Industry Profile: Frequency Director of Marketing & Advertising Matt Wibby
21 Sep, 2010
Job Title: Director of Marketing and Advertising
Employer: Frequency The Snowboarder’s Journal
Years on snow: 18
Days on snow: 40-50 powder days…
Currently Riding: Selection of boards from Burton, K2 and Lib Tech.
Currently I am: Eating a sandwich
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Matt: My name is Matt Wibby. I grew up in Bellingham, WA, splitting time between soccer and sneaking away from practice to go snowboarding. After graduating from High School, packed my bags and went to CWU in Ellensburg, WA. Spent a couple years doing the college party thing and figured out living in the middle of nowhere was not the life for me, headed back to Bellingham and went to college on and off for years, interned at K2 snowboards and eventually graduating from WWU in 2005 with a Marketing Degree.
Originally hired back in March 2005 to be the Marketing Coordinator for frequency: The Snowboarders Journal and now am the Director of Marketing and Advertising for Funny Feelings LLC, publishers of frequency: The Snowboarders Journal, The Flyfish Journal and The Ski Journal.
I enjoy hair metal, mid 90’s gangster rap and looking for the world’s perfect sandwich.
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Matt: I now call in sick to work when it snows….
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Matt: My friend John Laing was the key person in opening doors for me at first. He was a huge reason I secured my marketing internship at K2 Snowboards and vouched for me when I sent in my resume to Jeff Galbraith to come on board with frequency TSJ. Pretty funny story how I got hooked up with frequency TSJ… It was end the end of winter quarter (March 2005) and I had recently graduated from Western Washington University with a Marketing degree. During the season that it did not snow in the NW, I was hitchhiking to Mt. Baker in Maple Falls around noon and got picked up by a minivan also heading up late to the mountain. Inside the van was Jeff Galbraith and John Laing, and on the way to the hill we talked about magazines, snowboarding and basically had my interview that day. JG hired me a couple weeks later and that is how it all started. It’s pretty insane thinking about how much growth our publishing group has gone through since my first day at the office.
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Matt: My job experience has been pretty diverse with my first job as a paper boy and employment ranging from a dish washer at an Asian buffet to construction worker on I-5. Looking back, these jobs taught me how to function in organized chaos and how to follow through and finish a project.
Shay: Tell us about your role at Frequency and a description of the work you do?
Matt: We have a small crew so everybody wears lots of hats at our office; my job is to make sure dollars are coming into the publications and to spread brand awareness. I am the point person on advertising, marketing, circulation and making sure the brands are moving forward in a positive fashion.
Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Matt: Emails, talking on the phone and discussing where the lunch spot will be that day. If it is snowing, I maybe late.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Matt: Every time I enter the white room, I remember why I do my job. It’s hard to keep track of a single experience as lots of opportunities are available to media…. Helicopters are pretty cool.
As a company, my favorite thing we do every year is our Freq Week event at Baldface Lodge. It’s a great way to connect with readers as we invite our subscribers to ride with us, anybody can come. This upcoming winter will be our sixth season in a row at Baldface and really is a blast. Having Warren Miller stop by the office earlier this year was an honor.
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Matt: On the product side, over marketing to the youth and creating disconnect with adult snowboarders. The industry needs to remember that shreds over 20 yrs buy snowboards/outerwear and if you do not connect with these consumers, they will move onto other activities. The market should build lifelong snowboarders, not just kids that are only in it for a few years.
Accessibility to resorts and the price tag on lift tickets are challenges for sure. The resort model needs to shift back to the snowboarder/skier, rather selling overpriced real estate.
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Matt: Neither…being truly passionate about snowboarding is the most important. After this education and experience both factor in. The education is important as you need to know how to run a business and function in the real world, and experience is needed to know how the ‘industry’ operates. While many jobs do not require an education, to be any sort of head or influencer in the snowboarding industry, education is a must.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Matt: Go snowboarding and work on that ‘high-five’ till you get it right.
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