The Story of ADVANCE Marketing ~ Interview with Mike Miyazawa. “35 years of history with snowboarding culture” <Chapter XNUMX>

This is what I mean by selling like hotcakes. Skateboards keep coming in from America, but there are so many orders that we can't keep up with them. Miyazawa, who is busy with shipping until late at night every day, has started receiving inquiries like these from customers. “You don’t sell snowboards?”

Episode-2 Encounter with LIB TECH, which has greatly advanced advanced marketing.

``I didn't know much about snowboarding myself, so I asked an acquaintance in the United States to do some research on me, and he told me that a brand called GNU seems to be popular, and that it's the most popular brand right now. When I heard about it, I sent a fax to GNU saying that I would like to hear more details.Then, at the beginning of the year, I decided to attend the SIA (Snow Industry America), which was to be held in Las Vegas in January 1988. So I decided to take a look at the products there, so I went to SIA.''

Speaking of snowboarding around 1988, this is when the prototype of today's bindings was born. Until then, snowboards had a strong handmade feel and could be described as stand-up sleds. This was around the time when mass production began as an industrial product, and looking back, it was when the snowboarding movement was about to take off.

Magazine advertisement to promote early GNU. Neon colors tell the story of the times

``At that time, GNU was a really small brand, and even though it was an exhibition, it was just a board with samples.The people who took care of it were Mike Olson and Pete Saari. He is the founder of a snowboard company called Marvin Manufacturing, which makes GNU.It seems that there are no employees other than these two, so I was wondering if it was okay as I was talking, but they said they were He seemed very happy to be able to sell the boards he made in Japan, and was told, ``If I had the money, I could definitely make the orders!'', so I trusted him and placed the order, paying in advance.

In 90, LIB TECH (official name LIB TECHNOLOGIES) was announced as a second brand, but the graphic resembled a skeleton wearing sunglasses, and was in line with the colorful design that was popular at the time. was completely different. So I remember saying to Mike, ``This might be difficult in Japan.''

A skeleton graphic called "Doughboy" drawn by Mark Gale. It was nearly 2 meters long and made an overwhelming impact on those who saw it, even though it was the first to appear.

By the way, this encounter is also recorded on the Marvin Manufacturing history page. Miyazawa is the only agency official Marvin mentions in his company's history. That's how important Marvin's encounter with advanced marketing became.

``That's how we started doing business with Marvin, but the company we were working with was small and the graphics were unique.At that point, there was nothing bright about it.We decided to sell it somehow at Sunshine City in Ikebukuro.'' I exhibited a sample at a domestic action sports exhibition, but unfortunately the shortest one was 168cm.The only other sizes were 178cm and 188cm, so I had no choice but to put three of them. But when the organizer asked attendees, ``Which board do you most want to ride?'' LIB TECH came in first place.Well, I don't know, snowboarding. I thought the customers were interesting."

Advanced marketing advertisement manuscript published in a surfing magazine when LIB TECH started.

Of course, the skeleton graphics became a hot topic that year and sold out in no time. In this way, LIB TECH in Japan was praised for its unique graphics and unique features that were difficult to master, and it became well known as a core board for experts.

*Titles omitted in text

Mike Miyazawa (Takehisa Miyazawa) Born in Yamanashi Prefecture. He came to the United States in 1966 as an expatriate employee for an optical equipment manufacturer. After that, he enjoyed life in America for 20 years while working in California and other areas. His unique business sense, which took advantage of the free atmosphere of the West Coast, eventually led him to skateboarding and snowboarding. He introduced many exciting brands to Japan and supported Japan's Yokonori culture for a long time. He also helped add skateboarding to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 The Other Stories ~Some topics that were not covered in the story~

■How would you describe Marvin Manufacturing in one word?

``It's like ``freedom.'' From our Japanese perspective, we wonder if it's okay for companies to be so lenient.There are no restrictions on hours or work attitude.It's more like a place to work. It's like a clubhouse, and I've never seen that kind of freedom anywhere else.However, in the end, they make ends meet, and the products they ship are finished to a satisfactory level.Maybe the employees Everyone enjoys their work.I think the fact that we're making something we like in an environment we like means that we take responsibility for finishing it even without being told. hey"

Meeting in front of Marvin Manufacturing's office. New plans are created while feeling the environment blessed with nature.


■What is your impression of Mike Olson, one of the founders of Marvin Manufacturing?

"He's definitely a genius. He's a person with unique and free ideas. He's also someone who has the skills to turn those ideas into reality. He made a handmade surfboard when he was in high school, but there's no sea nearby in Seattle. He thought it would be a good idea to try riding in powder, so he took his surfboard to the mountains.From there, he learned that if you were going to ride on snow on a surfboard, the fins didn't have to be this big, and the body wasn't made of foam. Through a lot of trial and error, we were able to create highly original snowboards such as GNU and LIB TECH, such as using glass fiber as the main material. Considering that the starting point was surfing, the freedom that Marvin's products have. I can't help but understand the atmosphere and the fact that LIB TECH later created surfboards.I think he is a wonderful engineer who has been imaginative and curious for over 40 years, and has given form to his passion.''

Marvin Manufacturing started with Mike Olson (right), Pete Salley (left), and another Marvin Leslie. Mike Olson said he built a snowboard in 3 during a high school class. photo: Akira Onozuka


■After this, Advanced Marketing became deeply involved with the powerful brand ALLIAN.Please tell us about the background behind the creation of this brand.

``The key person is Ingemar Bachmann.I was connected to Advance Marketing as a TYPE-A rider, but later Ingemar transferred to the ATLANTIS brand.However, in the summer of 99, suddenly, ATLANTIS... Ingemar was having trouble with that, so he asked me if I could lend him his strength as he was thinking of starting a new brand.After all, Ingemar won the 1998 AIR & STYLE in Innsbruck riding ATLANTIS. Because of my accomplishments, I was invited to AIR & STYLE in 1999. AIR & STYLE was the world's premier jumping competition at the time, and being invited to it was a great honor in itself. I thought it was unacceptable that a player of Ingemar's caliber could not compete due to business constraints, so I helped out as much as I could. Then Ingemar told me that he wanted Mike to be the godfather of the brand. He gave it to me.
At that time, every time I got on a plane, I would see the name STAR ALLIANCE, an airline partner organization, and think, ``That's a nice name that represents comradery and solidarity,'' so I took a hint from that and coined the word ALLIAN. I proposed. LIB TECH's Yuki Yamazaki was also invited to AIR & STYLE in 1999, so I went to watch it too, and he really excited the crowd. It was a very emotional contest.”

As the brand changed from TYPE-A to ATLANTIS, Ingemar Backman deepened his relationship of trust with Mr. Miyazawa, including ADVANCE CUP, and naturally proceeded on the path to creating ALLIAN.
Mr. Miyazawa visited AIR&STYLE (Innsbruck, Austria) with Yuki Yamazaki who rides LIB TECH. At the same time, it was the venue for the unveiling of ALLIAN by Ingemar Bachmann. On the right is Ingemar's extra large jump that was featured in the ALLIAN 2000-2001 product catalog. It's impressively tall even now.
ALLIAN's historical lineup has been created by powerful riders such as Ingemar Bachmann, John Summers, and Cale Stefan.
Eight members of ALLIAN Genesis gathered at Lake Tahoe in May 2000, and the first group photo and promotional video were shot.

Interview: Takuro Hayashi
Photo: ZIZO

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