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Zero Ain't No "0" - The Jamie Thomas Empire from the front page of the New York Times

Jamie Thomas has turned down offers to buy his company, Black Box.

Nothing astounds me more than finding a skateboard article on the front page of the New York Times. When non-sk8 media outlets begin running stories on skateboarding, it must be blowing up. Jamie Thomas has long been respected for staying true to skating and managing his companies accordingly. Did you know he was named Ernst & Young's entrepreneur of the year award for San Diego in its consumer and business products and services category?

Article from:
The New York Times | November 24, 2006

In Board Sports, Insider Status Makes Gear Sell - By Matt Higgins

Jamie Thomas has built a thriving business in the more than $11 billion board-sports industry by following principles he knows in his bones, the very bones that Thomas, a professional skateboarder, has broken over the years.

Jamie Thomas has turned down offers to buy his company, Black Box, which manufactures and distributes footwear and skateboards.

Jamie Thomas has created three brands, including Mystery skateboards and Fallen footwear, all under the banner of Black Box, Inc., a distributing company he owns.

He is attentive to the bottom line, but mindful of another line separating hard-core - or core - skateboarders from everybody else. He sells vast numbers of skateboards, sneakers and T-shirts, but he refuses to sell out.

If it seems confusing, that is sort of the point. An insider's understanding has kept the lucrative board-sports industrial complex - skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing - mostly in the hands of hard-core practitioners, even as these sports have grown more popular. Mainstream companies like Nike that have easily penetrated other sports often find themselves on the outside looking in, struggling to gain traction with action-sports athletes and fans who define their world by its antiestablishment bent.

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Don't stop at the day's comics... newspapers can occasionally have skate-worthy coverage.


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