Alli Sports and Dogfunk.com announced a new partnership today that will marry the action sport event and media company with one of the top online action sports retailers.
The deal gives Dogfunk exposure and the potential to sell goods to millions of Alli’s action sports viewers, and gives Alli a partner with online retail expertise to make those sales happen.
Alli Sports stands for The Alliance of Action Sports. Founded in 2005 and now owned by the NBC Sports Group, Alli’s event and media platform includes more than 40 events across the Dew Tour, Red Bull Signature Series and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.
Alli broadcasts events on NBC and brings action sports content to over 1.5 million spectators, over 50 million TV viewers, and produces over 140 hours of original programming for NBC networks annually.
Dogfunk.com is the action sports arm to Backcountry.com. It started in 2004 as an online retailer that specialized in just snow, but added skateboarding and surfing brands to its portfolio about 18 months ago.
We talked to Alli President Wade Martin and Dogfunk CMO Dustin Robertson about the details of the partnership including how they will divide revenue, what it means for brands and how this partnership affects both companies.
Wade Martin: Alli Sports tried to launch its own online shop (shop.allisports.com) two years ago. In 2010, we purchased standardboardshop.com, and converted it to an Alli branded ecommerce site that included products for not just Alli branded events, but also featured products from brands like Vans, DC, Volcom and more.
Wade: The premise hasn’t changed. We believe in combining athletes, media and events and converting fans to shoppers. But when we originally launched, we underestimated what it took to be a really good online retailer.
That’s why we decided to partner with the best in class. We think Dogfunk is the best in the business in terms of their scalable operation. We were really impressed with their management and what they have done with other brands as well as how big their growth potential is. They obviously will take our online retail experience to a whole new level.
Dustin: We’ve been playing in the action sports retail space since 2004 and one of key components of that space is athletes, teams and events. We have been trying to crack that as an Internet retailer -- do we create our own grassroots tour, have own team, or partner with someone?
When this opportunity came along, it was the perfect fit. It encompasses a lot of the things we are trying to do as a retailer. It gets us involved with athletes and events, and lets us support the sports we promote -- all at a national level.
We did. We had someone put us in touch that thought the partnership would make sense. We talked to a few potential partners at the end of the year, and spoke to Dogfunk in December. We had a deal in principal not long after, but it took a few months to put it all together.
It made a lot of sense. Even though we reconfigured the Dew Tour to feature three big stops (a beach, city and mountain stop), we also added the Red Bull Signature series this year, so we have more events than ever for 2012.
Dogfunk.com already had over 500,000 active users and 17 million visits a year, so now we can use all those millions of people and covert them to shoppers.
See Page 2 for more about this new partnership