Trekking a path proven to benefit boot brands and the snowboarders who wear them, shoe giant DC is sinking its footprint deeper into the snowboard world this season by signing on as the footwear sponsor of Mammoth Mountain's Unbound terrain parks.
The sponsorship outfits the Unbound staff with DC shoes and boots while branding the parks with custom signage, according to Maria Boschetti of DC public relations, adding that a "DC/Mammoth boot is in development."
For the past two seasons, the sponsorship has belonged to competing snowboard boot maker ThirtyTwo, which has moved to Mammoth's nearby sister resort, June Mountain.
Sponsoring terrain park staff has been part of ThirtyTwo's modus operandi for nearly a decade, starting at California's Bear Mountain Resort. "We started offering custom boots to park staff because first and foremost they became [our] friends over the years [as we rode] the parks they built," says Brian Cook, ThirtyTwo's global brand director. "[We have] always been about rider-driven snowboarding. We care about what we ride and so do the park staff that we hook up."
Cook added that a big bonus of the product placement is having full-time terrain park staffers essentially testing out ThirtyTwo boots all day long, five days a week, then providing feedback to the brand. "Good or bad we want to hear how our gear [works] from the guys that snowboard the most."
DC shares the sentiment, says Boschetti. "The Unbound staff all ride all day and it gives us an opportunity to have the boots worn and tested by riders."
"The choice to work with DC is a no-brainer for Mammoth Unbound," the resort's Public Relations Specialist Eric Meyers said in a statement. "We both share a commitment to the core athlete without sacrificing access to snow sports for new entrants. We couldn't be more excited about what this partnership will bring to our terrain parks in both features and events."
Mammoth boasts nine terrain parks and three pipes, including the first-ever 22-foot halfpipe, which has been that size since 2003.
"Strategically, Mammoth is an ideal place for us to tell the DC snowboarding story and work with a skilled park crew to both test our products and the boundaries of what they can build with and for our athletes, said Brian Cassaro, director of marketing for DC Snow. "It also gives our team an extra couple of months each year to film on custom-built terrain and features."
Boschetti says that the sponsorship is likely to expand beyond this season. DC, she said, "is definitely looking at this as more of a long-term partnership."
With a snowfall average approaching 400 inches annually, Mammoth has one of the longest ski seasons in North America, typically running from November into June. This season, the mountain opened on November 10.