With all the various means of communication technology in the world these days. It’s sometimes easiest to track down busy people in other ways other than the telephone. Here’s to proving iChat is more than LOLs and BRBs between pre-teens.
11:30 a.m. EST. iChat between Nicole Birkhold and Randy Torcom.
NB: Hi Randy. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Can i ask you a few questions about your team and some signing rumors I’ve been hearing?
I know the world wants to know!
RT: Hahaaa. Of course! Let’s clarrify these rumors
NB: Alright, so tell me, honestly, is Tanner Hall now with Dakine?
RT: Honestly? Yes, it’s true!
NB: That is great! How did that come about?
RT: Tanner spent over a month at Mt. Hood filming last summer. While he was here, we developed a really solid rapport. He lived with our Snow TM (Scotty Connerly) the entire time he was here
NB: gotcha, Scotty is the man. So what is he signed for? gloves? travel gear? more?
RT: Gloves, packs and bags are the categories Tanner will be representing for Dakine.
NB: Perfect. i’ve also heard of some other additions to the ski team. Sean Pettit amongst them. Anyone else?
RT: Yes, that is true as well! Tanner and Sean are the 2 new team additions to the team for the year.
NB: That’s great. You have an incredibly solid ski team, from the likes of Dan Treadway to Mike Riddle and everyone in between! What do you look for in both creating an entire team and the individual athletes you sign?
RT: Thanks Nicole. We’re pretty dead set on having one of the best (if not the best) ski teams in the industry. We consider the team a crucial component to our marketing strategies. The main qualities we look for in riders are solid editorial and film exposure, well diversified skills (backcountry, park and urban riding) and solid support from other strong sponsors
NB: Dakine athletes definitely have a very strong presence in almost every movie I’ve seen this year! How does one bring themselves to the attention of a company like Dakine? Sponsor me videos? word of mouth? or do you approach them?
RT: For the most part, we approach most of the riders we’re interested in. My best advice for riders looking to be sponsored by Dakine would be to get a solid relationship going with a relevant hard goods sponsor first. After that, develop a strong resume with edit, film and contest exposure. If you’re as good as you think you are, odds are we’ll find you though
NB: Why is having a hardgoods sponsor so important?
RT: Traditionally, hardgoods companies are the first to bring a rider with strong potential into the light of the media. The process can then intrigue all sorts of other sponsors.
NB: I see. That makes sense. The Dakine team is full of individuals. What is it about an athletes personality that makes him or her attractive to Dakine?
RT: My favorite quality in an exceptional athlete is humility. There is nothing more attractive then a person with unbelievable talent whom also has the ability to bring themselves down with the rest of ourselves here on Earth.
NB: What are some memories you have with a Dakine athlete to illustrate that quality?
Eric Pollard and Mark Abma both stand out in this area. Everytime I have the opportunity to hang with either of them, it’s always a pleasure. They never have something to prove. They let their qualities and skills speak for themself.
NB: Very true. So what are you looking forward to with your team, going into this season?
RT: Watching 16 year old Sean Pettit turn into a full on ski star, Sammy Carlson’s new film project (which I’m meeting with at lunch to learn more about) and of course Tanner’s perfomance in the X-Games.
NB: Man, how do you keep track of such a talented team?! You must run around in circles!
RT: Hahaaa, you have no idea!
NB: I have to ask…. any thoughts on bringing more women onto the team?
RT: We have a strong criteria for riders to meet in order to be considered for the International Team. The rules don’t change for girls. 🙂
NB: Fair enough. Well, keep me posted!
RT: For sure! Thanks for taking an interest Nicole
NB: I know you’re busy, so I won’t keep you. But thanks for taking the time. It’s amazing how talented your team is and how strong they all perform in all areas of our sport. Thanks for supporting the industry the way you do!
RT: Of course! And likewise!
11:47 a.m. EST. iChat between Nicole Birkhold and Scotty Conerlly.
NB: Hi Scotty! I was just talking with Randy online as well and it sounds like you’ve had some big additions to the Dakine ski team this year. A certain Mr. Hall amongst them.
SC: Yup. Tanner’s on the program, as well as Sean Pettit. We’re stoked.
NB: So with Tanner, did he approach you? Or did you approach him?
SC: Actually neither…Tanner and I are just friends, and it just kind of evolved and made sense. Don’t get me wrong though, we always wanted to look into the situation with Tanner, but after spending a month with him this summer, it just sort of worked itself out. And we couldn’t be more stoked.
NB: What does Tanner bring to the dakine team?
SC: I guess for me, he rounds everything out. Our team is so talented, with so many great skiers, that Tanner just sort of fit in as the last puzzle piece. He has so much love and excitement for skiing, and it rubs off on anyone around him, so I would say he brings an excitement to the table that is unmatched.
NB: How will he be representing Dakine this season, and how will Dakine be supporting him?
SC: He will be representing Dakine by wearing and using the best gloves and packs on the market, along with the rest of our product line. We will support Tanner just like we support our whole team: To the very best of our abilities.
NB: Who else are you excited about going into the season?
SC: I know this sounds like a standard TM response, but our whole team is so good, and so well diversified that I’m excited to see everyone’s stuff. I can literally look at any aspect of our sport of skiing and one of our athletes is pushing the limits. Pollard has been with Dakine for years, and always puts out very artistic, solid stuff, so I always look forward to what his crew is doing. I am excited to see where Sammy’s season takes him, along with pretty much everyone else. I have an answer for every skier on our team pretty much!
NB: I hear that. I was just talking to Randy about how talented your team is and how it must be hard to keep up with all of them! How do you do it?
SC: For me, I have known a lot of the athletes for years, so really I would be following these skiers anyways. We work hard at Dk to get the job done right, but we also make sure to enjoy the little things that brought us into this industry in the first place. Call Randy’s office on a powder day and you will get his voice mail! Same with me!!!
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