The annual King of New York event was founded in the Bronx by Lou Perez in 1995. Lou ran the event every year until he handed over the reigns to me at baby bean Productions in 2006. With first Lou and now baby bean running the show, the event has gotten better and better, year after year.
In addition to the amazing athletes and enthusiastic crowds at the heart of the King of New York event, a team of great sponsors helps elevate the King of New York to the kick-ass event that it is. Not long ago, baby bean invited clothing and sneaker giant DC Shoes to join the King of New York event family of sponsors. We thought DC Shoes would be a great fit (no pun intended) but unfortunately, DC Shoes completely ignored our invitation.
So it hit us like a ton of bricks when we learned that DC Shoes had stolen the “King of New York” name and concept for its own event. Adding insult to injury, DC Shoes suggested that the “King of New York” event was its own creation!
Now, Lou and I are all about live and let live, and we considered letting DC Shoes slide. But there’s a problem with that: if we didn’t stop DC Shoes from using the name again, riders and skaters, along with everyone else, would begin to confuse the two events. Which event was which? Who was sponsoring what? Which event is that great event that Lou Perez started way back when? When this happens, everyone loses, most importantly all the people who have put their blood and sweat into supporting the King of New York event since 1995.
So baby bean asked DC Shoes to recognize our rights to the “King of New York” event name and not to use the name “King of New York” for events in the future. DC Shoes refused. So we now find ourselves in the middle of an expensive and stressful law suit against DC Shoes. baby bean didn’t want this fight, we would rather spend our time and resources creating great events. But DC Shoes – now part of Quicksilver, Inc., a company with over two billion dollars in annual sales – decided that it would rather hide behind an expensive team of lawyers than do the right thing.
It’s sad that a company like DC Shoes, started by snowboarder Ken Block and skateboarder Damon Way as footwear industry outsiders, is really no different than any other big business. Apparently, DC Shoes thinks deep corporate pockets give it the right to roll right over the little guy.
baby bean is going to do its best to make sure the King of New York event stays where it’s supposed to, but it’s not going to be easy. If you’d like to help, or if you just want to express what you think, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pass this e-mail along and spread the truth. If you want to call DC Shoes or Quiksilver yourself, go right ahead. Phone numbers are 760-599-2999 for DC and 714-889-2200 for Quiksilver. Thanks for listening.
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