Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Future...Revisited

I have gotten A LOT more responses to my previous blog entry than I expected.  Mostly good responses though.  One thing that I wanted to formally revisit was Point #6.  I feel like I was a bit harsh with this point and it definitely generated a response that I wasn't too psyched on.  So i will clarify.  Climbing companies make very good products and manage to stay afloat purely because they make very good products.  With the little money that comes into the industry, this only makes sense.  Very little room for bad products.  So I feel I was wrong in this regard.  Also, I wanted to make it known that I know very little about marketing.  I hope to learn more in the future.  I do know that in a lot of ways that the a lot of the marketing currently being done by climbing companies hasn't yet lived up to its potential.  If it had we would all be doing better financially.  I know that I have a lot of ideas that I think could really work in the way of marketing climbing, but I haven't had the time recently to sit down and put them into a structured concept.  All I can say is that they would be much different than what we are seeing now.  Maybe they would work, maybe they wouldn't.  Such is the game.

I would also like to thank my current sponsors Five Ten and Verve.  They have been amazing to me and my posts are not meant to reflect badly on them in any way.  I represent them because we have similar goals and I feel that they both make excellent products.


Alphaboth said...

Carlo, Boulder is an awesome place to be if your a climber, but have you considered relocating at all? Or like adventure climbing, adding some spice to your climbing career, more than bouldering and sport climbing...? Adventure seems to be what is selling these days. Epics. I don't know a thing about being a sponsered climber, but I know that's what I'd like to see in one, an epic dude. And you got that in you, i know it man. I think point 16 was key too and 17. You are wise, and I think your ready to blossom.

Sara, a rock climber girl said...

I'm not "in the biz..." I'm just an avid climber... but I do have a background in marketing, so I watch the climbing industry kind of like watching a movie or television series. It's fascinating, to me. There are some folks and companies doing really innovative, very cool marketing work (bonus points, in my book, for marketing that's effectively built around "good stuff" like building up connections among the climbing community and other allied groups... and outreach that has other positive benefits for climbing areas and our "adventure neighbors").

Whether innovative and cool marketing translates into support for sponsored climbers... meh... I'm just reminded, time and time again, that we (and therefore, the "market") are still a teeny, tiny, subsegment of the small segment of the population that participates in "extreme sports" (sorry, can't help it, it's my marketing/demographics background).

I agree with many of your points -- I'm also an advocate of climbing as an olympic sport, for example -- I just know that the individuals I know "in the biz" live pretty much like I do... the spartan existence of someone who's decided to forego or postpone economic success in favor of the love of the sport in the present.

I hope that you're able to stay in it, and that you find what you need to do so... no matter what the industry, I think you're on the right path by aspiring to be a Type III. I move through my life and career trying to build relationships and make friends... it's the only way I know to do it, and so far it has served me well.

Connor said...

Carlo. I am psyched. Recently it seems that I've been lying pitifully amongst the piss and shit at the bottom of a hole, bombarded by (fucking) college and lack of motivation for ACTUAL ROCK climbing (aka not plastic) and work and two blown out Solutions which are way too goddamn expensive to replace, among other things.

Your post is rad. Not because it's logical and self-aware and intelligent, but because I know you and the shit you wrote is just the threshold of your innermost diabolical workings. You're up there in the top two of the most motivated individuals I've EVER met (tied with Liz), and ever since you said "fuck school" and dedicated yourself to "the life", I saw your massive success as a climber only as a matter of time.

Dude, I have always envied your constant happiness and success. It's motivating and refreshing. Every time we climb together (which is, unfortunately, becoming less frequent) I feel fucking STRONG. Our old school road trips were crazy, in every sense of the word. Seriously it's inexplicable. You know you're a damn climbing dirtbag when you wonder how your next confrontation with the law will unfold. Now that I look back though, those times (no matter how stressful they once were for me) were some of the most fun and memorable experiences I've yet had (no-girlfriend road trip this summer yo). You were (and still are) perpetually psyched, which is admirable as hell in my book.

So, damn, what I'm trying to say is get amped, because you're strong and smart, and I think you truly understand the nature of the sport and what it may take to make it more successful. Take it from me, it's hard as shit to stay strong and psyched when you're in school, but if you ever returned to study marketing or something, with the connections and knowledge you already possess, you would be a FORMIDABLE force in the climbing industry.

So like I said before, I'm psyched now. Your blog always does this to me - which is probably why I check it all the time - but this time I really really want to go crush rock. Good thing G's getting in today and the weekend is coming. Let's CLIMB somewhere! Best of luck to you dude. Whatever you achieve you deserve.

mb said...

Carlo, the problem is there is simply not that much money in the sport. The people making any money at all are the ones who are pushing the limits. Unfortunately that includes very few people. Even some of the strongest climbers like Daniel Woods, P. Robinson, etc. are simply repeating grades/problems that were climbed years ago. How much should they be paid to do this? Good discussion though, but I think you are basically saying that pro climbers need to be paid more without justifying why.

martin said...

hey carlo, nice posts! i have a bit of marketing background (master degree) and you are pretty damm right about marketing and climbing.

there is some very cool and innovative marketing work. for example "mammut" as a big player (30million$ netincome) has done some nice marketingwork with the mary woodbridge-campaign. but this campaign was invented and executed by a marketing-agency (professionals). on the other hand mammut (and others) makes very little to nothing with "their" sponsred athletes to promote the brand. there is for sure a big potential in there!!!

with some good ideas and the right contacts you may you can do there something to get your place as a typeIII professional.

good luck and greez from swizzy, martin