Rollerblade in 2006

Monday October 10th, 2005
By: Admin

There have been rumors circulating recently regarding Rollerblade’s team for 2006. The rumors basically stated that Rollerblade would be firing their team at the end of 2005. This escalated to rumors of Rollerblade abandoning aggressive in-line and lead to people feeling like Rollerblade didn’t care about the aggressive market.


I didn’t really know what to think when I saw this — everything I know about Rollerblade kinda represents a totally different impression of the company. Think about it — why would a company that has put such a dedicated effort up for aggressive rolling suddenly bail out? Rollerblade has not only been supportive of us here at Havenskate.com, but also of several other skating news sources and magazines. They were one of the first companies to sell a boot with a UFS frame, basically started the whole skinned skate craze and always kept their prices low and affordable for the average skater.


However, while the press release (below) from Nicholas Skally doesn’t say they’re firing their team, it does state that a few unfortunate, but understandable changes will be happening for the 2006 Rollerblade TRS team. Rollerblade has come to the decision that they can no longer support a team on salary. However, Rollerblade will still have a team for 2006 and is basically openning up the floor to all their current riders and new riders — whoever wants to try out can.


The way Nicholas then follows to say that Richie and Cory have been offered salaried spots seems to discredit that they won’t have a salaried team. So, I’m still a bit confused by the whole thing. I’ve contacted Nicholas and am awaiting his reply. Please read and post on the related forum topic here for now. Thanks.


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Greetings fellow rollers,


My name is Nick and I am the marketing manager for Rollerblade USA. I received a disturbing email written by Azikiwee Anderson (a competitor who distributes Roces and Valo) regarding our 2006 TRS marketing program and I’d like to set the record straight.


Consider this the “official” response from RB.


It is true that we are making changes to the TRS program in 2006 and we have notified our athletes that we’re no longer sponsoring a salaried team of athletes. However, Rollerblade is not abandoning the aggressive market; we’re simply no longer supporting a salaried team of professional athletes. What we are doing is drastically expanding the team program to include two different levels of sponsored skaters who have an influence in their respective areas. If you are a talented skater and are interested in being a part of the TRS program, please contact me at marketing@rollerblade.com.


Read More :


Now for some fact checking … contrary to the rumors spreading throughout the message boards, part of this new structure involves keeping both Richie and Cory in salaried roles to help promote our new TRS marketing direction. Tory and Franky have also both been offered spots on our “A” team - something limited to about 10 people. Will all or even any of these guys agree to go forward with us in this way? I have no idea. My hope is yes. They have all given a LOT to Rollerblade and we appreciate every ounce of sweat and drop of blood. However, I’m not an idiot, if they find another brand out there still going with a Pro Team direction; I wish them the best there as well.


Lastly, the attacks seem to imply we have reduced our commitment to the aggressive community and Rollerblade is portrayed as some big “corporate” bad guy to be boycotted. In 2006, and since I’ve been here (1997), we continually invested in growing the market by supporting as many small competitions, shops, contests, tours and aspiring rollers across the globe as possible.


PS: of the 13 employees here at Rollerblade USA there isn’t one leather chair (contrary to the gossip on the posts out there) and personally, I drive a Honda Accord. If anyone would like more information about our change in marketing direction, or if they would simply like to hear the truth and learn some of the realities of the situation, don’t hesitate to call me at 609-249-1714 or email me at marketing@rollerblade.com. Note to Azikiwee, you have all our personal cell phones, next time give a call and find out the truth before you spread incorrect info.


Sincerely,


Nicholas Skally

Marketing and PR Manager

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-Jeff