SIMA Humanitarian Fund Announces New Campaign and Leadership

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The SIMA Humanitarian Fund is embarking on a new campaign to raise money for its beneficiaries and has a new leadership team involved in the group.

After four years at the helm, outgoing President Ross Garrett of Surfline is handing the leadership role to Dylan Slater of Rip Curl.

“I genuinely believe in the work these non-profits organizations are doing and how they utilize surfing to better the lives of those in need,” Dylan said. “If I can do my part to help fuel their great work, while unifying the industry around something positive, I’ll feel I have finally given back to the industry that has given me so much.”

The group is moving to a product-based fundraising effort called Float Collective, which will replace the Stokes Me campaign that relied more on a donation model.

Ross said the retail aspect of the Stokes Me campaign worked quite well, but it became challenging to secure cash donations from brands in this challenging environment.

Even with the tough times, Ross is grateful for how brand executives stepped up in other ways, such as turning out for events, and sharing advice and providing introductions when needed.

“Through good times and bad, I found the people at industry brands truly get the value of giving back and it’s not just lip service,” Ross said.

Ross and Dylan answered some more questions for us about the changes.

How is the SIMA Humanitarian Fund campaign changing?

Ross Garrett: In May we’ll be launching Float Collective, which is a platform for our whole industry to rally behind – brands, retailers, athletes and ambassadors, and the various media outlets.

Float Collective is a collection of product from brands sold at specialty retail where 5% of all wholesale sales go to the SIMA Humanitarian Fund.

It will be anchored by a bracelet, which was designed and conceived by Tyson White, Nixon’s Global VP of Product, Cinco Design, a design agency in Portland that has been instrumental in many of the great products and brands in our space, and the Humanitarian Fund fundraising committee.

We think that this platform will enable us to raise money all year long doing what the industry does best – making great product and marketing and selling it to surf enthusiasts.

Is the leadership of the committee changing as well?

Ross Garrett: Yes. We have brought some additional talent onboard through the establishment of the SIMA Humanitarian Fund Fundraising Committee, which is being led by Mike Reilly of Quiksilver, and is staffed with a handful of really amazing leaders from our industry including Mike Reilly, Dylan Slater, Tyson White, Bob Graff, Chris Wagaman, John Lee, Dana Mesenbrink, and Adam Instone.

I’m also super happy to say that I’m passing the wheel to Dylan who will serve as the third President of the SIMA Humanitarian Fund. Dylan’s been the closest thing to a partner in the SIMA Humanitarian Fund and sounding board for the last couple years, and we work super well together. He’s a person of character and, like a lot of us, gets how special our industry is – he wants to leave this industry and world better than we found it.

I will stay on the board and the committee and am here to help Dylan however I can.

Why do you think the Float Collective is the direction to move in?

Dylan Slater: Asking people for donations is tough enough. However, doing so in this economic climate is being oblivious to the challenges we are all facing. We needed to eliminate the stigma of charity and asking for handouts.

The Float Collective’s potential for commercial success – both for retailers and manufacturers – was a key element to achieve this as well as longevity in the program. It’s a platform that both entities can sink their teeth into, and I trust we will see amazing product, merchandising, and storytelling come out of this. This should resonate with the customer, ultimately raising more funds for our beneficiaries.

How will we see the campaign unfold?

Dylan Slater: Our goal is to solidify all Float Collective brands, retailers, and media partners by December 2016. From there we will be finalizing all athletes, ambassadors, and influencers to help us connect to the audience and build content, awareness, and momentum into our product/retail launch in May 2017.

Details of the campaign and go-to-market strategy are still being finalized, but we expect this will be a fully coordinated launch that will have impact.

What can industry employees and retailers do to help?

Dylan Slater: Since this is a new program, assistance in building awareness is critical. Employees and retailers who help our mission in educating the customer about what the program does and who we are benefiting, serve a vital role. The bracelets are a vehicle for this exact purpose.

The more we can make this program and its amazing products resonate with the customer, the more we will give to those in need. Retailers can get more information, register their account, and order the bracelets and the point-of-sale directly from the SIMA website here: http://sima.com/float-collective/

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