The Occupation Wild Podcast – Episode 45 – Mission Permission with Derek MacDonald

Have you ever felt like you wanted to go in a different direction? Felt like you’ve been following a path that wasn’t yours, but that was one that was expected of you? Have you considered making a career change or wanted to get into the outdoor industry? Occupation Wild is your new best friend.

Occupation Wild is a job board for the outdoor, adventure, and travel industry. They also have a podcast with some incredible guests who share their stories and their own tips, tricks, and perspectives on how they’ve navigated the outdoor industry.

The Occupation Wild Podcast is self described on their website as platform to “have casual conversations with extraordinary people! Exploring the unique and sometimes unusual paths travelers, athletes, dirtbags, guides, outdoor entrepreneurs, and nomads take to live a life beyond 9 to 5. All while diving deep into the process of paving one’s own path, understanding fear, cultivating community, and harnessing the power of your potential olive an adventurous life.

I had the wonderful opportunity of joining hosts Courtney Condy and Nick Watts as a guest on the pod for an interview about my journey to, and through, the outdoor industry. We talked about my background as a kid from Massachusetts who struggled with mental health and the pressures associated with fulfilling the expectations of others. I shared how my journey as a summer camp counselor and snowboard/ ski instructor in high school would eventually lead me to a career in the mountains of Wyoming. We also got to discuss my experience with learning and understanding how to manage mental health and the role that the outdoors plays in that process.

Give the pod a listen, give @occupation_wild a follow, and give a holler if you want to chat about anything in the episode! (or if you just want to go on an adventure)

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Destination: Different – Triple Threat – Skiing, Speaking, and Stoking With Derek MacDonald

Curious about life in Jackson, WY? What goes on in the ski/ snowboard scene? How to evade a moose on a ski slope? Any interest in hearing how my public speaking career came to be or what the process of creating The Expedition Journal looked like? Well, thanks to Ryan Dunn of YOPRO and The Destination: Different Podcast, you can listen to an interview where we got to chat about those things and more.

The Destination: Different Podcast is self described on their website as a show to “interview budding creators, entrepreneurs, and overall just general weirdos to discuss how they are building untraditional career paths for themselves“. Seemed like a very fitting place for me to be.

I really enjoyed this conversation. I’d never met Ryan, but we clicked pretty fast which allowed for a really honest, interesting, and funny banter. Thanks to him for asking me to be on the show! Go check out this episode and all of the other great guests on The Destination: Different Podcast. If Apple Podcasts is your jam, find the show here. If Spotify is more your thing, check out the podcast here.

It takes about 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. It takes 1 action, or lack thereof, to turn a warm lead into a lost opportunity. 

How does your team organize your leads? Can everyone on your team identify when a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) becomes a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)? Are your marketing and sales teams aligned? What automated triggers are in place to provide valuable communication to your leads that move them down your funnel?

Implementing a new lead nurturing strategy, or auditing an existing one, is a great way to take inventory of your systems and to effectively leverage your team’s efforts into positive ROI for both your company and for your clients through conversions.

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with the goal of earning a prospect’s business when they’re ready. According to Hubspot, 75% of leads buy within 18-24 months. This means that being intentional about interacting with your leads benefits your bottom line in the long run.


First, let’s define what a lead is.

Leads earn their designation after:

  • your first conversation with them
  • they download a content offer from you
  • they subscribe to receive your content
  • they request a trial or demo of your services

These prospects have become your leads in response to an experience that you’ve provided them. Well done! Now, it’s your job to learn more about them as they move through the stages of their life cycle and buyer’s journey. 

Marketing and Sales Alignment

Next, let’s talk marketing and sales alignment.

In order to effectively provide your leads with the value that they are looking for and ultimately earn their business, your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned. The best conversion results can be attributed to team cohesion even if the roles and responsibilities of the members are asynchronous. 

Best practices for marketing and sales alignment include agreement on the definition of an SQL, the defined life cycle stages of leads, and the implementation of a Service Level Agreement (SLA). SLA’s help with providing clear and quantifiable distinctions between marketing and sales team members that allow them to support one another without stepping on toes. Revenue goals can be determined by the number of opportunities needed to gain prospects, and subsequently conversions, based on the average value of a sale.

If a Content Management System (CMS) is your sports team’s roster, then your Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM) is your sport team’s stat sheet and coaching staff. Your CRM contains information about how the season is going and can put intuitive decision making into action.

Hubspot is one example of a fully integrated CRM platform that creates streamlined access to its other tools and marketing automations.

An important component of an SLA is to set up a closed loop reporting system within the marketing and sales teams that provides tangible feedback based on data and in turn represents the value of your efforts. To achieve this, it is also highly suggested to use the same Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM).

Lead Nurturing Strategy

Now, let’s learn the elements of a Lead Nurturing Strategy.

Successful lead nurturing takes some tact and intention. Come up with a plan for how you will move your prospects down the funnel so that they find themselves at the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. 

Lead Generation: The Importance of Lead Nurturing

Content management

Content management is a strategy that focuses on using a software program to easily store and source a contact’s information. This includes their name, their communication history with you, their email, and more. It is critically important to maintain your database and organize your contacts. 

Contact lists will naturally decay by a rate of about 22.5% annually. Attrition can be caused by changed email addresses. Other corrosion causes can stem from unqualified leads opting out of communication that they had previously opted into. 

Your contacts are your lifeline to conversions, and conversions pave the path to revenue. If you are constantly searching for new prospects but are not following up with the leads you earn, you will not close any sales. That is a lot of time and money to spend without earning any business. 

It’s a lot like endlessly shopping for food but never eating what you buy. You’re bound to wind up hungry with a refrigerator full of moldy food.


Categorize your contacts. This will allow you to align your content with your context. Grouping your contacts together based on their similarities will help you to tailor the experience you provide them. Your goal is to provide value at every step. One size does not fit all, so customizing your guests experience is made possible by segmentation. The more specific the better.

Tim Ferriss, award winning author of the 4 Hour Work Week, describes the benefit of writing with purpose as writing toward an audience of one. He suggests telling your story with 1 person in mind. Why? It creates a more personable experience. The commonality amongst consumers is that we are all people- we relate to human nature. We can apply similar logic here and create unique relationships with people who identify similarly and who express interest in similar things. 

Use your CRM platform to find out more about your leads, contacts, and customers, contacts. Create buyer personas to help identify these similar segments of your contact list. 

Where are they from? What industry do they work in? What are their job titles? How old are they? What are they interested in, and what content of yours do they consume? Where are they in their buyer’s journey?

Buyer’s Journey

Identify where your lead is in their buyer’s journey. Use what you’ve learned about your leads throughout your communication with them to identify their buyer persona. Remember, your prospects will go through 3 phases of their buyer’s journey: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage. Provide them with the right message at the right time to fit each part of their journey and move them down your funnel.

Lead Nurturing Campaigns

Then, how can we apply that strategy to a Lead Nurturing Campaign that converts?

  1. Set goals

What KPI’s will you focus on to best represent your success? How will you measure them?

  1. Select buyer personas

Be specific. Make sure that your campaign is clearly defined and targeted toward the people you want to convert. What value are you providing and to who?

  1. Create content

Show the people you are trying to reach that you have the answers they are looking for. Create value for them by providing relevant information on the topics they are interested in. This will help to establish credibility as a reliable source in providing holistic answers to what they are looking for.

  1. Identify timeline

Set boundaries for yourself. How long will your campaign run? At what point should you reevaluate your systems and make necessary changes? What length of time will provide the truest set of data for you to measure your performance?

  1. Measure and improve

Analyze the KPI’s you chose at the beginning of your campaign to see how you did. Be sure to measure your success by these indicators! You designed your campaign with this system of measurement in mind. If you want to find new data that is represented by new KPI’s, you’ll need to run a new campaign or re-engineer an existing one so that it focuses on the measurements you want. If you decide to make changes, isolate and test one variable at a time for best results.

Optimize For Conversions

Finally, use your knowledge of lead nurturing to reflect Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) in your campaigns.

It is critically important to zoom out and look at your whole picture. What is the goal of your campaign? Does your goal meet the needs of the leads you are targeting? 

  1. Define your goal
  2. Take stock of your current conversion rate
  3. Outline the question you’re trying to answer
  4. Test
  5. Analyze your results


It takes about 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. It takes 1 action, or lack thereof, to turn a warm lead into a lost opportunity. Make the most of how you interact with your leads!

First, be sure that your team has collaborative and organized systems in place that provide value for your prospects while moving them down the funnel. SLA’s help with providing clear and quantifiable distinctions between marketing and sales team members that allow them to support one another without stepping on toes. An important component of an SLA is to set up a closed loop reporting system within the marketing and sales teams that provides tangible feedback based on data and in turn represents the value of your efforts. 

Next, keep content management, segmentation, and the buyer’s journey in mind when developing your lead nurturing strategy. 

Finally, optimize your lead nurturing campaigns so that they produce high conversion rates!

In the time of COVID-19, a lot of us have found ourselves with an uptick in how much screen time is present in our lives.

If you’re like me, that means a lot of scrolling, and quite a bit of combing through content in search of something that a) I want to watch or listen to, and b) something that will hold my attention. So the #QRS, or the Quarantine ReScreen, marches on. To read more about the origin of the #QRS, click here.

Growth is a natural process over time. People age, time passes, experiences come and go. The difference between growth and development? Intention. Growth is inevitable, development is optional.

In order to develop, there needs to be an understanding that the input values affect the output values. If the input values can change, then the outcome can be intentionally altered or controlled. In the world of snowboarding, development is most often described as progression. Progression in snowboarding typically looks like more amplitude, more spins, more managed risk, more, more, more. The interesting and emerging trend in snowboarding includes progression that is focused on less.

The developed athlete arc encompasses a discipline change or crossover. Riders that emerged as park contestants pivot to big mountain riding and are tasked with furthering their skill sets so that they can succeed in a new arena. Their new focus is matched with new goals and new input values in order to yield new output values.

This process isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon. Pro riders have been pivoting to different disciplines for years. The new element of this equation is that the media spotlight is starting to reward the pivot more than it ever has. The money, sponsorships, and accolades haven’t always followed riders through an athletic rebrand. A lot of the time, an athlete’s directional change itself includes walking away from center stage and the notoriety associated with it.

10 Barrel Brewing is relatively new to the snowboard scene, but their history lends itself well to the developmental pivot model. The Bend, Oregon craft beer company can be attributed to brothers Chris and Jeremy Cox who left the business world to buy a bar. JC’s Bar and Grill came to fruition in 2003 and in 2006 the brothers swiveled to the brewing side of the food and beverage industry, creating Wildfire Brewing. A trademark infringement led to a name change in 2009, birthing 10 Barrel Brewing Company.

Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired 10 Barrel Brewing in November of 2014, setting off a chain of less than pleased reactions from craft brewers and consumers alike. The Brewers Association even opined that 10 Barrel’s craft beer designation would be revoked given that its ownership was by that of a non-craft-beer member of the alcoholic beverage industry.

With their newly abundant resources, 10 Barrel Brewing Company pushed onward. They continued to innovate and develop thanks to technological improvements, a broadened distribution network, and access to grow their own hops on Elk Mountain Farm in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Photo courtesy of 10 Barrel Brewing

What appeared to originate as a run-of-the-mill promotional event, the Hella Big Air series effectively solidified 10 Barrel’s foray into snow sports. The series first appeared in 2015 and was by all definitions, a party at Mt. Bachelor. The series continued and adopted a contest format while still encapsulating the spirit of a snow sports après party with music, costume themes, and of course, drinking beer outside.

The event series’ success gave way to a bigger endeavors. A lot of mountain town companies have a “powder clause” that grants employees the day off to ski or ride if mother nature provides “x” amount of new snow. For the 10 Barrel Brewing company, that number is 6 inches. Their Pray For Snow “powder clause” brought with it a winter ale and a full length snowboard film of the same namesake.

Pray for Snow: The Movie” released in 2018 and features big names like Ben Ferguson, Eric Jackson, Lucas Wachs, and Curtis Ciszek. The film, well it came out swinging. With a stacked athlete roster and the budget to back them, 10 Barrel made quite an entry into the ski and snowboard movie scene. They also played to each athletes’ strengths and provided a variety of terrain, style, and personality.

A couple of 10 Barrel athletes also appeared alongside each other in another notable project in 2018. Eric Jackson’s film, “Alignment“, provides insight into his own life through snowboarding, fly fishing, and congruence found in the mountains. In addition to Eric’s brother, John, Curtis Ciszek is notably involved in the project.

Eric Jackson is an industry icon and backcountry powerhouse. Gaining his first sponsors at age 11, the now 26 year old Lib Tech rider has a list of film appearances and accolades that make him a cornerstone of the current industry. From his early days with Standard Films, to earning Rider of The Year with the People crew in 2012, to working on The Fourth Phase with Travis Rice; E-Jack has developed his snowboarding from hip-hop infused competition riding to big mountain prowess that promotes an inner balance and cohesiveness with nature. You can hear Eric describe his evolution in his own words on episode 101 of The Powell Movement.

Curtis Ciszek has established himself as a consistent staple in the snowboard world as well. He started off with Mack Dawg Productions, Volcom, and the People crew and his athlete progression arc has followed the pivot as well. A less is more approach suits him, his snowboard, and his fly rod. The Drink Water athlete is on a K2 Snowboard team that represents the culture of snowboarding, and that relishes the pureness of sliding on snow in any fashion. The glitz and glam don’t seem to matter much to Ciszek and his riding says that much for itself. The dude loves shredding.

Check out E-Jack and Curtis in Alignment below.

10 Barrel’s snowboard career seems to have adopted the less is more progression model. 2019’s Hold My Beer… profiles Eric Jackson and Curtis Ciszek, but also hosts notable snowboard names like Bryan Iguchi, Mark Carter, The Manboys, and more (check out The Manboys QRS).

Pray For Snow: The Movie established credibility on the snow scene. It showed segments of 10 Barrel’s beer operations, played to their athlete’s strengths, and included a solid mix of park, cliff, tree, and big mountain riding.

Much like the emerging athlete arc, 10 Barrel settled out a bit in their next project, Hold My Beer They had fun. They rode for the soul. And they enjoyed partying with their friends. With their credibility already established, they came out of their shell and revealed their personality.

Maybe you’ve changed a lot in quarantine. You’ve likely grown, but maybe you’ve developed. Partying during quarantine is different, but it also doesn’t mean that you haven’t been doing it. Maybe you’re training during quarantine, too, and are going to be ready to get after it when you get the green light. Or maybe you drank too much and imagined you were shredding. You’ll find a solid mix of both in Hold My Beer… Regardless of which category you fall into, fall into your couch and hold onto your beer while you watch the 10 Barrel Team light up your screen.

In the time of COVID-19, a lot of us have found ourselves with an uptick in how much screen time is present in our lives.

If you’re like me, that means a lot of scrolling, and quite a bit of combing through content in search of something that a) I want to watch or listen to, and b) something that will hold my attention. So the #QRS, or the Quarantine ReScreen, marches on. To read more about the origin of the #QRS, click here.

Quarantine ReScreen | The Manboys | UMAMI

Skiing and snowboarding are inherently individual sports, and a lot of snow sliders fostered love for their respective pursuit with an intentional divergence from team sports. There are different goals; or, no goals at all. That’s not to say that skiers, boarders, skaters, surfers, bikers, climbers, paddlers, and other non team-sport athletes don’t like hanging out together. We do. The camaraderie found in people who are the same kind of different as you is really cool. Riding solo can be a lot of fun, too. There is just something about riding with a crew that amplifies the enjoyment factor of snowboarding.

A lot of progression within snowboarding can be attributed to riders spending time together and subsequently pushing each other to new heights. The presence of rider crews is not new in the slightest. They are the origin of snowboarding. Once snowboarding gained widespread notoriety and the marketing dollars that came with it, brands began to cultivate teams to represent them. Those teams would then chase contest podiums, create film projects, generate written and visual content, and vie for magazine covers. Some excelled in the competitive arena while others dominated the annual film scene. The style of each crew was indicative of the members in it, and each rider’s style was enhanced by the flair of the crew.

With the evolution of social media, marketing budgets and strategy changed. Teams were chiseled down or dismantled altogether so that brands could reallocate their funds to a specific athlete’s travel budget or project. The sport of snowboarding became individual again. Of course, riders still congregate with their friends. They still work on projects together when possible.

With brands refocusing their efforts in the competition for public attention, they began pairing up their athletes with projects that would ideally perform well and garner a positive return on their investment. Essentially, a brand’s goal is to get their athlete maximum exposure so that the brand sells more gear and makes more money. Makes sense. However, that means riders getting paired up with other riders for projects that maybe they other wise wouldn’t ride with. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. With the evolving marketing and media landscape, hard-good brand teams gave way to annual film crew regulars. Outerwear company X pays media company Y to have their athlete featured in their project. The algorithm works, so the process repeats itself.

That said, crews are starting to make a comeback. Well, kinda sorta. The X-Games has introduced a branch of competition for branded teams. Some brands have begun to feature, or never stopped featuring, annual team film projects. Those are good things. But no one has captured the essence of friends shredding together quite like The Manboys.

The Whistler-based collection of friends made waves in 2014 with a few edits on followed by a 4 part web series that dropped weekly on Fridays. It helped of course that the group of friends were pro snowboarders. The interesting part is that they embarked on their own project. Supported by their sponsors? Yes. But, the group of friends worked together to create something organic where the beauty of it was, and is, its simplicity. The Manboys catalogue the escapades of a group of friends who all SHRED with remarkable style, and palpably have a blast doing it. The athlete lineup for each of the Manboys’ projects tends to change slightly, but the vibe of the tribe stays the same. The cast of characters typically includes Jody Wachniak, Matt Belzile, Chris Rasman, Rusty Ockenden, Mark Sollors, and Robjn Taylor with Ben Webb behind the lens and Rusty pulling double duty as rider and editor. Sometimes the adult lads also hang with snow pro friends outside their immediate circle like Craig McMorris, Eric Jackson, John Jackson, Sean Pettit and others.

2015 brought another 4 webisodes for season 2, but 2016 looked different for The Manboys. They dropped a full movie on iTunes called, “The Manboys Movie (now available on Youtube). Watching a full length project of theirs conjures a nostalgic feeling of 2000’s era snowboarding with upgraded tricks and personalized team style. See for yourself below.

I’m not sure how you befriend the Manboys to a point where you can join them on screen, but I think having a floater front three and a lofty back one are non-negotiables. You likely also need to be able to make them happen on a blind landing or double drop.

After “The Manboys Movie” they released a weekly, 5 part web series in 2017 called “Something By The Manboys” before dropping back to back films in 2018 and 2019. For a glimpse into what can be expected in Something By The Manboys, check out Episode 2 below and a behind the scenes reel here.

Much like its 2016 predecessor, 2018’s installment of “Selective Memory” featured backcountry booters, sled accessed couloir lines, friendly banter, and air-time-style for miles. Half the length of their previous film, “The Manboys Movie“, “Selective Memory” comes in at a 15 minute run time and released direct to internet instead of purchase via iTunes. Check out the project below.

2019 birthed UMAMI, the focus of this edition of the Quarantine ReScreen. UMAMI’s cast of characters include Jody Wachniak, Matt Belzile, Chris Rasman, Rusty Ockenden, Beau Bishop, Eric Jackson, and DCP. The combination of technical, freestyle riding and jumping finesse exhibited by every member of the crew is astounding. I rewatched Rusty’s nosebutter fs 9 at 9:31 too many times to count. If the riding wasn’t enough to draw you in, the cohesive camaraderie of The Manboys will getcha.

When not contributing to The Manboys crew on a snowboard, you can catch Jody hosting the Airtime Podcast. You can also find Matt Belzile on episode 164 of The Powell Movement where he talks about his snowboarding careeer, The Manboys, and more.

Coronavirus has you missing your crew, so if you haven’t already it’s time to befriend The Manboys. Grab a bevy, and hang out with your new friends on the Quarantine ReScreen.

Quarantine ReScreen | The Manboys | UMAMI

In the time of COVID-19, a lot of us have found ourselves with an uptick in how much screen time is present in our lives.

If you’re like me, that means a lot of scrolling, and quite a bit of combing through content in search of something that a) I want to watch or listen to, and b) something that will hold my attention. So the #QRS, or the Quarantine ReScreen, marches on. To read more about the origin of the #QRS, click here.

Quarantine ReScreen | Antti Autti | YUKIGUNI – Snowboarding Short Film

Some people search their entire lives to find their place in the world. They look far and wide for meaning and purpose, trying their hand at different occupations and pursuits to find something that fits. For some, the process of searching becomes what they had been looking for the whole time. Then there are those who gravitate toward something from a young age and never look back, knowing their purpose like they know their own name.

A lot of ski and snowboard icons are the latter, and are the kind of people who haven’t been able to separate themselves from the flow of sliding on snow since the first time they experienced it. They make careers from their passion because they couldn’t dream of doing anything else. The industry is full of these people; from star athletes and photographers, to team managers and reps, to boot fitters, lifties, and mountain ops professionals. The shining example of this can be found in any mountain town across the world. Just look for the old, crusty, local who has been first in line on powder days since before you were born. The point being that the dedicated, lifelong skier and/or rider does it for the love of it and not for the paycheck, the sponsors, or the fame. Most who’ve experienced those benefits would, I’m sure, not turn them away, but would continue to ski or snowboard without them.

Antti Autti was born to be a snowboarder. The 35 year old Finnish rider is probably more comfortable sliding sideways down a mountain than walking along a sidewalk. He started snowboarding at age ten in Rovaniemi, Finland at Ounasvaara ski resort. It didn’t take long after that for Autti to surge to the forefront of snowboarding’s competition scene. The half pipe and big air competitor was a standout at events like X-Games, Air + Style, The Arctic Challenge, and The Olympics. That is, until he decided to pivot from competitive snowboarding in pursuit of filming his own projects where he prioritized creative control.

2010 birthed Antti’s quest for freeriding and for creating unique snowboard content that looked different than that of the rest of the industry. He launched his own website and film production company to aid his efforts. Despite leaving the contest scene, Autti maintained sponsorships from the likes of  HaglofsShred OpticsSuuntoSpark R and D. He added Jones Snowboards to that list in February of 2020 after departing his former board sponsor, Korua Shapes.

Iisakki Kennilä and Antti dropped their short film “CLOSER” in December of 2018. The project aimed to capture the feeling of powder surfing, and well, it more than succeeded. The artistic influence of Kennilä matched up perfectly with the playful and stylistic flow of Autti. Watching felt like you were there; riding with friends among the billowing sprays of snow. Antti’s surf style emanated prominently throughout the film as well. His playful way of maneuvering through trees, pillows, and powder looks effortless even while spinning and jumping down the mountain. See for yourself.

One year later, almost to the day, the duo released their next snowboarding short film and today’s Quarantine ReScreen feature, “YUKIGUNI“.

CLOSER” exhibited the palpable energy of big mountain freeriding, and while “YUKIGUNI” channeled the same riding style and editing finesse, it took a different approach. The exuberance radiating throughout “CLOSER” gave way to the simplistic joy of riding powder in the second snowboarding short film from the pair. The film captured the ever sought after combination of flow and float as Antti traveled to, and surfed his way through, serene Japanese landscapes with smile provoking style. His Cab 5 off of the pillow and through the hallway at 4:55 is worth rewatching as many times as you’re willing to admit, and then 10 more.

Iisakki Kennilä and Antti Autti are working on yet another snowboarding short film entitled, “ROAM“. The project was set to release in fall 2020 but has been bumped back to 2021 due to constraints brought on by coronavirus.

Since traveling is a no-go for the time being, you’ll just have to live vicariously through Antti and his snowboard short film series. Happy Wednesday. You’ve made it to the back half of your week. Congrats! In times like these, celebrating the little things seems important. Cultivate your appreciation for simplicity with “YUKIGUNI“.

In the time of COVID-19, a lot of us have found ourselves with an uptick in how much screen time is present in our lives.

If you’re like me, that means a lot of scrolling, and quite a bit of combing through content in search of something that a) I want to watch or listen to, and b) something that will hold my attention. So the #QRS, or the Quarantine ReScreen, marches on. To read more about the origin of the #QRS, click here.

Quarantine ReScreen | Michelle Parker | ORIGINATE Season 2

In the social media crazed world that is 2020, traditional ski and snowboard films still experience a remarkable level of prominence among their core fans and viewers. That said, some athletes’ Instagram profiles feature video clips, pics, and personalized content that garner more views and popularity than annual full-length projects by production companies. Smaller, social media releases also offer a broader range of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for the brands and companies supporting these athletes than they would receive by having their athletes featured in ski or snowboard films alone. Some of these KPI’s include vastly extended reach to viewers beyond the ski and snowboard world. Also included is the ability to track impressions and engagement in real-time to find out how their deployed strategy is performing, thus offering the opportunity for immediate micro adjustments as they aim to sell seasonal specific product.

In the last 10 years brands and athletes have had to experiment with their exposure equation in an effort to hack the newly evolving social media landscape. For example, putting out content on their own platforms instead of/ in addition to relying on the production companies to advertise for them. Or, releasing smaller “mini edits” throughout the snow season on their athletes’ social profiles. We’ve also seen brands showcasing behind-the-scenes footage of their athletes doing things besides ski or snowboard that add personality and flare to the public perception of their influencer.

Red Bull has notably been ahead of the curve in this competition for attention. As a society, we’ve seen interest foster around individuals and their specific story. Thus, the traditional, action-based “ski porn” storylines started to lose out to the documentary style storytelling we’ve come to know and expect.

In 2010 Red Bull snowboard athlete Eero Ettala launched a TV show, web series, and documentary film all rolled into one called Tracking Eero. The project was spearheaded by both Oakley and Friday Productions, and was featured on FuelTV among others. In 2012, Red Bull put out a web series of its own called Brothers On The Run featuring pro snowboard siblings Eric and John Jackson as they road-tripped through their winter season. Red Bull also released Bobby’s Life the same year, a youtube based web series that starred then contest skier Bobby Brown. In 2014 Red Bull introduced Cooking With Gas, another web series profiling snowboarder Eero Ettala. This recipe of webisode content has since been adopted by the masses, and Red Bull has stayed at the forefront of the content distribution model with the likes of Sean Pettit‘s Keep Your Tips Up as well as Michelle Parker‘s ORIGINATE. After a very successful first season, Parker’s second season of ORIGINATE looked a little different. With new elements and more cameo’s from her network of professional athlete friends, season two was received with very high acclaim.

Truckee, CA native, Michelle Parker, made the jump from slalom ski racer to big mountain badass, with a couple of stops in between to compete as a slopestyle and halfpipe skier. Her ski career features over a dozen film appearances and an award for Best Female Performance on two separate occasions courtesy of the annual ski industry honors ceremony hosted by Powder. The Matchstick Productions (MSP) star mixes a hard charging, big mountain approach with an artistic style that seems to radiate both ease and an element of joy. She reps sponsors like Red Bull, Black Crows, Anon, and Arc’Teryx.

Oh, and there’s more. She also founded a backcountry education program that aims to empower women in the mountains called S.A.F.E. A.S. Clinics with some of her friends, who also just happen to be some of the worlds best female skiers. Michelle sits on the board of the High Fives Foundation and she is also an ambassador for Protect Our Winters. She even wrote a book titled Goldie whose proceeds will benefit the climate advocacy organization.

If unfamiliar with Michelle’s ski portfolio, take a gander at the pro ski vet of 14 years as she introduces herself and the ORIGINATE project in Season 1, Episode 1 below.

ORIGINATE season one showcased some of the industry’s well known names skiing alongside Michelle in locations such as British Columbia’s Coast Range and Japan’s Myoko Kogen. Season one also aimed to highlight female skiers as capable powerhouses in an industry often dominated by male athletes. Female athletes have long battled for recognition in the snow sports world. MSP gained notoriety for their 2018 film, All In, which included a balanced male/ female athlete line up. Names like Angel Collinson and Elyse Saugstad who starred along Michelle in All In also made appearances in ORIGINATE.

ORIGINATE season two brought with it another pivot in the webisode content distribution model. The crossover we saw in season one of male skiers and female skiers in the same project noticeably expanded in season two.

The season opens with an episode in the backcountry of Tahoe, CA. The part of the episode that warrants a double take is the cast of characters that accompanies Michelle on this strike mission. Danny Davis, Red Gerrard, and Brock Crouch are all big name slopestyle and halfpipe… snowboarders. Male identifying, contest snowboarders. And they crush it in this segment.

The trend continues in S2 E2 with names like Aaron Blatt, Mark Carter, Alex Yoder and Nick Russell. Blatt is very well known in the snowboard community as a photographer. He’s also involved in the production of ORIGINATE along with the crew at Reel Water Productions, so its cool to see him spend some time on the other side of the lens. Oh, and he is Michelle’s partner. Which could explain the inclusion of snowboarders in the project. Or not. Just speculation…

In addition to Blatt, Michelle is joined in S2E2 by Mark Carter in Jackson, WY for the Arc’Teryx Academy’s photo challenge, which they go on to win.

Michelle finishes the series in Alaska with skier Lexi Dupont in episode 6. The episode highlights Michelle’s contemplative retrospection of her 10 years of skiing big mountains out of Haines, AK. She cites a photo given to her by JP Auclair of the Caffeine Ridge as inspiration right before getting redemption on a line that tripped her up in the early days  of her career in AK.

The entire ORIGINATE collection is available for free on Red Bull TV. It also showcases Michelle’s efforts to further women’s success in other sports. We get to see into the world of rock climbing, mountain biking, and into the culmination of art, flow, and sport with a behind the scenes look at TGR‘s new collaborative film with Chris Benchetler, Fire On The Mountain. As a fan of both the ski and snowboard industry, I’m extremely appreciative of people like Michelle Parker. Her tenacity, drive, and commitment to her craft are mixed with an infallible affinity for art and an appreciation for life. These are things that drove me to, and have kept me in, the ski and snowboard industry. With prominent figures like her at the helm, I believe that our trajectory is in good hands.

Hit mute on that zoom call, and go explore Season 2 of Originate. If your boss asks what you’re doing, you’re exploring how to innovate while maintaining the goofy characteristics your coworkers have come to love. You won’t be lying.

In the time of COVID-19, a lot of us have found ourselves with an uptick in how much screen time is present in our lives.

If you’re like me, that means a lot of scrolling, and quite a bit of combing through content in search of something that a) I want to watch or listen to, and b) something that will hold my attention. So the #QRS, or the Quarantine ReScreen, marches on. To read more about the origin of the #QRS, click here.

Quarantine ReScreen | Arthur Longo | SHE – Side Hits Euphoria Chapter 3

Most snowboarders and skiers would probably tell you that the reason they love their sport is for the access it provides to flow. If you haven’t heard of flow state, hopefully you’ve at least experienced it.

Its a mental state where a person is fully engaged in what they’re doing while feeling fully energized, focused, and rewarded by the activity that they’re performing. This state usually combines both physical and mental elements simultaneously, and even engages a majority of the senses. Mihály Csíkszentmihályi identified flow state as a psychological phenomenon in 1975, though it is believed to have been present for thousands of years while wearing a different name tag (Buddhism, Daoism, being “in the zone”…).

The great thing about skiing and snowboarding is that there are different subsets of each sport. While everyone experiences a similar benefit/ enjoyment factor, they are captured differently based on the subset of the athlete. Whether its big mountain, park, urban, racing, moguls, in trees on the Ice Coast, or in the deepest powder of your life, skiers and boarders share a love of the feeling of flow that they get from sliding on snow.

Sometimes the content shared by each subset of the industry at large is, well, not very relatable to the average Joe or Josephine. More often than not the content shared is awe-inspiring and even aspirational to the consumers. Most newcomers to snow sports have seen the X Games, the Dew Tour, or the Olympics and have visions of throwing front 5’s, backflips, or jumping off of cliffs on their first ski trip when in reality they’ll be very fortunate to learn the basics of turning and stopping.

While that type of content is a powerful selling technique to potential snow sport enthusiasts and seasoned snow men/ snow women alike, most of us won’t find ourselves standing on top of an Alaskan spine line waiting for the green light from the heli when it gets into place to get the shot. We also will likely not be dropping into our second slope run with hopes of besting Mark McMorris. However, you can bet for damn sure that there will be a side hit at our home resort that we can boost off of with our friends. That’s where Arthur Longo and his Side Hits Euphoria project (SHE) come into play.

Arthur Longo is a pro snowboarder who left his previous role as a contest snowboarder who also put out film parts to just focusing on filming. The 31 year old Frenchman climbed the competition ladder and even represented his country on snow in Sochi. 2016 might have marked the end of competing for Arthur, but it was also a year that awarded him SNOWBOARDER’s Rider of the Year for his role in “Origins“. The former halfpipe competitor was a standout for his stylistic and fluid approach to snowboarding. He has maintained notoriety for his style since departing the competition scene, putting out exceptional video parts such as VANS’s Landline, Union’s Stronger, and TransWorld SNOWboarding “Origins“.

Arthur dropped Chapter 1 of his and Oli Gittler‘s Side Hits Euphoria series in January of 2017. The response was … uhhh, it was bonkers. Highlighting the simplicity of snowboarding, and the correlation between flow and snow, people were psyched on SHE for its relatability; even if you can’t maneuver quite like Arthur Longo. See below for yourself.

January 2018 brought Chapter 2. By this time, the anticipation had built. People clicked quick, and shared with similar speed. SHE Chapter 2 proceeded to spread across the internet throughout the snow sports community.

Its not surprising in the least that Arthur came from a halfpipe background. The dude is the definition of a tranny finder. (DISCLAIMER: Fear not, I’m not aiming to be insensitive or name call; tranny finder is popular vernacular in the snow and skate communities. Tranny’s, or transitions, are the sloped part of jumps where the landing transitions from sloped to flat. When it comes to side hits that feature small landings, the goal is to hit the transition. Hence, Arthur Longo = tranny finder extraordinaire.)

Watch SHE Chapter 2 below and you’ll see what I mean.

So, here we are. Rolling along with the Quarantine ReScreen, checking out Arthur Longo’s most recent installment of SHE C 3.

Along with SHE Chapter 3, the 2019 season brought with it a new board sponsor and a new team for Arthur. Staying with his existing sponsors VANS, Union, and Electric, he joined the likes of Scott Stevens, Kazu Kokubu, Kevin Backström and others on the CAPiTA squad. Given Kevin’s extensive background with side hit sending, it made a lot of sense to see him alongside his new teammate in Chapter 3.

Although Chapter 3 features more spins, more flips, and more amplitude, it still maintains the essence of the series with relatability and style. SO. MUCH. STYLE. The spins are not overdone whatsoever (in my humble opinion). In fact, the floated, slow-ro spinning adds the perfect amount of flair to crescendo the project in the right way. This 4 minute edit has more groove than most full films.

Happy Thursday. Here’s to spreading good vibes. Seems to be about beer: 30. Grab a bevy and enjoy happy hour. If your boss asks, you’re researching creative, new approaches to existing systems while exploring their potential trajectories. Add in that you think you can keep them simple and streamlined while still being effective. Cite Dr. Longo if you must. He is an expert on the topic after all.

In the time of COVID-19, a lot of us have found ourselves with an uptick in how much screen time is present in our lives.

If you’re like me, that means a lot of scrolling, and quite a bit of combing through content in search of something that a) I want to watch or listen to, and b) something that will hold my attention. So the #QRS, or the Quarantine ReScreen, marches on. To read more about the origin of the #QRS, click here.

Quarantine ReScreen | Ståle Sandbech | StaleLIFE 2019

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a professional snowboarder looks like? How about continuous, behind the scenes access to a pro rider’s life throughout the year; training season, competition season, off season, and everything in between? Well, thanks to Ståle Sandbech and Spencer Whiting, you can experience just that. The duo mesh so well together that the candid moments of their friendship give personality to their snowboard/ lifestyle vlog series StaleLIFEsetting it apart from the “action only” clips featured throughout most of the industry’s content distribution channels.

Sandbech is a staple in the snowboard competition world. The Norwegian native has represented his home country twice in the winter olympics, snagging a silver medal in Sochi. He is also a consistent contender in the Winter X Game’s slopestyle and big air disciplines with 6 career medals between the two. Stale notably reps ROME, Monster, Oakley and others. While he’s been competition focused for 14 years, the last couple have been a bit different…

Enter Spencer Whiting, aka GimbalGod, aka Spenny. You’ve likely seen his work before even if you didn’t know it was him. Spenny is a videographer and photographer; more specifically, though, he is a snowboard follow cam phenom known for his unparalleled ability to showcase snowboarding from camera angles that others simply can’t replicate. The former SNOWBOARDER Mag intern turned entrepreneur studied at CU Boulder and Penn State while cultivating his content creation and distribution company, The Mayhem Projects. Spenny is the man behind the lens who is responsible for shooting and editing StaleLIFE.

To familiarize yourself with both Stale and Spenny, check out their project LINES below.

While that project may have been the origin of the partnership between Stale and Spenny, the multi year process that it took to create the project birthed something that would grow to completely overshadow it: the normal episodes of StaleLIFE.

Stale’s ability on a snowboard is reason enough to watch. His style is so unique and so signature, that I find myself rewinding even the simplest of tricks to examine the small intricacies incorporated that make them his own. The camaraderie between Stale and Spenny elicits such personality off-snow that it adds additional flare and understanding to Stale’s riding when on snow. It just makes more sense when you “know” him, as it feels like we do now thanks to StaleLIFE.

Given the connectedness of the snowboard community, it is also incredibly common for other pros to make cameos in the episodes. It is just as common for Spenny’s camera to capture the shenanigans and games of the cast of characters produced by the snowboard community across continents and hemispheres. Combine that with Spenny’s signature content capture and editing, and you’ve got a captivating episode like the one featured below of their time at ABSOLUT PARKThough Spenny might have earned himself a reputation for losing chargers, batteries, phones, wallets, passports, camera gear, and cameras themselves, he’s also garnered a reputation for making content gold.

Now that you’re familiar with Stale and Spenny, you’re ready. Today’s edition of the Quarantine ReScreen (#QRS) highlights their 2019 season together. Set to Greta Van Fleet’sAlways There“, Stale flows and jumps beyond Spenny’s recognizably repurposed b-roll black bars, shares good times with friends, travels the world, and gets some time away from the competition courses and terrain parks that we’re accustomed to seeing him in. This 5 minute clip could be a standout video part in any snowboard brand’s annual film, and yet it is independently offered to us on youtube (with support from their sponsors, of course).

Happy Monday. Get your mood right for the week, and flow through it like Stale and GimbalGod.

In the time of COVID-19, a lot of us have found ourselves with an uptick in how much screen time is present in our lives.

If you’re like me, that means a lot of scrolling, and quite a bit of combing through content in search of something that a) I want to watch or listen to, and b) something that will hold my attention. So the #QRS, or the Quarantine ReScreen, marches on. To read more about the origin of the #QRS, click here.

Snowboarding, skiing, and skateboarding are undeniably intertwined. Snowboarders skate. Skiers skate. Skateboarders … well, I guess sometimes they slide on snow. Their sport is a little more year-round friendly and not as seasonally dependent. Maybe skaters are the cool kids and snow sport athletes are just trying to up their style points by emulating skaters? I digress. Given the similarities in each sport and the vibe of their respective communities, style and influence permeate into each group in the form of tricks, clothing, music, and more.

While Jesse Burtner popularized skate infused, one footed, and sometimes bindingless snowboarding, Scott Stevens took it to a new, very possibly unreachable, level. Not familiar with Scott? Originally from western Massachusetts, Scott is arguably the most creative snowboarder of all time. Burtner might hold that title. Scott just maybe has captured it from/ will capture it from him. A debate for another time.

If unfamiliar with Scott, take a second to get acquainted with his style by watching his video part from Union Bindings movie “STRONGER” below. If you are familiar with Scott, how many times have you watched this part? I’m willing to bet that it’s a high number.

And now that you’ve seen him on snow, check out his tramp skate skills to round out the full picture. While you’re at it, take a few minutes to get lost in his Instagram and come on back. From snow clips, to skate clips, to trampoline clips, Scott consistently showcases his creativity and flare. He talks about his style influences on this episode of The Powell Movement and also dives into his lifestyle, his family, his friends, and his pursuits.

Cool. Now that you’re up to speed, this edition of the #QRS features Scott’s own project Suzy Greenberg 270 The Movie. I loved this movie. There aren’t many times that videos hold my full attention anymore. I usually check my phone because I’m a desensitized and instant gratification craving loser like the rest of America, but I got absolutely lost in this flick and it was a fantastic feeling. The collage/ mashup editing format featured some of the industry’s finest riders and didn’t follow the typical ski/board movie equation. Given that the movie was a compilation of clips from Scott and friends, it also portrayed the lifestyle element of their escapades together.

See, like Scott, I was a kid who grew up in Massachusetts and whose exposure to snowboarding was small hills and terrain parks. This type of snowboarding was always more relatable than big mountain powder segments to me. Not that big mountain style didn’t capture me; it did, I just couldn’t do that kind of snowboarding with what I had to work with as a kid. I fell in love with snowboarding through urban segments and park shoots. It wasn’t until later that bigger and more expansive terrain got its hooks in me. Having also grown up skateboarding, Suzy Greenberg 270 The Movie felt like a nostalgic home video of my friends and I, ya know if we were pro snowboarders and skaters… which we were not.

Happy Friday. Have yourself an early quarantine happy hour. Or, since you’re working from home and have likely already cracked your first one, keep it rolling with this snowboard film. When you’re done watching and rewatching, don’t forget to pick your jaw up off of the floor.

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