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Dyrdek's DNA forms partnership with La Jolla CEO, others

By Tiffany Montgomery
July 31, 2012 7:56 AM

Anthem Media Group, a company that includes investors Toby Bost of the La Jolla Group and digital executive Matt Cook, has invested in DNA Distribution.


DNA, the storied skate company that owns the Alien Workshop, Habitat and reflex brands, was recently purchased by Rob Dyrdek from Burton Snowboards.


DNA will move from Ohio to La Jolla Group headquarters in Irvine, Calif. DNA founders Chris Carter, Joe Castrucci and Mike Hill will remain in Ohio but stay involved with the company.


La Jolla will provide services to DNA under an operating agreement.


The plan is to enhance the DNA-owned brands' hardgoods, softgoods and footwear offerings.


A segmentation strategy will be implemented, with new product innovations and new artist collaborations offered for the core, and an expanded collection of apparel and accessories for a wider audience, according to the press release.


Everything from electronics to bath soap is in play, Toby Bost said in an email interview, below.


Toby of La Jolla Group and Anthem Media and Chris Carter of DNA answered some questions for me about the new venture.


Toby and Matt Cook (currently CEO of Supercross.com) of Anthem Media have been interested in other brands as well. They bid to buy DVS out of bankruptcy court, but Sequential Brands Group came up the winner after a very competitive auction process.


Below the Q&A is the official press release:


How will the DNA brands integrate with La Jolla?

Toby Bost: La Jolla Group has created a unique arrangement with DNA and AMG that allows us to employ best practices across companies.


As part of a new strategic initiative, we have taken on a partnership that leverages one of the strongest attributes of LJG: operations.


It makes a lot of sense for us to partner with DNA and Rob Dyrdek, and this relationship sets up a pipeline for future projects together.


These brands have unbelievable potential and Rob has incredible influence in the greater consumer market. LJG wants to own forward-thinking brands and balance our overall license portfolio, so we are taking the steps to activate the lead generation in order to do so.


Will softgoods be added in a bigger way for Alien Workshop?

Toby Bost: Alien Workshop is already vested in softgoods, especially imprintables. Currently selling at key majors such as Zumiez predicts that a wider collection is in demand -- and the consumer is ready for more.


There are opportunities beyond softgoods as well. We are definitely exploring all kinds of categories across consumer product groups - everything from electronics to bath soap is in play.


Is the joint venture a 50/50 partnership with Rob Dyrdek?

Toby Bost: AMG, Dyrdek, and LJG are partners. It’s a powerful alignment and will change the future of how companies and people creatively align themselves to succeed and win in the branded wholesale space.


This is just the tip of the iceberg - it’s an “inside-out” approach in action sports with the right industry experience.


It’s not the traditional “outside-in” acquisition model we’ve seen a lot of these past 24 months, which is another reason this venture is so exciting.


What do you see as the opportunity in the skate world?

Chris Carter: The opportunities in skate with our brands and product categories are stronger than ever.


The tough economic conditions over the past four years have created just as many opportunities as challenges for DNA. Our teams, products and creative direction are truly inspiring - working with AMG and LJG will allow us to create and execute a strategic plan that will allow our hardgoods, softgoods and footwear programs to realize their ultimate potential.


We truly are limitless by design.


See Page 2 for the official press release



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