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NEWS: Bourden and Watson uncerimoniously dropped from Kona

Loozinskin

Monkey
Jul 9, 2005
172
0
Bellingham,WA
I'm not a huge Kona fan or even a bourden fan for that matter but this is a pretty good article and goes into some detail about the some of 07's biggest surprise team moves that left some valuable guys high and dry without so much as a decent good-bye reach-around before they sere sent off.
 

davet

Monkey
Jun 24, 2004
552
3
I'm not a huge Kona fan or even a bourden fan for that matter but this is a pretty good article and goes into some detail about the some of 07's biggest surprise team moves that left some valuable guys high and dry without so much as a decent good-bye reach-around before they sere sent off.
Unless you've talked to Bourdon or Watson, how would you know the details of their leaving?

Why does the public feel they need to know every detail of a company's business decisions?

Talking sponsorship, does sponsoring riders help sell bikes? Maybe if your rider is standing on a podium or at least getting press. But unfortunately supporting icons of the sport when they are no longer contributing to sales is just bad business.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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Talking sponsorship, does sponsoring riders help sell bikes? Maybe if your rider is standing on a podium or at least getting press. But unfortunately supporting icons of the sport when they are no longer contributing to sales is just bad business.
Watson obviously hasn't been getting too much exposure lately but I guarantee there are a lot of little kiddies riding stinkys because of bourden's video parts. Dropping him seems a little more odd than watson.

Neither one of them are killing it on the glorified dirtjump front that's now considered 'freerding.' But having someone on the team like bourdon who doesn't give a flying fvck about trying rediculously large tricks for a video part seems like an asset. What do I know though. I'm in my 30s.

At a certain point, it seems like having a few 'legacy' names on your team helps sell expensive bikes to old people. Look at wade simmons.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
Unless you've talked to Bourdon or Watson, how would you know the details of their leaving?

Why does the public feel they need to know every detail of a company's business decisions?

Talking sponsorship, does sponsoring riders help sell bikes? Maybe if your rider is standing on a podium or at least getting press. But unfortunately supporting icons of the sport when they are no longer contributing to sales is just bad business.
This is an odd one. I was commenting about Tiki Barber badmouthing his old team, the NY Giants, when he took his new job as a commentator on a NFL pregame/halftime show. He burnt his bridges and the only way he will be part of the post SB celebrations if he stands out on the street as the parade rolls by.

I thought it was odd that Lopes complained publicly about his departure from GT. I am sure that is how he (and everyone else that gets dropped) honestly felt, but he first thing I thought after I read that was, "maybe Lopes is difficult to work with and that's why GT dropped him".

But I don't know much about leaving a place at the top. Usually I am being thrown out with the garbage. Maybe a statement by your PR person will mean something to fans and other interested parties.
 

CBJ

Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
10,994
1,293
Copenhagen, Denmark
Watson obviously hasn't been getting too much exposure lately but I guarantee there are a lot of little kiddies riding stinkys because of bourden's video parts. Dropping him seems a little more odd than watson.

Neither one of them are killing it on the glorified dirtjump front that's now considered 'freerding.' But having someone on the team like bourdon who doesn't give a flying fvck about trying rediculously large tricks for a video part seems like an asset. What do I know though. I'm in my 30s.

At a certain point, it seems like having a few 'legacy' names on your team helps sell expensive bikes to old people. Look at wade simmons.
Woo you know Kona is for the kids anyway. Not for old farts like you.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,645
380
Warsaw :/
Watson obviously hasn't been getting too much exposure lately but I guarantee there are a lot of little kiddies riding stinkys because of bourden's video parts. Dropping him seems a little more odd than watson.

Neither one of them are killing it on the glorified dirtjump front that's now considered 'freerding.' But having someone on the team like bourdon who doesn't give a flying fvck about trying rediculously large tricks for a video part seems like an asset. What do I know though. I'm in my 30s.

At a certain point, it seems like having a few 'legacy' names on your team helps sell expensive bikes to old people. Look at wade simmons.
Exactly. Look at the whole buzz about CG even though he has worse results than in the old days.
It's even more apparent with nico. All the stuff about lapierre and now recently Bos. I've seen stuff about it on every forum I know. But yea knona is a bit for kids and probably the Lacondeguy brothers and Cowan Suit them fine. Yet they could use someone that would tell them to change the friggin antique geo on stinky.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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Woo you know Kona is for the kids anyway. No for old farts like you.
Read my post again. I think bourden helped sell the things to kids.:D


Their dh bikes are pretty legit. Check the bb measurement on one sometime;) I think letting barel go was a much bigger mistake than cutting these two. That guy had very quantifiable results and Kona could have easily sold more dh bikes if they had 'barel approved' numbers.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
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SF
Exactly. Look at the whole buzz about CG even though he has worse results than in the old days.
It's even more apparent with nico. All the stuff about lapierre and now recently Bos. I've seen stuff about it on every forum I know. But yea knona is a bit for kids and probably the Lacondeguy brothers and Cowan Suit them fine. Yet they could use someone that would tell them to change the friggin antique geo on stinky.
I think there is a lot with sponsorship, and it is not always the wins and the tricks. Being popular with fans, relationships with the owners, and how much you get paid.

As a general rule, athletes do not accept paycuts well, even with declining results. Baseball is a great example of this, with long careers and a lot of numbers to measure performance. I noticed aging players are traded or released right around the end of their contracts.
 

stiksandstones

Turbo Monkey
May 21, 2002
5,074
21
Orange, Ca
The whole 'athletes' thing is a tricky thing, no rules to it all.

2 points worth bringing up
-Trek and Giant, 2 of the largest bike brands in the world (trek in the USA, Giant globally) and neither company has an identifiable pro rider you could name (you=joe enthusiast).

-But, look at IronHorse they were put on the bike map again solely from their race team (sam hill). Granted miniscule numbers compared to the big brands, but huge increase in popularity and sales solely due to a racer and race team....probably due to guerilla marketing and luck, but an increase none the less.

What point did i make? hell if I know, this is just what came to my head. But like kidwoo, I am old (30's) so what do I know.
 

CBJ

Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
10,994
1,293
Copenhagen, Denmark
The whole 'athletes' thing is a tricky thing, no rules to it all.

2 points worth bringing up
-Trek and Giant, 2 of the largest bike brands in the world (trek in the USA, Giant globally) and neither company has an identifiable pro rider you could name (you=joe enthusiast).

-But, look at IronHorse they were put on the bike map again solely from their race team (sam hill). Granted miniscule numbers compared to the big brands, but huge increase in popularity and sales solely due to a racer and race team....probably due to guerilla marketing and luck, but an increase none the less.

What point did i make? hell if I know, this is just what came to my head. But like kidwoo, I am old (30's) so what do I know.
Giant in Canada sponsored Tyler Klassen last year but who knew about that one.

Stick totally cute pictures of your daughter!
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,743
170
NORCAL is the hizzle
The complaint is...what? That Kona hasn't issue a press release thanking them for their years of rocking good times? Are we sure that Kona is NOT going to issue such a release? I mean, the Clump release came out yesterday - is Cam jumping the gun here, or just giving props to his bros?

It is truly a game of "what have you done lately?" It's a business and with a few exceptions, the fact is that pro riders get sponsored only so long as they produce results (or are likely to), or have proven to be valuable sales boosters, R&D help, or all of the above. These two are great riders and have made solid contributions in the past, and they can still whoop ass on most people, but they are no longer at the top of the sport. From what I can tell their contracts over the last couple of years were primarily based on their prior performance and status as statesmen rather than current activities. I don't see either of these guys becoming "ambassadors" like Wade, and we have no idea if they're going to continue working with Kona in any other role like R&D or whatever.

I recognize that our perception of the pro life is not reality, and that maybe I'm just jealous from seeing too many articles and video clips of these guys drinking beer and hanging on the beach after a day of shuttles in costa rica or wherever, but maybe THEY should issue a press release thanking Kona.
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,687
10
Speaking from personal experience.....getting fired is the best thing that can happen to you sometimes...:busted:
 

stiksandstones

Turbo Monkey
May 21, 2002
5,074
21
Orange, Ca
Another thing that might be good for a poll, but does a rider sticking with ONE company for their entire career OR most of their career do anything for the rider (besides solid long term salary, etc...) and for the company?

Like, Hans Rey being a GT guy for 100 years and Ned Overend being a specialized guy for 100 years, does it make the general 'racing' public think any higher of the company?

And CBJ, thanks for the pic comments.
 

jbogner

Monkey
May 8, 2006
315
0
Fort Collins, CO
Did Jay-Z sit around waiting for the record companies he worked with to manage his own career? Hell no. He went out and got his, and took his career into his own hands. The only thing that separates Jay Z from thousands of other wanna-be rap moguls is a little bit of talent and a whole lot of work/ambition/business sense.

In the same way, if some of these "pros" don't take their careers into their own hands and make sure things like a positive spin on their departure gets put out there in the press, then who's fault is it? The bike company's? They'll keep putting out bikes, and most people will forget this whole thing within a week. It's the former pro who tends to suffer.

Being a pro means treating your career like it's important, and protecting your career while being proactive about it. In most situations, the company who's letting them go would be happy to put out a press release highlighting that athlete's accomplishments while representing their brand. But the companies aren't going to do it out of the goodness of their hearts- they've all got a lot of other projects on the table competing for PR time, and without the athlete or their manager pushing to get it out there, that press release will never get written.

If you wanna be a pro, you better be good at managing your own business, or hire someone to manage your business for you if you're not interested in doing it yourself...
 

stiksandstones

Turbo Monkey
May 21, 2002
5,074
21
Orange, Ca
Speaking from personal experience.....getting fired is the best thing that can happen to you sometimes...:busted:
Ya, agreed.
I will throw in an old story related to this....(stik haters, just breeze on by).
In 1998 Mongoose had decided to drop Brian Lopes and Leigh Donovan. They put the new goose on the map (I think) and we were all a bit baffled. They wanted to keep my lame ass around, but were ditching Lopes and Donovan, they were paying me very well ($50k plus bonuses) but those guys were my 'team' so I quit.

Lopes went on to sign a deal with cannondale for A LOT of money, while Leigh had a hard time finding a 'team' deal. She thought about just quitting because it was not worth it to her to risk life and limb for some $35k rides (schwinn made offer for that in nov. of 98') and coming off large 6 figure salary, she just assumed bail. SO, Leigh started talking to a bunch of co-sponsors, some bike brands about creating her own deal (before Lopes and Peaty did these styled deals) and landed good financial deals from Intense cycles, Bell Helmets, TLD, Shimano, Easton, Manitou and others. She could have just taken all this money herself and had a sweet solo deal, but decided to share this money with intense and create an 'intense racing team'.
So she hired me to come along, and we picked up a few up and comers like Ira Vick, Randy Lawrence, etc.....

So ya, being fired resulted in more fun for Leigh, she learned how to run a business a bit, and gave some rides to other riders.
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,687
10
Ya, agreed.
I will throw in an old story related to this....(stik haters, just breeze on by).
In 1998 Mongoose had decided to drop Brian Lopes and Leigh Donovan. They put the new goose on the map (I think) and we were all a bit baffled. They wanted to keep my lame ass around, but were ditching Lopes and Donovan, they were paying me very well ($50k plus bonuses) but those guys were my 'team' so I quit.

Lopes went on to sign a deal with cannondale for A LOT of money, while Leigh had a hard time finding a 'team' deal. She thought about just quitting because it was not worth it to her to risk life and limb for some $35k rides (schwinn made offer for that in nov. of 98') and coming off large 6 figure salary, she just assumed bail. SO, Leigh started talking to a bunch of co-sponsors, some bike brands about creating her own deal (before Lopes and Peaty did these styled deals) and landed good financial deals from Intense cycles, Bell Helmets, TLD, Shimano, Easton, Manitou and others. She could have just taken all this money herself and had a sweet solo deal, but decided to share this money with intense and create an 'intense racing team'.
So she hired me to come along, and we picked up a few up and comers like Ira Vick, Randy Lawrence, etc.....

So ya, being fired resulted in more fun for Leigh, she learned how to run a business a bit, and gave some rides to other riders.
Same idea Stik.....except my deal was whole lot less exciting and involved alot less money.....:poster_oops:....but i see the similarities, it gives new opportunities a chance to open up....:monkey:
 

ChrisKring

Turbo Monkey
Jan 30, 2002
2,395
4
Grand Haven, MI
So Stick, does Randy Lawrence return the favor and hook you up with some factory MX bikes? Maybea RV's 250F? :) Or at least some good seats for A1?

You and others are 100% on though that riders need to manage their career. That is why it iis ok to "toot your own horn" because no one else is going to.
 

stiksandstones

Turbo Monkey
May 21, 2002
5,074
21
Orange, Ca
So Stick, does Randy Lawrence return the favor and hook you up with some factory MX bikes? Maybea RV's 250F? :) Or at least some good seats for A1?

You and others are 100% on though that riders need to manage their career. That is why it iis ok to "toot your own horn" because no one else is going to.
RL has been more than a good friend over the years. Spending the summer in europe traveling around with him was a great time too.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,743
170
NORCAL is the hizzle
Just wanted to also mention that Watson's been working on Sombrio for quite some time now. He understood the need to figure out a way to provide for himself when he could no longer get paid to ride, so he should be ok. I have no idea about Bourdon.
 

seth505

Monkey
Jun 9, 2006
521
0
CA
I think it is a rule if you are an athelete in the spotlight you should be used and abused like a _____ hooker.
This is also a time where espn can rake in a zillion dollars on 'xgames' but I know people who can throw a superman backflip over a 75' jump on a dirtbike but don't make 50K in a year....its ludicrous.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
22,446
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Did Jay-Z sit around waiting for the record companies he worked with to manage his own career? Hell no. He went out and got his, and took his career into his own hands. The only thing that separates Jay Z from thousands of other wanna-be rap moguls is a little bit of talent and a whole lot of work/ambition/business sense.

Yeah.


I was just thinking that.


WWJZD?
 

dexter

Turbo Monkey
Sep 23, 2001
2,947
31
Boise, Idaho
bourden has not contributed anything to the sport for a solid 6 years. every time he is in a video or a comp i think to myself there are so many better younger riders who could use the exposure that are not going to just dead sailor off big cliffs and look like a midget on a tricycle doing so. and woo in the past few of his video segments i have fast forwarded through he has been attempting back flips for a long time now and crashing HARD. he is trying to get into the huge dj segment but cant cut it. kona realized a bad investment and dropped him

watson on the other hand has been super influential in riding doing camps, guiding trips around the worl, and having super chill slow trail sections in videos. i can see them cutting him also, the hucktastic stuff is out, hell dh racing is out but thats a different story, and its all about extreme mega flip gnar superman tailwhip jib crap (which i personally love to an extent)
 

pelo

Monkey
Jun 11, 2007
708
0
I don´t know if dh is out... I think it´s coming back. When a sport progress, it takes different paths. The DJ scene is getting bigger and is huge, bacause it´s easy for the kids to do some jump sessions almost everywhere.
DH on the other hand have had better days, but I think it´s coming up big, at least in europe, don´t know about the us scene though.

I always thought Watson was too good for Kona, with his super smooth wc-style, anyway.;) I´d like to see him on a pure racebike.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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He stuck a backflip on that little gully jump in virgin in the last disorder.


Personally I thought watching him eat sh1t on those ginormous flat spins in the last disorder flick was kind of rad. He should be spancerd just for trying that sh1t:D

Either way, since Kona sponsors the NWD flicks and he's off kona, I doubt you'll see much more of him. While we're at it, get schley the fvck out of there too.:D
 

pelo

Monkey
Jun 11, 2007
708
0
Yea...^ bourden is kind of fun to watch, mostly because he seem like a micro never ending energy resource.

Schley is some kind of Whistler-icon I don´t give a s#!€% about. Is he still in those movies??
 

leprechaun

Turbo Monkey
Apr 17, 2004
1,009
0
SLC,Ut
dude- in disorder 8 watching Bourdon throw that crazy flat 360 over a huge hip-gap and crashing over and over was inspiring. Yeah he crashed a lot trying it but it was freaking insane. Few people are mixing up big mountain and dj/slopestyle. I still can't help but think that mountainbikers look like wannabees when hitting the dj's compared to BMXers.

Big mountain forever. Good luck Bourdon, i hope you land a good ride and/or continue doing what you love- going big.

krispy
 

Loozinskin

Monkey
Jul 9, 2005
172
0
Bellingham,WA
Unless you've talked to Bourdon or Watson, how would you know the details of their leaving?

Why does the public feel they need to know every detail of a company's business decisions?
I'm just saying... read the article. Closing remarks to be specific.


Also I think Bourden has been being groomed as the new Bender for a while now and I think he fits on the clump as far as they're marketing image goes. Maybe he'll be happier as somewhere else but I think unless he was outspokenly unhappy about being with Kona they are missing out on retaining a BIG BIG personality in the Freeride scene.

Like some others said too... Kona's are for kids... and the kids want to huck.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,922
8
Over your shoulder whispering
I think that the point of his thread and of NSMB is that Bourden and Watson were in the elite group of pioneers for their segment of MTB'ers. They were instrumental because their efforts, regardless of where they rank NOW, and willingness to put life and limb on the line for a sponsor are what should be honored.

In regards to announcing a new Clump team, plenty of forethought goes into those.

It would be very respectful of them to honor those two riders commitment to the development of their product line and image by thanking them for their years of personal contribution right out of the gate before mentioning the new game.

In any matter of honor, you pay your respects to those who have been on the journey with you. Let's not forget that bike parts and big mountain riding is a result of what these guys did for gravity and Kona is entrenched in most all of those parks because of it.

Stik, seems like Mongoose was respectful of Leigh and Lopes during the departure on the surface to the general public, right? I mean, they didn't announce a new direction without a note to the public about their service?