Posted by: conorsjohnson | February 5, 2010

Skateboarding and the Economy

By Conor Johnson

The negative impact of the economy on nearly every industry over the past year is clearly evident. The national spotlight naturally shines on those industries that are most popular. Skateboarding is a seldom looked at industry that has taken a significant financial blow during the past year. Not only has skate park use declined but many things associated with skateboarding have taken a considerable hit as well. Without a significant upturn in the economy in the near future, skateboarding could be heading down a slippery slope.

A relatively up and coming sport geared toward a younger audience, skateboarding’s impact on the economy branches out through its various sponsors. Without money to spend, young skaters are forced to vacate their local skate parks and take their time elsewhere. This can and has started to lead to more dangerous and illegal activities. “The need for safe, legal and public facilities for skateboarders” has been a need in nearly every community. In addition, companies such as MONSTER and AMP, who are closely associated with the sport, have started losing this source of revenue due to the decline.

Thus the challenge arises to keep kids interested in skateboarding. Advertising strategies have to be devised that will encourage kids to head out to their local skate parks. Companies can do this through skate magazines but those too seem to lose consumers. Many communities are making vast changes similar to Eugene and have plans for an entirely new skate park. Although expensive, the new park has created a lot of buzz over the past few months and the anticipation is building. Local skate shops are happier than they have been in awhile. The expected rise in profits cannot come at a better time for them.

In addition to focusing on skate parks it is important to realize how the economy affects skate shops. When the economy is falling rapidly so will sales at a skate shop. Their ability to compete with corporate stores nearly flat lines and many are forced to simply shut down. Many local Eugene skate shops have experienced this downward trend but Tactics has survived mainly due to the fact that it does not have as much competition in the area.

In a later blog post, an interview with the manager will be shown as well as pictures of the local skating community and hot spots around Eugene.



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