8.12.13

Brands that had awkward stages pt. 1

I randomly was thinking about brands that were once huge and had to redefine themselves after an awkward stage. For some brands it was because of a feud between owners and other brands just dropped the ball. Lets have a look:

Kink:


Kink put out two relatively popular videos in the early to mid 2000's, Wasted Days and Cheap Thrills. I thought they were both lame because they had these dumb skits in them. However, I never bought them and have only seen some of the sections on the internet years later. Around 2007 or something, most of the Kink team were either dropped or quit (I can't remember) and the graphic design got fruity as fuck. The parts had no 'x factor' and the team wasn't really very exciting at all. By this stage Dan Bogard was sort of down the gurgler (wasn't getting the coverage he once was) and he was almost the only one left on the team. It is a pity I didn't pay more attention to his riding because I have recently realised how damn rad he was. Anyway, for Ian Munroe and Chris Arriga it was the end of their careers - unfortunately they never really picked up a significant sponno after that. Chris had a failed stint as the Giant manager and had Taj and stuff on board, but eventually the funding got cut and they got let go. Ian still rides for Solid, but doesn't really get any mag coverage. Slowly but surely, the brand got comfortable in its own skin. It lost the 'metro' colourway and signed on Chris Doyle (after he got kicked off DK). That was the start of a new Kink. Also, around that time Daryl Tocco got put on and with his HD video camera and filming skills was the one to make the biggest impact on Kink's now prestigious image. They then adopted skatings idea that BMX'ers could travel to all different countries (not just around the UK or USA) and make great videos while doing it. Fast forward a few years and they dropped a couple of videos and got some new trendy dudes on the team and boom, they are now a sexy  company and no longer an awkward teen with acne. 

FIT:

We all know the break up story with Fit. Robbie had one idea, Chris had another. People were unhappy, people talked shit on each other. Stuff ended up in magazines, blah blah. Well, once Cult emerged and the big break up happened, we were all interested to see what would happen next with Fit. They added some new unknown guys to the team who, really, lets be honest are still pretty much low key for the most part. The two exceptions to this are Tom Dugan and Shawn Macintosh, which is good for them. It is a bumber Pat King doesn't have more of a media presence, because I feel he could have really blown up, but for one reason or another (perhaps smoking weed as a lot of his parts show he is quite a fan) it never happened for him. Anyway, the graphic design continued to suck at Fit and they just had a whole lot of old guys on the team and some new guys no one cared about that much. Eventually, as stated before, Dugan and Shitty got famous and that helped their cred a lot. Also they got the designer from Odyssey to become their designer. He bought a new image and aesthetic which was very much needed and helped give Fit back its own image. After fumbling around it had finally found its feet - the only problem is I fucking hated the ads. SO BAD. 
However, after some time, I slowly began to like them (and they improved)

Added colour and things made a big difference to how I enjoyed them. Good onya Fit, you're no Cult, but you are still your own company and I like you.

Primo/Odyssey:



in the 90's - early 00's Primo reigned supreme. They were THE parts company. Bad ass team, THE BEST parts and more. Their seats, pedals, tires and cranks were on every bike I saw. However, Greg Walsh (I think) was the team manager and design guy (or something) and he got fired (or left) Primo. Shortly after all the bad asses left primo and some of them ended up at Greg's new (failed) company Coalition. Once Primo was out of fashion, their competitor Odyssey had open slather. They were unstoppable. Epic graphic design and great forward thinking parts and a pretty good team made them the best from the mid to late 00's. They even won a prestigious design prize (where they beat Apple I'm pretty sure). I don't think any other BMX brand has won a proper design prize (except Macneil with the pivotal seat).

It was fucking bad ass and everyone cool had it on their bikes. However, it was a real fiddle because it was only one piece which meant you had to align you steerer every time you moved your bars. It also had insane clamping power and crushed some bars. Although, that didn't seem to bother anyone, but then randomly, everyone started hating them and took them off their bikes. Odyssey then dwindled a bit and a whole shitload of other parts brands started popping up. Both Odyssey and Primo have amazing 10/10 impeccable images and parts these days. Odyssey had a smaller fall to get up from, whereas Primo had a much further hole to pull themselves out of. They got that dude (I forget his name) to do their marketing (he wasn't from a BMX background) and he did an epic job putting together arguably the best team. Primo instantly skyrocketed back to the top and despite a lot of their parts still being out of date they were in very high demand. Eventually they fired that guy and got BMX marketing god Rich Hirsch to take control. He continued to help them from success to success and designed a great new relevant and contemporary range of parts. They now sit back near the top as one of the most respected brands, although neither company will probably completely monopolise the parts game as they once did because there are so many other parts companies these days and even bike companies pretty much make every part these days.

Part 2 coming soon...

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