San Diego's ASR trade show is a no-go
After three decades, the Action Sports Retailer (ASR) trade show, a San Diego showcase for surf and skate brands -- and a long-important destination for buyers and press trying to tap into new trends and seek out new labels -- is calling it quits.
Nielsen Media Sports Group, which owns the event, announced this month the indefinite suspension of the twice-yearly board-sport blowout at the San Diego Convention Center, citing a host of factors including the consolidation of stores, competition among key brands and a tight credit market.
As an alternative venue, a letter posted to the ASR website by the show's point man, Andy Tompkins (a Nielsen Sports Group VP), suggested that displaced exhibitors and buyers consider the Nielsen-owned Outdoor Retailer show, which takes place twice a year at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. (The next one, covering the winter market, is Jan. 20-23.)
In the end, the ASR show may not have been economically feasible for the show's owner or its exhibiting brands, but it certainly helped San Diego's bottom line -- this year's two shows drew roughly 22,000 attendees into the city, generating about $20 million in economic impact.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: A fashion show takes place in this 2007 file photo from the ASR trade show in San Diego. After 30 years, the twice-yearly gathering of board-sport brands is calling it quits. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times