American Pistachio Growers Dinner with Jeremy Jones

1479517_10152084647760530_214732620_nThe American Pistachio Growers (APG) hosted an intimate dinner with professional big mountain snowboarder and APG athlete ambassador Jeremy Jones last month in Boulder with leaders in snow sports media.

In an effort to tell a deeper story with active lifestyle media on the growing partnership between Jones and the American Pistachio Growers, the Backbone Media team worked with culinary experts at Frasca Food & Wine on Pearl Street to craft a pistachio themed evening full of great food and conversation.

Boulder continues to lead the country as a hub for active interest media. Frasca was the ideal venue to bring this community together with APG nutritionist Becci Twombley and Jeremy Jones for conversations regarding snow sports and nutrition. Courses including a raviolo with celery root, ricotta, black truffle and parmesan reggiano, capesante with scallop, cauliflower, blood orange and pistachio and finally crostata di fragile – a strawberry tarte with pistachio gelato.

University of Southern California nutritionist Becci Twombley spoke about modern sports nutrition – and the importance of pistachios – for winter sports athletes. Jeremy discussed his recent trip to Nepal and filming the third installment of his film trilogy with Teton Gravity Research. Jones stressed the importance of proper nutrition and his “recovery window” when he returns to base camp after extended periods filming in the most remote locations.

Twelve members of the media attended, representing titles such as Snowboard Magazine, the Atlantic, the Associated Press, ESPN, Mountain Magazine, SKI/Skiing, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Outside Magazine and the Active Interest Media House. We were psyched to reconnect with old friends and make new acquaintances as well!

Becci Twombley & Jeremy Jones

Becci Twombley & Jeremy Jones

Sue Jotblad from American Pistachio Growers, Kim Beekman from SKI Magazine and Sharon Houghton from Active Interest Media

Sue Jotblad from American Pistachio Growers, Kim Beekman from SKI Magazine and Sharon Houghton from Active Interest Media

Doug Schniztspahn from Elevation Outdoors Magazine & Radha Marcum

Doug Schniztspahn from Elevation Outdoors Magazine & Radha Marcum

Marc Peruzzi from Mountain magazine & Jayme Moye

Marc Peruzzi from Mountain magazine & Jayme Moye


Chris Thompson & Sam Bass from SKI Magazine/ Skiing Magazine and BackboneMedia's Amanda Boyle

Chris Thompson & Sam Bass from SKI Magazine/ Skiing Magazine and BackboneMedia’s Amanda Boyle

By: Amanda Boyle

The Networ(th)k

Much is being written lately about fans vs. revenue in social media.

JCD on the loose

It is a classic sales vs. marketing storyline/showdown. Companies exist to sell products but they won’t succeed in today’s markets unless they cultivate and work to attract customers and communicate with them fairly and transparently. Take this a step further and witness brands that try to de-categorize traditional consumer groups and instead focus on ‘just people’ and/or their online habits.
Obviously, emerging media is an awesome ally in terms of allowing better real time analytics and data sets to base decisions upon. What was formerly marketing black magic (perhaps educated/intuitive guessing may be a better term?) is now up-to-date, re-targeted, informed decision making.

Friends in high places

Accepting and adapting to these new dynamics is exciting and provides growth, learning and opportunity but equally important remains the human side of the equation. In a world that is accelerating in terms of media and information consumption, having a personal connection cuts through the clutter and naturally raises your awareness.

AC trying to hide the fact he is in a one-piece in deep snow

Next time you get 30+ new emails be aware of how you prioritize opening them. Be cognizant of how you scan and click through your tweets. Chances are (unless you have a super tight deadline or fire burning out of control), you open and read content from friends and trusted colleagues first.

Stever givin'er

Two easy examples are a new app whatshakin that a new friend Chris Hashley just launched. It allows you to follow locations on twitter instead of people. So, if you want real time tweets on what is happening at a conference, concert, sporting event, ski town or college campus just drop the pin and follow along. I met @hashley in Jackson recently and with more of Backbone’s business trending into tourism the app is super timely and relevant in terms of macro trends.

MP and Mr. Cutts

Another cool item came across my feed from longtime friend Jason Kinzler from PitchEngine. He posted on his blog about using Pinterest in press releases to give them visual elements. This theme of overlaying new social platforms is a trend we’d also discussed recently with another great colleague Roger Katz @ Friend2Friend.

the Minister of Fun shreds

As, for all the skiing images? Oh, well that was a March trip to Revelstoke with a mix of technical apparel designers, journalists, and brand people from Black Diamond and Polartec. Nothing like all getting together and sharing a few laughs, beers and some powder turns as friends.

* Thanks to Eriks and Dave at Selkirk Tangiers, the Hillcrest Hotel, Natalie Harris Photography and Agnes at the Cabin Candlepin Bowling Alley

VholdR and ContourHD – exploding the myth of press release professionalism

Fully armored and only 4.3 oz. Your phone weighs more than that.

In our little alternate universe here in Carbondale press releases follow a predetermined ebb and flow defined by brevity and succint facts. That’s kinda how a release needs to be delivered to our audience – they’re busy, and beside that, who really wants a barrage of exclamation-point saturated sophomoric drivel from overly-caffeinated, prone-to-fits-of-Daffy-Duck-like-enthusiasm 12-year-olds? I don’t…even though I pretty much am that coffee guzzling juvenile delinquent looney tune, I get those releases all the time from an overly bro’d-out bike industry guy in SoCal at least twice a week…and each and every time I need to restrain myself from calling him out on his egregious abuse of exclamation point protocol.

You WILL read the Verteblog...

You WILL read The Verteblog...

Yet sometimes, you need to let it out. This is one of those times. And since this is our blog and you’re here voluntarily (and arguably you are…unless you’re sweating through some sort of Kubrickian nightmare), we’re going to explore the full range and spectrum of human emotion as we reveal the latest addition to the Backbone client list. Or at least I am. In other words, I’m gonna let the stoke out.

You see, we just added VholdR to the roster. They make a series of unassumingly sexy high-definition video cameras that you can mount (mind out of the gutter now) on your helmet, goggles, handlebar, boat, moto, street rod, top-fuel funny car or just about anything else you could imagine. The ContourHD 1080p units that we’ve been playing around with all come with a software suite called “Easy Edit” that allows for simple connectivity and the immediate commencement of “oohs” and “aahs” (or heckling as the case may be) from your colleagues, your friends or your mom.

The late, great Anne Ramsey

And if your mom’s a heckler, I apologize. That’s kind of sad.

The video is rad. It’s super-crisp with options to shoot in 720p or 1080p, a 135-degree perspective and once again, all you need to do is plug your camera in to your computer to enjoy or share your exploits…and that’s a big deal. Aside from the clinical box that press releases demand to be housed in, we live in a place ripe with backcountry adventures and are fortunate enough to call some of the best gear brands in the world friends, colleagues and clients. The new stuff from VholdR is amazing – and the POV perspective allows all of us to share our adventures in whatever exploit floats to the top of the to-do list around lunchtime, be it riding, climbing, skiing or fishing.

So I’m stoked. We’re stoked. It helps that the VholdR folks are great people. And I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t walk away from our get-to-know-you meeting with glazed eyes and dippy smiles smeared across our mugs. Because as cool as they are today, it pales in comparison to what they have cooking for the next couple of years.

Prepare to be amazified. I know I am.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled bone-dry press release. Gotta throw a bone to the fun-haters.


VholdR/ContourHD Selects Backbone Media to Manage Public Relations Effort
Carbondale, CO agency to execute brand communication strategy
VholdR/ContourHD, manufacturers of the world’s first and smallest wearable high-definition camcorder have selected Carbondale, CO based Backbone Media to oversee and integrate brand communication efforts. Backbone will support ContourHD’s media communications, product placement, branded content and social media strategies.

“Contour has gained great acceptance at retail and with consumers in multiple markets,” explains Marc Barros, Founder and CEO.”We have significant new product innovation, partnerships and plans for 2010 and  believe Backbone will help us convey our brand ID and messaging effectively.”

“Every once in a while there’s a breakthrough product that nails it in terms of consumer need, design and function” states Backbone’s Penn Newhard. “The ContourHD camera brings together POV technology allowing people to capture and share their experiences in a clean and easy-to-use format.”

Seattle-based VholdR produces the ContourHD, the world’s first high-definition wearable camcorder. With the introduction of ContourHD1080p, it’s also the first to shoot and share 1080p video. Both the ContourHD and ContourHD1080p feature amazing video clarity, a wide angle lens (135°), single button simplicity, and a click to share online experience.

Visionaries. And they can hang, too.

An Hour on the Pan

Last weekend, a crew from Outside Magazine descended upon our upvalley neighbors in Aspen for a couple days of skiing and staff bonding. After a bluebird day spent hiking Highlands Bowl on Saturday, a bunch of the boys decided they wanted to test the legendary waters of the Frying Pan river on Sunday. Kara, born and bred in Wyoming, volunteered to be their guide and provided the group with the latest Sage rods and Cloudveil waders.

The boys from Outside (Grayson, Justin, Abe and Stayton) soon learned that Kara may be small in stature, but put a fly rod in her hands and she’s a force to be reckoned with. Grayson just sent us this terrific short video of their day on the Pan, with music from the immanently talented Stayton Bonner (check out more of Stayton’s music here).

(Stayton, you owned that one-piece at Highlands on Saturday, AND you rocked your fishing waders like a pro, but you clearly rock the hardest with a 5-string in your hands. Just sayin’.)

August is the official start of ski season!

Yes, it is August. School has not even started and the Denver Broncos have played only one meaningless pre-season game. But with the first crisp morning already come and gone and some fall foliage spotted yesterday on a mountain bike ride – ski season is officially here.

Thomas Hodel ripping the BC near Davos

Thomas Hodel ripping the BC near Davos

Need more proof? Bears are wreaking havoc foraging for what promises to be a HUGE winter and all the snow mags are on the newsstand.

Houdini, the Aspen local bear 8/19

Houdini, the Aspen local bear 8/19

And best of all, for kicking your dreams into powder filled visions are films like this one from the POWDERWHORES, titles Flakes.

Boa® Technology Adds Backbone Media, Marketing Muscle

Boa® Technology, Inc., makers of the award-winning, patented Boa® Lacing System, has retained Backbone Media, of Carbondale, Colorado, to manage all public relations efforts. The move follows the recent hiring of industry veteran Garett Graubins as Marketing Manager.boa_primary3

“We needed a partner that thoroughly understands the many categories in which we play, knows our product first-hand, and is not afraid to challenge the status quo,” said Boa Technology Founder and CEO Gary Hammerslag. “Backbone’s ability to do all of the above impressed us and we’re thrilled to begin work with them.”

With offices in Steamboat Springs, Denver, Colorado and Tokyo, Japan, Boa Technology, Inc., is the creator of the award-winning, patented Boa Lacing System. The revolutionary Boa® Lacing System optimizes boot design and enables a more “dialed in fit”. The ultimate result is superior performance and a level of customizable comfort never before experienced in the snowboard and ski boot industry.

“Boa Technology is a highly innovative ingredient brand with a focus on performance,” comments Nate Simmons of Backbone Media. “We look forward to working with the Boa team and their partners as we leverage existing momentum and expand to new markets.”
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