Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek

Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek has been riding professionally since he was only 16 years old. Since then, he’s gotten into all manner of businesses. Now, at 37, he’s come full circle.

Dyrdek announced last week that his down-town L.A. company, Dyrdek Enterprises Inc., acquired skateboard company DNA Distribution. It’s a significant purchase because DNA brand Alien Workshop first sponsored young Dyrdek.

DNA is a Dayton, Ohio, supplier of skateboard decks, wheels, grip tape and other accessories, and includes brands Habitat and Reflex in addition to Alien Workshop. The Habitat brand also includes apparel and shoes.

10

Dyrdek used his skateboarding stardom to get into a variety of industries, including consumer goods, apparel, video games, toys, cartoons, construction and entertainment. He is best known for his MTV shows “Rob & Big,” “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory” and “Ridiculousness,” all of which he writes, stars in and produces. He started Dyrdek Enterprises in 1999 as the umbrella company for his ventures.

Dyrdek bought DNA in January from Burton Snowboards Mfg., which had purchased DNA in 2008 when the Burlington, Vt., snow-board company was expanding into surfboards and skateboards.

Dyrdek said that when he found out DNA might be for sale, he jumped at the chance to buy it.

“The moment I heard that they were looking to get back to sort of their core business of their snow stuff, and there was an opportunity to negotiate even a potential acquisition, I immediately jumped right in and started negotiating to get the deal done,” he said.

Skin Phillips, editor in chief of magazine Transworld Skateboarding in Carlsbad, said Burton’s purchase of DNA was a case of bad timing, and that the recession was tough on Burton because of the company’s focus on boards.

“I think that hard goods, actually selling skateboarding decks, are in a tough spot right now,” Phillips said. “Soft goods, the actual lifestyle of skateboarding, are selling a lot better.”

But the customer base of those who buy boards, helmets and other hard goods appears to be expanding.

Marie Case, managing director of action sports marketing research¬†company BoardTrac Inc. in Trabuco Canyon, said young skateboarders usually pick up the sport between ages 10 and 14, and according to the Census Bureau, that segment of the nation’s population will increase by 1.3 million people between 2010 and 2015.

“The demographic picture looks pretty good for growth in the skateboard industry overall,” Case said.

Dyrdek said he thinks he can do better for DNA than the company ever did for itself.

“They ran the brand their way and I was perfectly cool with it. They did a really great job,” he said. “I just felt like DNA had this sort of massive potential that they were just never tapping.”

Young skater

Dyrdek got his first skateboard when he was only 11 years old from professional skateboarder Neil Blender after a skating event.

“I saw him getting into his car after the event was over and I said, ‘I don’t think there’s enough room for you and that board!’ So he threw me that board,” he said.

Four years later, teenage Dyrdek sat in on a meeting as Blender and Alien Workshop co-founders Chris Carter and Mike Hill named the brand. Alien Workshop later became DNA.

“It’s such a huge part of my legacy, and to me, it’s a huge part of the skateboarding legacy,” he said of DNA. “The opportunity to add that to my portfolio of brands is something I wanted to do immediately.”

Now, with DNA in the mix, Dyrdek Enterprises comprises 16 companies and brands, including DC Shoes; Bill My Parents; Wild Grinders; Monster; Loud Mouth Burritos; and IVI Vision, an eyewear brand he’s launching this week with business-man Pete Fox and designer Jerome Mage. Dyrdek Enterprises employs about 20 people, not including those at companies in Dyrdek’s portfolio.

9

Alien Workshop and Habitat are among the best selling brands of skateboards in the nation. In a survey of about 150 specialty retailers of skateboards and related accessories, Board-Trac reported that 21 percent said Alien Workshop was among the top selling brands of skateboard decks in their stores; 18 percent said the same about Habitat.

Phillips said he sees the greatest potential in Habitat, a brand with earthy, mellow graphics that are inspired by nature.

“Everyone’s become more eco-friendly, and people are more conscious of what they wear and what they buy in general,” he said. “If they market it the right way, Habitat could be a household name.”

Dyrdek said he will work with DNA from afar, consulting directly on marketing and creative aspects of the business from his downtown office. Chris Carter, general manager and co-founder of DNA, will continue to oversee DNA in Dayton.

Dyrdek would not disclose how much he paid for the company, but said that it was a long-term investment. Even though he doesn’t have a family now, he sees the company as a legacy.

“I will keep it forever. I will pass the Alien Workshop to my children,” he said. has been riding professionally since he was only 16 years old. Since then, he’s gotten into all manner of businesses. Now, at 37, he’s come full circle.

Dyrdek announced last week that his down-town L.A. company, Dyrdek Enterprises Inc., acquired skateboard company DNA Distribution. It’s a significant purchase because DNA brand Alien Workshop first sponsored young Dyrdek.

DNA is a Dayton, Ohio, supplier of skateboard decks, wheels, grip tape and other accessories, and includes brands Habitat and Reflex in addition to Alien Workshop. The Habitat brand also includes apparel and shoes.

Dyrdek used his skateboarding stardom to get into a variety of industries, including consumer goods, apparel, video games, toys, cartoons, construction and entertainment. He is best known for his MTV shows “Rob & Big,” “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory” and “Ridiculousness,” all of which he writes, stars in and produces. He started Dyrdek Enterprises in 1999 as the umbrella company for his ventures.

Dyrdek bought DNA in January from Burton Snowboards Mfg., which had purchased DNA in 2008 when the Burlington, Vt., snow-board company was expanding into surfboards and skateboards.

Dyrdek said that when he found out DNA might be for sale, he jumped at the chance to buy it.

“The moment I heard that they were looking to get back to sort of their core business of their snow stuff, and there was an opportunity to negotiate even a potential acquisition, I immediately jumped right in and started negotiating to get the deal done,” he said.

Skin Phillips, editor in chief of magazine Transworld Skateboarding in Carlsbad, said Burton’s purchase of DNA was a case of bad timing, and that the recession was tough on Burton because of the company’s focus on boards.

“I think that hard goods, actually selling skateboarding decks, are in a tough spot right now,” Phillips said. “Soft goods, the actual lifestyle of skateboarding, are selling a lot better.”

But the customer base of those who buy boards, helmets and other hard goods appears to be expanding.

Marie Case, managing director of action sports marketing research¬†company BoardTrac Inc. in Trabuco Canyon, said young skateboarders usually pick up the sport between ages 10 and 14, and according to the Census Bureau, that segment of the nation’s population will increase by 1.3 million people between 2010 and 2015.

“The demographic picture looks pretty good for growth in the skateboard industry overall,” Case said.

Dyrdek said he thinks he can do better for DNA than the company ever did for itself.

“They ran the brand their way and I was perfectly cool with it. They did a really great job,” he said. “I just felt like DNA had this sort of massive potential that they were just never tapping.”

Young skater

Dyrdek got his first skateboard when he was only 11 years old from professional skateboarder Neil Blender after a skating event.

“I saw him getting into his car after the event was over and I said, ‘I don’t think there’s enough room for you and that board!’ So he threw me that board,” he said.

Four years later, teenage Dyrdek sat in on a meeting as Blender and Alien Workshop co-founders Chris Carter and Mike Hill named the brand. Alien Workshop later became DNA.

“It’s such a huge part of my legacy, and to me, it’s a huge part of the skateboarding legacy,” he said of DNA. “The opportunity to add that to my portfolio of brands is something I wanted to do immediately.”

Now, with DNA in the mix, Dyrdek Enterprises comprises 16 companies and brands, including DC Shoes; Bill My Parents; Wild Grinders; Monster; Loud Mouth Burritos; and IVI Vision, an eyewear brand he’s launching this week with business-man Pete Fox and designer Jerome Mage. Dyrdek Enterprises employs about 20 people, not including those at companies in Dyrdek’s portfolio.

 

Alien Workshop and Habitat are among the best selling brands of skateboards in the nation. In a survey of about 150 specialty retailers of skateboards and related accessories, Board-Trac reported that 21 percent said Alien Workshop was among the top selling brands of skateboard decks in their stores; 18 percent said the same about Habitat.

Phillips said he sees the greatest potential in Habitat, a brand with earthy, mellow graphics that are inspired by nature.

“Everyone’s become more eco-friendly, and people are more conscious of what they wear and what they buy in general,” he said. “If they market it the right way, Habitat could be a household name.”

Dyrdek said he will work with DNA from afar, consulting directly on marketing and creative aspects of the business from his downtown office. Chris Carter, general manager and co-founder of DNA, will continue to oversee DNA in Dayton.

Dyrdek would not disclose how much he paid for the company, but said that it was a long-term investment. Even though he doesn’t have a family now, he sees the company as a legacy.

“I will keep it forever. I will pass the Alien Workshop to my children,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *