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31st December 2006 06:54 AM
steveC
RE: increase sales and promote sport

Hi Ian,

Although I get your drift, I would recommend shifting the paradigm a bit. The idea of a disposable windsurfer is truly off the mark, especially since a rig package must be robust and viable over a significant period of time. While we all realize that stuff gets broken in tougher conditions, the industry doesn't want to send a message that windsurfing stuff is funky or lightweight (a cheap product).

From my perspective, I would offer the optimum entry concept at a discount. One that targets off the street folks that don't necessarily focus on the mainline windsurfing retail market that's normally serviced by local shops or regional web providers. Really, something that the Costco type firms can leverage better than the specialized retail operations. This would be a full-up product rig coming out of the Cobra factory, and maybe augmented by Serverne products, that provides quality level components that don't necessarily target optimum weights and top flight performance. It's about giving folks the taste and vision, but still saying something about quality. That helps the brand overall. Like I implied earlier, Starboard can offer a suitable online site that promotes the sport and offers essential instructional and use information. Pretty simple really, and it encourages and facilitates the service side too. Attract folks with a bargain that's a real product in a venue or marketplace that's outside the expected focus. If windsurfing is interesting and worth the time, some folks will take the bait.

30th December 2006 10:07 AM
Ian Fox
RE: increase sales and promote sport



Hello "Guest here" ( the person who started this thread)

You can find a member list in the "Member List" link located just below the photos on the top of this (and every Forum) page, or at

http://www.star-board.com/members.php

Obviously a few pages involved, as the list is 2000+.

Cheers ~ Ian

Actually a good topic and discussion, certainly one that has often echoed around Taco Lake and other locations - even to the extent of us considering a (very low cost) "disposable" windsurfer package (think : foam board with stringer...no, we weren't talking hi performance) that guys could pick up at a gas station (or CostCo / WalMart) on the way to the beach... Practical ? probably not, and certainly not without some negative aspects as well....which is one of the main reasons it hasn't eventuated, but it's all very good thought ! B)
30th December 2006 06:35 AM
Guest
RE: increase sales and promote sport

do you have a list of names who have preregistered? Its not on the web page.
30th December 2006 02:18 AM
Guest
RE: increase sales and promote sport

Hello Guest here ( the person who started this thread) I was just suggesting this to get people who once tryed the sport or we some what interested to buy boards and sails. If it was all packaged with a instructonal DVD the why not. It would help all windsurfing stores, web or regular as people would get hooked and what to up grade, they might had the big board down to a friend or famlily member and get them hooked. We had windsurfers in lots of sporting good stores in when it first came out, we were self taught then came all the windsurfing schools. It would be win win for windsurfing.
29th December 2006 12:43 PM
Philip
RE: increase sales and promote sport

Great topic. In the boom days of WS in Australia there was 'beach' talk of major retailers getting in on the act. Commodifying the WS with the thing in your face and the pull to get media coverage. Would that send the established WS specialists to the wall or would this grow their market as people graduate their skills and expectations?
29th December 2006 09:39 AM
steveC
RE: increase sales and promote sport

George is right about the need for knowledgeable information about rigging and use. Like sailing, windsurfing takes some understanding, focus and a strong willingness to learn.

Really though, the thread initiator has brought up an insightful and thoughful point, at least for those of us that are familiar with Costco. Hey, Costco has marketed surfboards quite successfully at an attractive price, yet some in the custom surfboard business have been infuriated with the discount approach. Nonetheless, the really hard point isn't really a Starboard issue, but more to do with the distribution network. Should national distributors compromise the local retail dealors that exist now?

In the real spectrum of things now, there are windsurfing stores in popular windsurfing locales, and there are web based firms servicing larger national or regional interests. Although reasonable distribution agreements could be negotiated to protect local operations, the rub comes with national web dealerships.

If growth of the sport is paramount, maybe a Costco type perspective is worthy of serious consideration. While some web firms could experience a negative impact, the Costco approach might influence a more substantive growth outcome for the sport. In this discount distribution model, Starboard could realistically taylor suitable rigging and use information for the new user without too much difficulty using existing company based web concepts and strategies.

The thing to remember is that many areas do not have local shops, so support is truly nonexistent. Costco type firms could energize the entry market like no one else.

29th December 2006 07:27 AM
GeorgeUSA39
RE: increase sales and promote sport

Costco or any other big box retailer would have to be willing to take them in inventory. The problem I see with this distribution strategy is that windsurfing in its current form isn't plug-n-play and requires quite a bit of rigging knowledge to get started
29th December 2006 01:17 AM
Guest
increase sales and promote sport

Has starboard ever considered putting there start or go boards with a simple rig in COSTCO. I think this would get people buying boards for there cabin of beach trip, or people that use to windsurf say "hey i am going to try this new wide style board" , people walk out with $10,000 tv's or even canoe's so why not windsurf boards?

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