon.
"It's a great opportunity to connect with Toby and Matt to redefine DNA Distribution and develop our brands authentically," said Dyrdek, who has ridden for Alien Workshop since he was 15 years old. "From the outset, we wanted to be independent and operate on our own terms. We have been successful in doing so, and with this partnership, we'll be able to collaborate with like-minded companies, keeping the DNA brands moving in the right direction."
La Jolla Group, where Bost serves as CEO, will offer crucial resources, including operations, creative, fulfillment and a new HQ for the DNA brands to grow their collections and following. DNA will operate from LJG's Irvine, Calif. offices, while DNA founders will remain in Dayton, Ohio.
About Anthem Media Group
Anthem Media Group (AMG) is a multi-dimensional action sports apparel, media and technology company that aims to serve the ever-evolving landscape catering to today's youth culture. Founded in 2012 by a group of investors, two of which include action sports industry veterans, Toby Bost and Matt Cook, AMG's mission is to provide industry expertise and resources to elevate established brands on a global scale. In July 2012, the company partnered with DNA Distribution and skateboard industry icon Rob Dyrdek to further develop the Alien Workshop, Habitat and Reflex brands worldwide.
About DNA Distribution
Dayton, Ohio-based DNA Distribution is one of the world's leading suppliers of skateboards and accessories. Originally founded in 1990 by Chris Carter and Mike Hill, Alien Workshop was the original DNA brand. The Workshop pushed all boundaries of skateboard aesthetic, thought, and design. The Sovereign Sect has grown to include two other brands: Habitat Skateboards and Reflex. Habitat was introduced in 1999 under the creative direction of Joe Castrucci. The brand stands for skateboarding and eco-conscious design. Habitat offers a full line of skateboard equipment, softgoods, and accessories. Reflex offers a focused line of hardgoods that includes bearings, tools, trucks, and grip tape. In addition to their own brands, DNA also distributes all the leading brands of trucks, safety equipment and grip tape. DNA's brands are proud to support the world's best skateboarders.
About Rob Dyrdek/Dyrdek Enterprises Inc.
Rob Dyrdek is a professional skateboarder, entrepreneur and television star based in Los Angeles. In 1999, Rob founded his privately held company Dyrdek Enterprises Inc. which currently holds multiple companies, entertainment brands and a non-profit organization known as the Rob Dyrdek Foundation, that seeks to build safe and legal skate plazas in communities around the world. Rob is known for his MTV television shows "Rob & Big," "Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory," and "Ridiculousness." He also has an animated series "Wild Grinders," based off of his childhood skate crew, on Nicktoons. In 2010, Rob created the first professional street skateboarding property, Street League SkateboardingTM that is televised on ESPN. Other Dyrdek Enterprises key holdings include IVI Vision, Rogue Status, Loud Mouth Burritos, Ditl and ISX technology. For more information, visit www.dyrdek.com.