Chad Mihalick (center, with mic) surrounded by contest judges at the contest on March 6th.
Chad Mihalick, mastermind behind Malakye.com, was invited to check out a snowboarding contest in 2007 at Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain by good friend Karl Fuhre. Fuhre had been working since 2005 to bring a small group of people in the snowboard industry together for an annual contest that placed more emphasis on fun than anything else. Needless to say, the idea caught Mihalick’s attention and before he knew it he was working with Fuhre to create the first-ever Office Booyz contest in the states. Now in it’s second year at Bear Mountain, Office Booyz runs as a mirror of the original event, and is described by Fuhre as “A place where the best parts of our jobs and our love for snowboarding can co-exist.”
TransWorld Business caught up with Mihalick after this year’s March 6th event to get his perspective on planning the contest and to find out what’s in store for Office Booyz, which seems to be evolving into a strong tradition. Here’s what he had to say.
TWB: How much brainstorming goes into planning this type of event?
Planning is a lot of fun. We have a foundation of sorts that we work from in regard to the obstacles within the contest. I think it all starts with the Quasi Big-Air and the office obstacles. Brainstorming kicks in and new obstacles are born, like the "Hippy Jump," which is a high ollie contest. That one has proved to be rough!
Then we figure out prizes. We give away prizes for what would be considered "normal" categories, and then some not so normal. Brainstorming prize categories is a blast. The way it works is someone has an idea, "I want to give away an award to the person who…." and then finishes the sentence and creates a prize. “Most Grey Hair,” “Ate the Most Donuts,” “Oldest Office Boy,” “Heaviest Office Boy,” “Rides Like a Dude,” “Most Sauced,” “Blue Balls,” “Brass Balls,” “Smartest Office Boy,” and “Most Confused” are just a few examples of what we like to acknowledge. It runs deep! And that's why the award ceremony is so fun.
In 2008, we gave winners of "Most Team Spirit" a cruise for four to Mexico. We gave the “Scorpion King” (person who went down the hardest) a 32 inch LCD TV. These were the most expensive prizes given out, and the point of giving them to winners of these "events" is to let people know Office Booyz isn't all about being the best rider – a tradition that will absolutely continue. We want everyone that comes out to feel comfortable and know it's all about having a good time – and if you suck, you still win.
How do you think things went this year?
This year's event was amazing! Thanks are largely due to Rio, Mindy, and Clayton of Bear Mountain. Their work is what made it so successful. Our course was bigger, we had more room, competition was fun, awards ceremony was great. Our commentators Seumas Santoro and Erik Phillips kept everyone entertained. From what I can tell everyone loved it. I loved it, and I can't wait for the next one.
How has the response been from the industry?
It's definitely gaining momentum. This year, turn out was at least three times what it was last year.
How have you hyped the contest to get more people involved?
Coverage and exposure of last year's event really helped it gain momentum. I think people got a feel of what it's all about and loved it. Beyond that it’s word of mouth – send out an invitation and that part is done.
Do you think Malakye has received increased exposure from hosting the contest?
A quote from Talladega Nights sums it up: "I like to think of my Jesus wearing a tuxedo T-shirt. It shows that he's formal, ya know, but it also says, 'Hey, I like to party.'"
What else is Malakye up to these days? Any other upcoming events or partnerships in the works?
The stove is on, and all of the burners are fired up. The Malakye Kitchen is going to serve up some good stuff.
What about next year's contest – have you started planning for that?
Bear Mountain is a great venue for Office Booyz. Plans are in the works for summer events, and maybe, just maybe, one for the Right Coast.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, this is a great opportunity to thank Karl Fuhre, Clayton and his crew, Mindy, and Rio from Bear Mountain and Mike West for his support of Office Booyz.
For more information about Office Booyz visit Malakye.com.