Snowboarders Looking Good

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snowboardersA tribe of daredevils stormed last weekend’s U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship and the event’s sponsors pulled a few stunts of their own.

During Sunday’s slope-style competition here at Stratton Mountain, a skydiver sporting a parachute emblazoned with SoBe, one of the event’s sponsors, leapt from a helicopter imprinted with Anon, an offshoot of the title sponsor Burton. After the half-pipe finals, the afternoon before, Anon staffers hurled goggles, T-shirts and hats like grenades from a makeshift military tower.

Throughout the weekend, fans logjammed the sponsor village, waiting not-so-patiently to take on the Ross Powers figure in a video game at the FHM booth, to get hair highlights at Feria’s area, and to answer trivia questions to win orange baseball caps in Volkswagen’s den.

Despite the unexpected pitches, the event marketing was loud and clear. Announcers plugged riders’ sponsors as if they were their last names, and talked up the event sponsors regularly. They would occasionally tone it down, as in, “I wish I had on a Gore-Tex jacket,” a nod …

Greco Made ‘Em Look!

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whitney-museumLeonard Greco did the unthinkable in a crowd of snowboarders: He made them do a double take.

During the opening night of last month’s U.S. Open at Stratton Mountain, Vt., he was as much of a show-stopper as the riders on the quarterpipe. The 21-year-old art student marched around in an army helmet with cameras strapped around a “Listen to Johnny Cash” T-shirt, holding a Giorgio Armani eyewear ad spray-painted with “JRNL.” What he was getting at — and many wanted to know just that — was some guerrilla marketing for the Journal, a nonprofit photography magazine with its eye on snowboarders and skateboarders between the ages of 15 and 35.

Grecko’s kamikaze approach made Open fans find out what he was doing and see how they could pick up a copy of the magazine. That kind of word-of-mouth advertising is what Journal is about and captures what big brands are trying to do with teens. The free, biannual magazine is available at coffee shops, skateboard stores, art stores and, …