Featured K2 Names New Head of U.S. Sales

Discussion in 'Skiing and Industry News' started by Philpug, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    PRESS RELEASE – SEATTLE, WA (November 9, 2017) – K2 Skis is pleased to announce that 10+ year company veteran Ryan McBride is now leading the charge for U.S. sales. Having ran sales for Line Skis and Full Tilt Boots for the last five years, the move into this new role has proved to be a fluid transition so far. With his expertise and authenticity, McBride will undoubtedly do great things for K2 Skis in the years to come.

    [​IMG]
    Ryan McBride, head of K2 Skis U.S. Sales.

    As the leader of U.S. sales, McBride's energy is focused on strengthening retail partnerships and discovering new ways to steer consumers to K2 retailers. Reinforcing this goal is a company-wide decision to not sell ski or snowboard hard goods directly through K2 brand websites for the 2017/2018 season. In addition to supporting K2 retailers, McBride will manage and motivate independent sales reps, serve as the go-to person for sale forecasts and marketing initiatives, and serve as the primary sales voice for global brand direction and product development.

    "We are thrilled to have Ryan join our crew and promote sales growth," stated Valerie Long, K2 Skis Marketing Manager. "His enthusiasm is contagious, and his knowledge of our brand and industry as a whole will serve as an internal driving force."

    The K2 brand has come a long way since its humble beginnings on Vashon, but what has stayed the same is that every K2 employee has a collective passion for skiing and the outdoors. McBride's personal alignment with K2 Sports' core mission and dedicated work ethic have been keys to his success for the last 10 years. "Working my way from intern and customer service, to marketing and ultimately sales, I know the range of work that goes into running the brand smoothly," said McBride. "I recognize the importance of acknowledging every role as much as possible."

    When asked where he aims to take sales in the upcoming year, McBride responded, "K2 has a big opportunity for growth in the U.S. outdoor sport industry and I am excited to be a part of the team that is going to get K2 back on top."

    About K2 Skis

    Bringing outdoor enthusiasts into a K2 State of Mind since 1962, K2's unwavering passion for skiing is the driving force behind its award-winning product and innovations. With a design philosophy that embraces a specific design for every condition, K2's collection of award-winning skis, boots, poles and helmets for men, women and children offers a complete solution for any type of skier and ability level. Whether at the resort, in the park or deep in the backcountry, K2 provides performance-driven, quality goods for the ultimate enjoyment in the great outdoors. For the latest information on K2 Skis including athletes and promotions, please visit www.K2skis.com.
     
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  2. Wasatchman

    Wasatchman over the hill Skier

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    Interesting. I believe K2 has lost market share in recent years. It's not too surprising to see a shakeup within the company given recent performance and new ownership. Hopefully K2 can turn things around. I like a lot of their skis, but they definitely seem to be slipping in a lot of reviews as well as just general excitement/buzz. I wouldn't be surprised if their ski sales are significantly down this year.
     
  3. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Actually the shakeup and turnaround has been happening and the pieces have been falling into to place. Gone is reliving the frat house days. K2 has shifted into a new era with skis like they haven't made in years. Last year's Charger collection is on par with any frontside ski from Europe. The all new iKonic's are NOT the old Recons and Rictors by any imagination. I think the next few years are going to be real exciting for K2...from what I have seen and what I have heard, they are on the right path.
     
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  4. Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Best luck to Ryan. Without being an industry insider or anything like that, it appears to me that ski sales folks have a much larger influence in the development of their product than in other industries. His role in product development is indeed part of the announcement. It must be fun.
     
  5. crgildart

    crgildart Gravity Slave Skier

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    Any discussion of building/labeling race skis again??
     
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  6. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I doubt it.
     
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  7. crgildart

    crgildart Gravity Slave Skier

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    Too bad. It would be neat if K2 picked up Bomber and invested some capital there.
     
  8. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I am sure they would have full partial access to their sister company, Völkl's resources. No need to go much further than that.
     
  9. fatbob

    fatbob Out on the slopes Skier

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    Challenge will be be whether having lost it (the buzz) they can get it back or have consumers moved on? Time was when K2 was a status brand in European ski shops probably dating back to the Mahres, through Plake and to the Seths. Doesn't feel the same anymore and feels like in N America Head and Kastle (in piste collections) and maybe Rossi in the punter all mountain have been eating their lunch . Dunno would be interesting to see this gut feel contrdicted in actual numbers.
     
  10. Wasatchman

    Wasatchman over the hill Skier

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    Their sales figures aren't public after being sold, but I'd say it's a virtual certainty their sales will be down again this season. Phil is optimistic they are starting to make the right moves, and they will be back on an upward trajectory shortly. I hope so, because I have a strong affinity to K2 as a brand and I like its historical American heritage. But, as you point out FatBob, getting the buzz and consumers excited again will be difficult.

    Rossi in particular hit a homerun with the Soul series in recent years. I don't completely understand what all the fuss is about myself (and I personally even prefer the Pinnacle series over the Soul series) but I am in a distinct minority there. The Soul series has been a huge hit with consumers with several dealers telling me the Soul 7 in particular is the top selling ski in the world. And FatBob you rightly point out that among the real ski enthusiast crowd, K2 just isn't thought of in the same league as the venerable European brands right now.

    Given recent trends, I believe K2 needs to do more with their lineup. Phil mentioned he's excited about the Charger series. I should give them a try. But my concern is that the carving ski market is not where the bulk of the ski industry sales are at this point. My personal view is that K2 needs to first regain momentum in the midfat all mountain category, and that is going to take something real fresh - like what Rossi did with the Soul 7.

    I'm rooting for K2, but I believe it is going to take a substantial change to their current lineup next year to really get things going again. Let's see what the new head of US sales will do. I'm rooting for him, but I strongly believe K2 needs some bigger changes to their ski lineup to regain momentum.
     
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  11. Ron

    Ron AKA Finndog Pugski Ski Tester

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    The pinnacle 95 was one of my SIA favorites last January. The pinnacle 88 is a fantastic ski just a little more for the lighter weight skier. If it were a bit beefier it would be a real contender in the 88 gang.
     
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  12. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    After our talks with K2 this past year, I'm excited to see what they have coming.
    As for the Pinnacle line, super fun!
     
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  13. K2 Rat

    K2 Rat Out on the slopes Skier

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    As much as I would like to see a K2 race ski again, I would say the chances are zero. It has to be so difficult to make money on race skis. The R&D, the service/support of athletes, etc makes it pretty hard. The last time K2 made race skis, everyone used race skis. Those were the good 'ol days when every shop had a nice line of race skis and the ski mags were full of race reviews and every ad featured a racer. Your average ski shop can't make money carrying race skis these days.

    Only chance would be if they could slap a K2 top on a Volkl ( Like Dynastar on Rossi) , but why bother.

    On a side note, I wonder how Croc is going? I can't think of anyone else entering the race market recently( i don't consider Bomber a real entrant). They certainly have a bunch of racers below WC on them and a few WC guys like Jitloff. Can't be paying him much of anything as I don't know if you can even buy Croc in the states.
     
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  14. Wasatchman

    Wasatchman over the hill Skier

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    Great to hear the comments from Ron and Tricia. Demoed many of the new skis in NZ last July/August, and I love the Pinnacle series. Maybe I'm not as much in the minority as I thought as they seem so underrated to me. I dunno why the Rossi Soul series seems to get so much more attention, however. Maybe there is a marketing element to it as to why Soul's seem to be selling so much better?

    Whatever it is, come on K2. Here's to hoping the brand gets its mojo back.
     
  15. Wasatchman

    Wasatchman over the hill Skier

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    Totally agree with you! And K2 owns Volkl anyway, so I don't think it would be efficient for K2 to put resources into racing skis when they have Volkl in their stable which is already badass in that category. The only argument I could see is if you think there would be any halo effect for your average punter seeing K2 on ski racers, but I'm not convinced....
     
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  16. Muleski

    Muleski Making fresh tracks Industry Insider

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    Agree. Zero chance.

    Croc is apparently doing just fine. They are only two years into this. No rush to bring race skis to the US. I believe that the deal with the one CO outlet was short lived. They are not going to do this here until they have a US race department, with the right support. And then it may be very focused.

    Just a matter of time before we see some Croc skiers here skiing in the NCAA. They have some exceptional juniors and younger EC skiers on the product, who are killing it. I know that at the bigger Euro and Scandinavian events, their kids have done well. There is always the question of plane or pilot. At that level, it's normally both.

    My guess is that it is also just a matter of time before we see a presence here. How much time? Another year? They have had a heavy, heavy race focus. I know they are now making some cheaters and all mountain skis, but have not heard a thing about them.

    And keep in mind that the race market, which is hugely kids, is pretty well served to say the least.

    If CROC does this, I bet it's going after older exceptional skiers. Limited numbers, etc. IF.

    I believe that Jit had some relationship with one of the key players. Are they paying him? Perhaps more that Stockli was willing to renew him at. Which was maybe not much. At least he gets them out of a WC GS starting gate. And perhaps some notoriety.

    They need to have the younger skiers rise and stay with them. Getting people, already at the WC level to move is hard. The Finns, for example are mostly on Nordica.

    A lot of their athletes, both genders, are pretty young, and just starting to get WC starts. Many are Eastern European, also guys from Australia, Argentina. These kids have done real well against age group peers. They need to keep it up and stay on the skis.

    They have only been at this for about two years. Very experienced guys. But yeah, this is not Bomber. At all. No need to rush it and blow it. There is plenty of interest among race focused people to bring them to North America. No deal in place that I know of.

    BTW, Volkl is not so badass on the WC right now. Building some good product and the Dalbello boot is very good. Just need to contract more athletes, who can be at the top. Just takes money! Stefano Gross is probably their only guy to be a podium threat.

    But....many people think Volkl and associate "race!" Interesting, at least to me.

    K2 race? Nope. Left with the great memories!
     
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  17. snofun3

    snofun3 Booting up Skier

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    This is REALLY good news, as those were some of truly most uninteresting skis in a very long time. How they got to be so popular just points to the very low bar people put on some skis. I used to be a K2 guy, up to the Axispro days, but when they came out with those planks, K2 didn't enter my group of real skis (although I did have some Obsethed's at one point), so it would be great to\ put them back into the mix
     
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  18. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The Recon's and Rictors have been judged unfairly for what they weren't as opposed to what they were (from my Cagematch with the new iKonic 84Ti)...

    Forget the Recon...Not because those skis weren’t any good; on the contrary, they were so easy to ski that we didn’t realize how good they really were. I want you to forget all that because the new iKonic 84Ti is a whole 'nother ski. It is strong and powerful, two words you aren't accustomed to hearing about K2 skis. First was the all-new Charger collection and now these new iKonics -- it’s a brand new world."

    "Good skiers" as a whole dismissed the Recon because it was easy....and ignored that it's best characteristic was that was really good ski..that was easy. We talk about the "shrink it and pink it" phenomena with women's skis...the Recon almost a woman's ski that was built for a man. (I am trying to think of the best way to say that without it being a knock against it, I mean it as a complement).
     
  19. crgildart

    crgildart Gravity Slave Skier

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    Cabrawler was a damned fine bump ski, as good as any competitor to the F-17s. Definitely better than the Japan "H"art F-17, and solidly comparable to the better, real deal F-17. The first two generations of PE were solid skis as well. What was disappointing were the Pontoons.. Way to noodly hahaha..
     

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