THE WHITE STUFF: In advance of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Volcom has signed a partnership with the U.S. Snowboard Team to be its official apparel sponsor.
In doing so, Volcom is knocking out Burton from that role. Burton, which has a long history of sponsoring Olympic snowboarders such as Chloe Kim, had outfitted the American team for the past four Olympic Winter Games by partnering with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. Founder Jake Burton started his company in 1977 in a Vermont barn and his name has been nearly synonymous with the sport for decades. A Burton spokeswoman did not respond immediately to a request for comment Monday.
“One key difference between the partnerships is that Volcom will be taking co-branded outerwear products to the retail market,” according to Andrew Gauthier, marketing and communications manager for U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
The deal will include Volcom suiting up the U.S. Snowboardcross, Slopestyle/Big Air and Halfpipe teams through the Winter Games in China. With more than 20 years of experience in the snow sports industry, Volcom is practiced at developing technology-driven products for performance-oriented athletes. Designed for all sorts of weather systems, the line features such aspects as Zip Tech, a patented zipper system that allows the wearer to zip the powder skirt of virtually any Volcom snow jacket into any Volcom snow pant. However basic that might seem, the feature is meant to prevent snow from seeping through. Volcom’s offerings for official U.S. Snowboard range will include its proprietary Thermal Defense System (TDS), three-layer jackets with select down panels that are placed to try to keep snowboarders warm without overheating.
The alliance enables Volcom to outfit the male and female U.S. snowboarding teams, which covers athletes, coaches, and support staff. Volcom outerwear, hoodies, gloves, hats, and beanies will be provided in the patriotic red, white and blue, and other styles in a camouflage-inspired print. The men’s TDS Infrared jacket and Women’s Nya TDS jacket, which both incorporate Zip Tech and Thermal Defense System (TDS), will be in the mix. Athletes will sport Volcom at the World Cup, World Championship, and national events, as well as official training camps leading up to and during the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard president and chief executive officer Tiger Shaw said in a statement, “Alongside a strong and balanced roster of riders as well as an elite coaching staff, the Volcom partnership lays the groundwork for the athletes to perform at the highest level and continue to push the boundaries of competitive snowboarding.”
In April, the Authentic Brands Group acquired Volcom’s intellectual property from Kering. The Volcom label also has a following among surfers and skateboarders. As part of the deal, ABG created the new operating company, Liberated Brands, which is majority-owned by Todd Hymel and Volcom management. Hymel serves as chief executive officer of both Volcom and Liberated. ABG has a minority stake in Liberated.
Burton notched up a different honor last month, by becoming a certified B Corporation that adheres to set environmental and social responsibility standards.