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Takeaway: We applaud Quiksilver's restraint – which so few brands have when it comes to these ego-driven deals.

Editor's Note: This is a complimentary research excerpt from Retail Sector Head Brian McGough. For more information on our services, click here.

Surfing Legend Kelly Slater Calls it Quits | $ZQK - kelly slater portrait

Quiksilver Celebrates Kelly Slater as He Transitions into His New Business Venture

  • "Quiksilver and world-champion surfer, Kelly Slater, have announced they will be discontinuing their 23-year partnership, effective April 1, 2014."
  • "Quiksilver Executive Chairman, Bob McKnight, first signed an 18 year-old Slater to the brand in 1990. 'Kelly has been a part of the Quiksilver family for over 20 years. It’s been an incredible journey watching him grow from a young surfer with great potential, to the 11-time World Champion he is today.' McKnight continues, 'We wish Kelly all the best as he enters this next phase of his career.'"

Additional commentary from Slater's Facebook page:

  • "As I contemplate the amazing opportunities I've had in life and the amount of good fortune I've encountered along the way, I’m excited to announce today that I’m embarking on a new journey. For years I've dreamt of developing a brand that combines my love of clean living, responsibility and style. The inspiration for this brand comes from the people and cultures I encounter in my constant global travels and this is my opportunity to build something the way I have always wanted to. So I am excited to tell you that I’ve chosen The Kering Group as a partner. They share my values and have the ability to support me in all of my endeavors."

Surfing Legend Kelly Slater Calls it Quits | $ZQK - chart2 4 1

Takeaway from Hedgeye’s Brian McGough:

No, this is not an April Fool's prank. Slater is history. He is to Quiksilver what Michael Jordan is to Nike. The difference is that Jordan has transcended his sport and has become a $1 billion-plus commercial brand that is bigger than the entire Quiksilver brand. Quiksilver tried to 'immortalize' Slater with lifestyle product, but it simply did not work. Makes sense for them to let him try his 'lifestyle experiment' with Kering. So the punchline is that we applaud Quiksilver's restraint – which so few brands have when it comes to these ego-driven deals.  We surveyed 1,000 Action Sports consumers about endorsements, and only 41% thought they were important. Of that, while most people likely knew Kelly Slater, only 17% actually knew that he was affiliated with Quiksilver. 

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