Jason Levinthal Acquires 4FRNT Skis Inc.

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by Philpug, Jun 27, 2017.

Tags:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    10,391
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    Press Release: Jason Levinthal, based in Burlington, Vermont has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of 4FRNT
    skis Inc., a designer and manufacturer of alpine skis, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The transaction is expected to close
    in early July.

    Levinthal’s acquisition of 4FRNT is an unexpected, yet logical next chapter in his ongoing, two decade long, personal
    mission to rejuvenate the sport of skiing. The industry veteran is credited for building and bringing to market the first twin
    tip ski in 1995 while creating the ski brand “Line.” He later sold Line to K2 Sports where he masterminded the launch of
    “Full Tilt” ski boots. Today he owns and operates the highly successful, first-of-its-kind, direct to consumer, limited edition
    ski company, Jskis.com.

    When asked, of all the ski brands, why 4FRNT, Jason responded, “Unlike today, in the late 90s and early 2000s there
    was only myself and a couple of other small startup ski companies. We were all skiers, focused on pioneering the modern
    day freeskiing movement, by developing progressive new products to counteract the stagnant sport of that time. Of those
    original brands, 4FRNT is the only one still privately owned. I truly believe it’s in the best interest of the entire industry to
    keep it that way, to make sure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.“

    “I have immense respect for the 15 years of hard work and determination Matt Sterbenz, the brand’s founder, and his crew
    have put into building this great brand. Matt has a great vision for the brand and together we have a combined 37 years
    worth of proven entrepreneurial ski industry experience to leverage.” Moving forward Matt will continue to be responsible
    for creating the athlete-driven products the brand is known for, while keeping 4FRNT’s unique position in the market,
    in-line with its authentic freeride and backcountry skiing roots. He will remain in Salt Lake City, Utah operating out of “The
    White Room”, 4FRNT’s state of the art R&D facility enabling Matt to continue to keep the brand’s finger on the pulse of
    what’s next, minutes away from “the greatest snow on earth.”

    Over the past 15 years, Matt Sterbenz has experienced it all, saying, “I still recall the first SIA tradeshow booth I built at the
    Mandalay Bay, when Jason walked up to me with a nail gun and told me how much faster it was than screwing it all
    together, because let's face it, we’ll be back here next year doing it again. I’ll never forget how influential Jason’s passion
    was for me early on with 4FRNT. Jason has been and remains to be a positive influence to me and I’m thrilled to now
    officially have the opportunity to work with him on growing 4FRNT.”

    As a serial entrepreneur in the ski industry, Jason understands the immense challenges that come with growing an
    independently owned winter sporting goods brand in such a competitive, seasonal, zero-growth industry of which the
    majority is controlled by publicly traded corporate conglomerates. When it comes to 4FRNT’s future, Jason said, “We’ve
    got a huge opportunity to introduce 4FRNT’s unique brand position, heritage, and award winning products to a far broader
    audience of skiers. We’ll immediately ramp up brand awareness to match the demand it’s award winning product
    deserves. In the coming months we’ll exponentially increase all promotions, fast tracking 4FRNT up to speed with today’s
    most advanced digital marketing techniques. It will also be very important to quickly improve behind the scenes
    operational efficiencies. We’ll gain immediate cost and time savings due to the now larger economies of scale by sharing
    proven operational systems between my two ski companies. I’ll of course be sure to respectfully keep the two brand’s
    identities, products and directions separate and unique as they currently are. I simply couldn’t be more honored, and
    excited to have the opportunity to apply all of my experience and knowhow to helping make sure the 4FRNT brand
    continues to be a large contributor to skiing’s future for decades to come. It’s going to be a fun!”

    About 4FRNT
    Founded in 2002 by then pro skier, Matt Sterbenz, 4FRNT is widely recognized as one the original, pioneering brands of
    today’s modern freeskiing movement. 15 years later 4FRNT continues to work closely with the world’s most progressive
    athletes to create innovative, award winning skis that support the ever-evolving needs of today’s most dedicated skiers.
    They offer a broad line of skis, bindings, poles and accessories, sold worldwide.

    About Jason Levinthal
    Jason Levinthal is a well known and respected 20-year veteran in the ski industry, credited for his creativity that has
    enabled him to stay years ahead of the competition. He got his start in 1995 building what many credit to be the first twin
    tip ski and grew it into the incredibly successful brand “Line,” which in 2006 he sold to K2 Sports. Jason continued as a K2
    employee where he masterminded the launch and exponential growth of the globally respected ski boot brand, “Full Tilt”.
    In 2013 Jason left to create a new ski company Jskis.com, where he now develops at the speed of thought, award
    winning, innovative Limited Edition products backed by some of the most entertaining, unexpected and impactful marketing in the industry, selling exclusively on his website Jskis.com.
     
    elemmac, ski otter 2, skibob and 5 others like this.
  2. Oleg S

    Oleg S Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Posts:
    20
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    i don't see it as terrible news, but don't see it as good either. Mainly because J.Levinthal somehow associated in my mind with "made in China" skis.
    I am sure I am wrong.
     
  3. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    10,391
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    But his skis are not made in China.
     
  4. Oleg S

    Oleg S Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Posts:
    20
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    We design our skis in Vermont USA & build them in Quebec Canada.
    i am terribly wrong.
     
    Mendieta and Philpug like this.
  5. squill

    squill Putting on skis Skier

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Posts:
    41
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    WOW! I'm psyched to see what comes out of this! A win+win for skiing and sends a direct message (ATMO) to the big boys with quarterly investor obligations.
     
    MattSterbenz and Brian Finch like this.
  6. JsNeagle

    JsNeagle Skiing's easier if you're in the air Industry Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    31
    Location:
    Stowe, VT
    I think it's going to be interesting to see how/if it changes 4FRNT. In my opinion 4FRNT as a brand has a very different feel compared both to Line and J Skis, but that could just be my own perception. When I first saw the news today my reaction was, "well that's kinda weird," not necessarily in a negative way, rather Jason and 4FRNT just surprised me as a match.

    I like Jason a lot and have a ton of respect for him. I'm sure he'll do great things, it just seemed strange to me at first.
     
    Tricia likes this.
  7. Brian Finch

    Brian Finch PT, CSCS, Cert- DN, FRCms, M|WOD Coach Industry Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    707
    Location:
    Vermont
    Keeping it real, I really struggled w Jskis.
     
  8. SpikeDog

    SpikeDog You want Big Air, kid? Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    38
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Should we expect mostly online purchases of the new 4FRNT or will they be in the brick & mortar stores?
     
  9. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    10,391
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    I have a call with Jason this morning, that is one of my questions.
     
  10. JLev

    JLev J Skis Manufacturer Industry Insider

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Posts:
    5
    K2 makes skis in China, they own Line = Line made in China. I don't own or work for "Line" anymore.
    My company J skis are 100% made in Rimouski Quebec, Canada. 4FRNT skis are made in Europe by Elan as they have been for years of which some of their smaller batch models Matt builds himself in Salt Lake City UT "White Room". Moving forward we see no reason to change as both brand's products are winning awards and unique feel and performance and quality is well respected throughout the industry.
     
  11. JLev

    JLev J Skis Manufacturer Industry Insider

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Posts:
    5
    Thanks for the support and pointing out there are strong differences between our brands. There's no reason for me to own 2 of the same. This is why Nike owns Converse shoes and Kawasaki owns Harley Davidson. The value in multi brand strategy is to leverage the combined backend resources economies of scale to then continue to foster each brand's unique individual position and product in the market to cumulatively gain stronger operational abilities and shared knowledge and ultimately more market share, thus continue to increase each individual brand's ability to invest more back into growing itself and contributing more back into the industry.
     
    JsNeagle, ski otter 2, Tricia and 6 others like this.
  12. Oleg S

    Oleg S Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Posts:
    20
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Jason, I already apologize for my confusion, I do see that J-skis are made in Canada and that really great.
    I have no (yet) experience with J-Skis, but I like 4FRNT a lot and no (made in China) is a great news. Thank you.
     
  13. MattSterbenz

    MattSterbenz Booting up Manufacturer Industry Insider

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2017
    Posts:
    1
    We have always supported retail and the relationships we've cultivated with dealers over the years are much a part of who we are today. As it was in the beginning, we have also always sold our product on our website. The big change which predates the sale to J, is that for 2017/18, we terminated all of our online retail partnerships, making 4FRNT.com the exclusive destination for 4FRNT skis on the internet. We did this to control price and distance ourselves from the online price policies that often devalue a brands position due to closeout sales. This was a tough move to make, but we knew that this would benefit our shops, and our website sales, going forward. We have over 50 shops heading into this year which have all proven to be successful selling 4FRNT in their local market and we look forward to continuing the partnerships with these shops and others like them in the future.
     
    SpikeDog, udailey, squill and 2 others like this.
  14. JsNeagle

    JsNeagle Skiing's easier if you're in the air Industry Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    31
    Location:
    Stowe, VT
    Thanks for the response! Really gave me a better understanding of your intentions and I'm glad 4FRNT is in good hands. Let's chat skis next time I run into you!
     
  15. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    10,391
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    Please continue the conversation in the interview thread HERE.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page