#SUPPORTYOURLOCAL Campaign | developed by Root Industries & Freestyle Distribution
First, watch this hilarious video (on a not so hilarious topic) the guys made that nails this issue perfectly!
We heard about this #movement a few weeks ago, and it struck home hard! The industry needs our help, and we all need to pull together. Getting behind this movement is a big part of that. But we feel this movement can be expanded to not only include supporting your local shops, but also your local skateparks and scooter events (the whole community). Its all about reinvesting in the grass roots of our industry. Where the scooter community gathers. Shops, Parks and Events play a big part in keeping the sport growing. So read our take on this movement, and then get out there and #supportyourlocal
“The industry is in a slump. Have you heard about XYZ closing?” - Sound familiar? Is it true?
Sadly, yes. Shops, privately owned skate parks and brands are shutting down everywhere, but why? Why now when freestyle scooter riding is more popular than ever, and is, in fact, one of today’s fastest growing action sports?
To answer this, we need to start with a basic understanding of the difference between COMMUNITY and INDUSTRY. The scooter community is made up of families, riders and fans of the sport, and it is healthy in the few pockets where it currently exists. The INDUSTRY is made up of those that sell their products, or earn their living from the community (brands, shops, parks, event organizers, coaches, MCs, etc.). So if the communities are healthy, why is the industry in this so called, “slump?”
The stark reality of the INDUSTRY “slump” is this… Over-saturated, over-controlled markets. To keep selling the same thing to the same people in the same places, when you add in all the new manufacturers / retailers trying to sell their “new” version of the same thing to the same people in those same places… Well, you can see where this is going. NOWHERE. Without a cooperative effort to grow the sport into new areas, and subsequently open up new markets for the industry to properly recover, the industry stagnates. Shops, parks and brands go out of business, and ultimately the sport will suffer.
So what can be done about this? How do we grow the sport? One really simple starting point is #supportyourlocal a hashtag movement we learned about recently from ROOT industries and Freestyle Distribution, and one we fully support.
Nick from Root says, “It's all about bringing attention to several factors. Kid's supporting their local shop, skateparks, and community. Shops supporting their local shop, skateparks, and community. Brands supporting all shops, skateparks, and scooter community.”
This #movement encourages us (both the industry and the community) to reinvest in the grass roots of our sport, at the heart of which is supporting local scooter shops, privately owned parks and other places where the community gathers such as at ride days, camps and competitions. By investing and supporting them, you will help reboot the growth of the sport for all concerned. So I urge you to consider some of the following action steps we thought of as helpful (as they apply to you):
Support your local! Go visit your local shop, hang out, try out new parts, fix up your scooters. Ask questions, educate yourselves on all things scoot. Buy scooters that fit your riding style from them. Attend their ride days and meet & greets. Talk to younger riders when you are there, be helpful and friendly.
Support your local parks! Get out there and ride! Bring your friends along! Go challenge yourself to land new tricks, post your stuff on social daily and tag your parks and parts. Show off the sport you love! Be proud. Share that love with younger riders, be encouraging to them. Learn and teach park etiquette. Don’t be disrespectful to adults or snub little kids who look up to you. Be an ambassador for the sport.
Support the riders! Brands & shops, take time to showcase your riders actually riding your products with ads on your websites, posts to social media pages, edits on youtube and livestreams at comps. Have them tell people why they chose your brand to represent. Teach them how to be good ambassadors for you, but give them your full support in return. Showcase them and help build their following. Help them get to competitions and be involved in ride days.
Old School / Big Name Pro Riders / Youtubers, make time to give back to the sport that put you where you are. If you are free, get out and support any local competitions or ride days you hear about, lend them your clout. If you have the funds reinvest in local parks or build your own! Set up a scholarship giveaway for a rider to go to camp. Give lessons or mentor a promising young rider. Offer to MC or judge at comps. Shout out / go visit your local shops and parks every so often.
Brands / Shops support your local venues and competitions by sending your riders to compete, judge or MC. Sponsor competitions, setup your booth at vendor walks. Be present! Let new riders get hands on with your products.
Educate! Brands & shops educate young riders on what constitutes quality and why that matters. How quality scooters are designed with different skill levels, styles and goals in mind. How to tell cookie cutter brands from the real deal. Hold “shop” days out at parks where riders can get hands on, put scooters together and actually see the difference in parts.
Get educated! This is really the key to it all. Riders take the time to learn what it is you are riding! Ask questions, don’t believe everything you hear. Try it out for yourself. Go to your local shop and ask them about different brands. Pay attention to what pros are riding (all their parts not just who their main sponsor is).
Advocate! Brands & shops, get your products into the hands of advocates (ambassadors). Hearing from a friend or a well-respected rider or vlogger / blogger just what sets your products apart is 100% more credible than tooting your own horn.
Be an advocate! Riders, if you find parts that work well for you, don’t snap easily, and allow you to progress as a rider, shout them out! Not just in hopes of getting sponsored, just tell their story and genuinely recommend them to other riders!
Get involved! Help drive industry growth by supporting any new shops, or asking current shops to open up in your area. Support your parks and associations. Attend their events. Become members, get involved on boards. Volunteer to help at competitions. Drive other riders places.
Above all else, we need to keep in mind that the heart of the scooter community is where the community gathers… Scooter shops, parks and at ride days, camps, and competitions. By supporting them, you are supporting the growth of the community which is the key to a healthy industry. Ushering in a new era of cooperativeness and support amongst all aspects of the industry will go a long way to ensuring a vibrant and expanding scooter community!
So get out there and share the message #supportyourlocal
We thank Root Industries and Freestyle distribution for developing this important #movement, and we hope that you will all share this information, use the hashtag, and help ensure the sport continues to grow, coast to coast and around the globe.
-Sam Deeder, USA