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Sierra Snowboard vs. Burton Snowboards: Why Separation Always Hurts the Kids the Most
Written By: raymoyers

Sierra Snowboard vs. Burton Snowboards:  Why Separation Always Hurts the Kids the Most


When I was younger, one of my best friends had the experience of watching his parents go through a nasty divorce. It was difficult to say which party was the cause of the separation; each of them had done things that the other did not appreciate nor approve of. In the midst of the turmoil, I watched a happy kid that was full of life turn into a bitter, resentful, and confused individual.


As the months turned into years and time went on, the damage was never really repaired. Many times, I watched silently as my friend had to choose which parent to spend a holiday with. I watched as one parent tried their best to meet the needs of the innocent child, while the other parent looked on disapprovingly. Argument after argument ensued, in front of my friend, causing him to feel alone and abandoned no matter who he chose to spend time with.


As my friend grew into a teenager, the war raged on. At this point, it was apparent that one of his parents had moved on to bigger and better things. My friend rarely, if ever, saw this parent and hated the fact that he had been forgotten and left to live with the other parent. Don’t get me wrong, the other parent did their best to provide for him. He always had everything he needed, but could rarely afford the things he wanted; things he could have had if only his parents had stuck together.


Yesterday, we all witnessed the beginnings of a nasty “divorce” between Burton Snowboards and Sierra Snowboard. This article isn’t an attempt to place blame or find fault. I am not writing this to defend Sierra or Burton; nor do I want to throw either of them under the proverbial bus. I’m writing this article to help show the perspective of the third party in the situation. I want to let you, Sierra, and Burton, know what I am feeling as the “child” that is getting hurt in this situation.


This is what I feel:


Burton and Sierra are a great team; when they work together. Watching Burton terminate the agreement they had with Sierra was like watching my best friend’s parents get a divorce. It makes me sad knowing that I will no longer be able to find great deals on Burton products at Sierrasnowboard.com.


However, my sadness comes from a deeper understanding that this separation won’t just hurt Burton and Sierra. Just like with the divorce, the innocent bystander is the one that will suffer. In this case, there are many, many innocent bystanders that will suffer. Snowboarding, the entire sport, will suffer.


As Burton attempts to fix prices, control the sale of their goods, and force large online retailers to conform to a ridiculous discounting schedule, they make snowboarding that much more inaccessible to the consumer. As Burton tries to become a “luxury brand” they become more focused on the wealthy consumer and leave the average consumer to find a different source for snowboarding gear.


As Burton moves to develop their brand, and focus on their brand, they forget about the consumer that merely wants to go snowboarding; preferably on a quality snowboard that they acquired at a reasonable price.
As events unfolded yesterday, I read the thread created by Levi, (AKA. GUTH), at Sierra. In the thread, Levi requested a call to action and gave us all access to Clark Gundlach at Burton Snowboards email address. I, along with many other community members, jumped onto our favorite email client and sent an email right away. In my email I explained to Clark a little of what was happening over at Sierra and gave him insight as to how I was personally affected. I won’t get into detail here but the gist of the message was that my 7 year old son would have been less likely to get into snowboarding this year if Sierra hadn’t offered all of his Burton gear at such an amazing price.


At the end of the email, I gave Clark the chance to respond to the allegations that Burton is more focused on creating a luxury brand than meeting the needs of their customers. I have given Clark 48 hours to respond, and I have yet to receive a response from him. I think his silence is more of a response than I could have ever asked for.


As Sierra continues to offer amazing discounts and phenomenal customer service, Burton and its executives remain silent.


Now, as snowboarders around the world try to make sense of this divorce, Burton has moved on to bigger and better things and Sierra keeps doing what they’ve always done in the past; provide everything they can to their 200,000+ community “kids.”
 


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827 days 10 hours 13 minutes ago
agm90 agm90 - great article. i miss the old days
991 days 7 hours 5 minutes ago
dabomb dabomb - Man I just recently started getting into snowboarding. I wanted to get deals for burton products.
1195 days 20 hours 59 minutes ago
jdeilers jdeilers - :( sad days ahead.
1196 days 18 hours 18 minutes ago
hawkeyepnx hawkeyepnx - Is there a brightside to this? I mean, sometimes in a divorce, it is good for mom or dad to be gone, but I dont see it in this case. Burton really has become to be what Nike is in other sports markets. Hopefully, we see other competitors in the market use this as a chance to improve their market share by introducing better, more desirable products and no longer have Burton be what defines much of snowboarding.
1233 days 8 hours 46 minutes ago
jstgermain jstgermain - I was really upset when I heard about this and realized that there wouldn't be any Burton gear sold by sierra anymore. Burton has really put a stranglehold on companies to sell all of their boards at fixed prices, which I think is bullshit and totally kills competition. I wonder if there would of been a way for Sierra to get around this by offering the boards at Burton's fixed price but then offer their Sierra customers other forms of perk/discounts.
1301 days 6 hours 44 minutes ago
snowj720 snowj720 - bummer, sierra is the only reason we were able to afford any burton gear. i agree, burton seems like they want to keep the riff raff out of snowboarding. sad to see someone's passion (@ you jake burton) turn into just business.
1301 days 6 hours 57 minutes ago
msdst16 msdst16 - too bad i was really hoping to get a new custom at the end of the season.
1301 days 11 hours ago
Iggypop Iggypop - Great article! Im with 'superorb' in saying that 200k+ members isnt a small amount of people but burton being a big fish in the pond they have a lot more power in the industry and can pull the plug on anthing if they really want. But you guys are the ducks nuts!!! Sierra can just keep on keeping on and the members will be flowing in!
1413 days 10 hours 33 minutes ago
NHrivnak NHrivnak - This is really pushing me to consider getting another burton board from ss for the last time since it won't be available next year
1434 days 18 hours 14 minutes ago
Superorb Superorb - Man, this is a shame. I can understand where both companies are coming from on a business standpoint; they're both in business to stay in business. But, this might end up hurting Burton. 200,000+ members is nothing to sneeze at.
1439 days 20 hours 44 minutes ago
azneddie azneddie - great article...i agree with you because i believe that there are more people willing to find a more reasonable priced board rather than wasting extra money on a luxury board that they dont know if it will break on them either today or tomorrow, so at least we, the average consumers will be looking into other brands which will help better suit our needs
1439 days 21 hours 25 minutes ago
umeshgnars umeshgnars - Nice article. There are other companies besides Burton that have amazing products and Sierra will be carrying more of their products next season. This Setback is just an opportunity for us to discover and enjoy them. Props to Sierra for doing right by us shredders.
1455 days 17 hours 46 minutes ago
Pauly Paul Pauly Paul - Solid reponse!
1456 days 1 hours 33 minutes ago
kriskelsoe kriskelsoe - this is a horrible move for burtons brand identity. in an economical decline hiking prices is a great way to lose your customer base my 3 year old might apply for a marketing position with burton, as their lack of branding knowledge destroys their empire.
1460 days 13 hours 47 minutes ago
MasonMason MasonMason - great article, *tear* touching yet informative, as much as I have a love hate for burton this just proves it mo money mo problems.
1462 days 11 hours 43 minutes ago
Saito Saito - Heard and read much about this topic but now i definately know it's true. I live in Australia and the prices that we have to pay for snowboard gear is ridiculously high. A friend pointed me to this site and i was amazed by the deals that this site had to offer. I recently purchsed my first board and other gear from here, and was also hoping to get more Burton merchandise from this site in the future. Really sad to see this happen...
1463 days 22 hours 2 minutes ago
SoSik SoSik - So the rumors are true... oh well thanks Sierra for looking out for the lil man.
1466 days 14 hours 24 minutes ago
riderfreak riderfreak - Maybe Sierra will start doing their own editions of Rome boards, they seem to push Rome pretty well in all of their choosing the correct product videos. I wouldn't mind seeing that happen, especially because Rome is all for The consumer
1469 days 19 hours 15 minutes ago
MTpow MTpow - after reading the first few i would be willing to bet he clicked...check all...quickly followed by delete....they obviously don't care.
1496 days 23 hours 29 minutes ago
raymoyers raymoyers - I was one of the first to send him an email. I sent mine within minutes after Bruizza sent his and Bru got a response. I really think he isn't going to respond at all. I'll update the article if Clark ever responds.
1497 days 1 hours 2 minutes ago
ShredbettyZoe ShredbettyZoe - Yea I think he'll need more than a couple days to get through his inbox and answer everything - IF he will even do that.
1497 days 2 hours 51 minutes ago
raymoyers raymoyers - I had to write the article while the subject was still relevant. 48 hours and still no response. How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait?
1497 days 5 hours 28 minutes ago
kimchijajonshim kimchijajonshim - 24 hours is nothing. Especially considering I'm sure his inbox has been flooded with emails regarding this issue.
1497 days 6 hours ago

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