TransWorld Business X Group Y
In more TransWorld news, TransWorld Business has announced a B2B partnership with group Y, the business “club” of the action sports industry started by Mark Sperling and Liz Randall. In this new relationship, TransWorld Business will be involved in the upcoming Action Sports Conference, to be held in August in Huntington Beach (exact date TBD), as well as creating a 5-part panel series of events covering action sports, with locations planned for Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, and New York.

“With this new partnership, TransWorld Business can now provide our over 4,000 members resources that expand beyond our monthly meetings and conferences,” said Mark Sperling, group Y co-founder and president. “The action sports industry and those involved with our lifestyle recognize TransWorld Business as the authoritative voice for our sports and culture and we feel they are the ideal partner for us. We are looking forward to working with TransWorld on expanding our content and reach, to better help the growth of our industry for years to come.”

Check out group Y’s site to see Label Networks’ presentation from last year’s Action Sports Conference.

ESPN X Games Debuts Video Competition Skateboard Real Street, and Latest from KIA X Games Asia

ESPN X Games just wrapped up the KIA X Games in Shanghai last week, with big wins in Vert Skating from Pierre-Luc Gagnon, winning gold for the second time -the first for any X Games competitor in the Asian Games, which is now in its 12th edition.

Unlike the USA version, the Asian X Games also includes BMX Mini-MegaRamp, and Aggressive InLine Street, which quite frankly, we believe is back on the rise again, especially if you check out parts of Brooklyn. We’re talking about a new generation of urban skaters who know nothing about the Rollerblade-ness of yester-year.

More on the Shanghai’s X Games: Though the Chinese crowd favorite was Andy Macdonald who has a chance to four-peat, the competition in the final round brought out different results. Brazil’s Sandro Dias wowed the crowds with his amplitude and trick height, finishing with a score of 80.00 and the silver medal while Macdonald settled for bronze with final score of 78.00.

“To have won gold ahead of Andy Macdonald, who has dominated X Games Asia Vert for the last few years was amazing,” said Gagnon. “I was hoping that I could pull it off this weekend and was skating well coming into this. I felt confident the whole time and thankfully it all turned out well.”

Gagnon went onto say, “This is great preparation for X Games this summer and having to be in a pressured environment at this event really helps me in the long run for the rest of the season. I feel great and really couldn’t have asked for more.”

Summer X Games will be held in downtown LA from July 19-August 1, not too far from Label Networks’ office so we’ll be all over that.

In other X Games news, ESPN announced yesterday that it will add an online competition platform to the traditional contest line-up at X Games 16. In addition to the traditional live competition schedule, will host an on-line video contest Skateboard Real Street, featuring 12 of the world’s best street skaters competing for prize money, X Games medals and air time during the X Games broadcast. For the first time, athletes will be given the opportunity to team with a filmer to partner on the production of the video and present themselves how they want it.

“We are constantly striving to present new sports, disciplines and competition platforms at the X Games that accurately reflect the state of action sports and participants,” said Tim Reed, senior director Sports & Competition. “Video parts and online videos are a major part of street skating, and we think this new competition platform allows us to better serve athletes and fans with even more unique action sports content.

The 12 skaters invited to compete with their most recent standout video parts are:

Zered Bassett- (26, New York, NY.) 2009, Zoo York’s “State of Mind”

Corey Duffel- (26, Walnut Creek, Calif.) 2009, Transworld’s “Right Foot Forward”

Jake Duncombe- (22, Brisbane, AUS.) 2009, Blind’s “The Blind World”

Benny Fairfax- (25, Los Angeles, Calif.) 2009, Adidas’ “Diagonol”

Sierra Fellers- (23, Whitefish, Mont.) 2010, Circa’s “Dialog”

Garrett Hill- (22, Granada Hills, Calif.) 2009, Zero’s “Strange World”

Johhny Layton- (24, Long Beach, Calif.) 2006, Toy Machines “Suffer The Joy”

Luan Oliveira- (19, Porto Alegre, BRZ.) 2009, Flip’s “Extremely Sorry”

Leo Romero- (23, Fontana, Calif.) 2009, RVCA’s “Promo Video”

Tommy Sandoval- (24, Chula Vista, Calif.) 2009, Zero’s “Strange World”

Tony Tave- (23, San Clemente, Calif.) 2007, Element’s “This is My Element”

Nick Trapasso- (21, Phoenix, Ariz.) 2009, Thrasher’s “Prevent This Tragedy”

Each of the 12 skaters will submit a one-minute video part that has to include a maximum number of tricks that will then be judged by a panel of professional skaters who will select the winners. A first place prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the winner, as well as gold, silver and bronze X Games medals given to the skaters with the top three video parts. All individual videos will air during the X Games 16 telecast on Sunday, August, 3. The top four athletes will compete in a game of “SK8” live on Sunday afternoon.

All individual videos have never been seen and will debut on starting on June 21. Two new videos will be released each week for the six weeks leading up to X Games 16. Fans will have a chance to view and vote on their favorite video once all the videos are released and will stay open until the winner is announced on Sunday, August 1, on ESPN. ESPN.comaction will also feature photo galleries of the skaters, additional video content around the shorts and live chats with the participating athletes.

Retail Round-up: Collective Brands and Zumiez
Collective Brands had a banner Q1 results. Owners of street and action sports brands such as Airwalk, Vision, Sims, and others, they reported earnings of $115.2 million -a record for the company, up $20.7 million from last year. Operating profit also increased 34.9%.

“We had strong earnings growth globally as we connected with consumers by offering compelling and innovative product,” said Matthew E. Rubel, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Collective Brands, Inc. “The strength of our business model, with a diverse portfolio of brands serving multiple consumers across different distribution channels and geographies, was evident in our first quarter results. We experienced strong global growth in a number of our Performance and Lifestyle Group brands and had excellent sales performance at Payless International to drive strong earnings and cash flow for the Company.”

Zumiez, Inc. the action sports retailer, reported May 29, 2010 an increase of 12.1% to $26.3 million, and a comparable store sales increase of 7.1% for the last month. This is interesting compared with a store sales decrease the same time last year of 20.7%.

Stay tuned for an update on fresh surf brands and styles featuring some lesser known brands mixed with some heavy hitter fast-fashion retailers that are getting into the bathing suit business.