Industry Profile: Snoqualmie Youth Marketing Manager Krush Kulesza
02 Jul, 2009
Shay: What is your job title?
Krush: Youth Marketing Manager for the Summit at Snoqualmie and Head Honcho of Snowboy Productions.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, what opened up more opportunities for you?
Krush: Ted Irwin dropped my name to the heads here at The Summit. This job has opened a lot of doors that I might not have had. Pete Saari has also helped a ton.
Photo: Ed Herbold
Shay: What was your first set up?
Krush: 1990 Craig Kelly 163 with Flex 3 Bindings and Sorels, Vision Streetwear pants coated in Scotch Guard, flannel shirt, neon yellow Scott goggles and Nitro Trigger-mitts.
Shay: What is your current set up?
Krush: 167 Lib Tech Skunkape, Ride Nitrane Binders, Nitro Team TLS Boots, L1 Outerwear, Oakley Crowbars, POW Gloves and Cobra Dogs T-Shirt.
Shay: What was your first job?
Krush: Bagging groceries at Safeway for the rednecks in Colville, WA.
Shay: What’s a great day of snowboarding to you?
Krush: Couple feet of fresh with the freeway closed for avy control, shralp Alpental for a couple hours with Neil Green, head over to Silver Fir when the pass opens…go work for a couple hours…have dinner with the family and then grab evening freshies for a couple hours with my daughter…go to sleep, repeat.
Shay: Who are your influences?
Krush: Industry wise I’d say Pete Saari, Mike Olson, Luke Edgar, Sean Genovese, Jesse Burtner, Blue Montgomery, John Logic and Jeff Galbraith.
Riding wise I’d go with Jamie Lynn, Wes Makepeace, Matt Goodwill, Louie Fountain, Peter Line and Scott Stevens.
Photo: G. Trevor Phillips
Shay: How long have you been snowboarding?
Krush: Started at Red Mountain, BC in 1990…so uhhh…18 years?
Shay: How many days do you get to ride a year?
Krush: Used to score 130+ days a year living in a van…now I probably get 30-40 days…quality over quantity or whatever all the old guys claim.
Shay: What prompted you to start Snowboy Productions?
Krush: Events/contests around Spokane sucked….figured I could do a better job.
Shay: Who are some of your snowboard specific clients?
Krush: Lib Tech and Gnu have always had my back…Snowboard Connection, CAPiTA, Ride, Boarderline Snowboard Shop, Oakley, Bonfire, Salomon, Grenade Games, Nike, POW and a bunch more that I’m sure I’m forgetting.
Shay: What events does Snowboy Productions put on?
Krush: We do summer rail events like the Downtown Throwdown (Seattle) and Back Yard Bang (Portland) as well as events for Nike 6.0 and the Summer Dew Tour.
In addition to that we provide the creative direction for The Holy Oly Revival, Jib This!, The Greenhorn Games and Kinko de Mayo at The Summit at Snoqualmie.
We are looking to possibly expand the Greenhorn Games to Oregon this year as well as a few other Top Secret ideas.
Photo: Ryan Gertken
Shay: What factors make a good event?
Krush: Stoked riders, minimal guidelines, little or no judging…and a good playlist.
Shay: What is your favorite event and why?
Krush: The Holy Oly Revival is my biggest accomplishment, the Downtown Throwdown is rad except for stressing to raise money to keep it alive.
The Greenhorn Games – The Coolest 13 and Under Contest in the World is definitely the funnest though. 75-100 completely stoked kids just ripping, learning, meeting new friends and having a blast without all the jaded older kids around to intimidate them. It’s pretty sweet.
Shay: What role have you played in bringing more media attention to the Northwest?
Krush: I’m sure someone else could answer that better then me.
Shay: You are in charge of Youth Marketing at Summit at Snoqualmie, what does that involve?
Krush: It’s a lot of stuff in a little office. I create and run all the park events, create all the ads, videos and any youth related collateral, manage our teamriders, line up all the photo/video shoots and work closely with our Terrain Park Department.
Photo: Chris Marshall
Shay: Why the focus on marketing to youth?
Krush: With our close proximity to Seattle it just makes sense…kids can come up after school each night and shred, we have events almost every weekend, the vibe is cool and more people want to come check it out…and a lot of our terrain lends itself well to terrain parks so that helps.
Shay: What changes has Summit at Snoqualmie gone through in the past couple years?
Krush: We had a landslide last year that took out one of our base areas.
Shay: Are there any future plans for Summit at Snoqualmie?
Krush: Hoping to not have any landslides this winter.
Shay: Should more resorts embrace youth marketing?
Krush: Sure…the biggest line of crap I always hear is that resorts want to be family resorts…ok…cool. But the kids end up dictating where the family goes anyway…sooo?
Plus, it feels a lot more fun at a resort with energy then some stuffy old fart ski resort…but that’s just my opinion.
Shay: Do you see social media as an important future in marketing?
Krush: I think it is here to stay…but here needs to be some room between what is personal and what is open to mass information, otherwise it just becomes spam.
Shay: What are you thoughts on the current state of the industry?
Krush: There’s not enough room to go into that one…there is a lot of stuff I think is really lame but there are these islands of radness out there that keep me stoked…it’s just that if you spend time complaining about the industry it’s then it becomes your responsibility to help change the industry.
Shay: What other jobs/companies have you worked at?
Krush: Worked a short stint as a NW sub-rep for K2 and Dragon and booked a lot of punk shows in Spokane…real smart business move there.
Shay: What’s your average day like?
Krush: Drive 60 seconds to work…forget something at home…go back to work…find excuse to go outside…go home…forget something at work…go back home.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Krush: I don’t have enough time to go into the vortex right now.
Shay: How is working for Summit at Snoqualmie (any cool work events, work environment, job perks)?
Krush: I get to sit on a yoga ball and my office is close to the bathroom.
Shay: What’s the best perk you’ve gotten from your job?
Krush: Put on your steel-toed boots cause I’m gonna drop some heavy names here…I got to watch Jeff Brushie, Wille Yli-Louma and Danny Kass session a 28’ QP while talking shit with Mike Ranquet and Peter Line…then drank whiskey with Sean Genovese, Corey Grove and Pete Saari while listening to a Wes Makepeace set…Holy Oly.
Shay: Any disadvantages of your job?
Krush: Sometimes it rains.
Shay: Since you started in the snowboarding industry, what’s been the biggest change?
Krush: All these clicks or sub-sets of kids…leave high school in the city.
Shay: What’s the busiest time of year for you?
Krush: Summer is the most work with lining everything up and all the ad deadlines etc. Winter is just being good at doing audibles each day depending on weather, riders, etc.
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Krush: Education through experiences…trying to sound all prophetic like Bruce Lee or Yoda or something.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the snowboard industry?
Krush: Don’t take it so seriously…it’s just snowboarding.
*Pictures courtesy of Krush Kulesza
For more information on Snowboy Productions, go to www.snowboyproductions.us/