Levitation Project: The Threat

I hate the Levitation Project. Stockholders and board members have been breathing down my next for weeks, and I cannot visualize a cutting edge solution to this new and growing threat, The Levitation Project. My Chief Operating Officer recently informed me that our holdings in the ski and snowboard industry are in jeopardy (with the threat expanding to the surf market, within the next two fiscal years). Our marketing department is at a loss; accounting noticed a slight aberration in our projected sales, website traffic is down, and human resources noted a decrease in morale and productivity in our Southern California offices. Our diversification committee released another negative report on the effectiveness of our most recent leveraged buyout, and my staff and I have spent over eighty hours this week on our multinational resource inquiry. My wife has been threatening a divorce as a result of my late office hours and I won’t be able to cut myself a big Christmas bonus if I can’t figure out how to hinder the progress made by the fucking Levitation Project!

Photo by Branden Doyon for Adam COBRA Clark Photo/Revelstoke BC

Analysts first noticed the Levitation Project in Utah three years ago, but it wasn’t deemed a credible threat until we learned of their reach and appeal. It appears that they were individuals from Salt Lake City who decided to break the formula, and start their own company instead of just buying a proven one. Since I cut my teeth in the ad industry, and strictly believe in paying top dollar for inside cover advertisements, I believe their marketing tactics are nothing short of vandalism. Over the past three years they’ve built a family and released over 100,000 stickers, which are showing up everywhere; on homeless people, on road signs on the most boring stretches of highway in the country, at nearly every resort in the country, on innumerable vehicles, and even in my own community. They have taken the form of a clothing company but seem to represent something that I have been unable to quantify. My nephew who works in the mail department called it a “lifestyle movement” and I have assigned two interns to spend the week figuring out what that means. The Levitation Project is unconcerned with profits and is providing an opportunity for both up and coming and established cinematographers, photographers, graphic designers, artists, web designers, and athletes to freely express themselves and showcase their skills under an international spotlight. While we clearly have a strong team of international athletes giving our company a young face, our youth marketing department has informed me that they need more resources to keep the industry, and ultimately, the consumers, convinced of our “dedication” to their lifestyle.

Based on what I know about their second film The Fall of 07, my gut tells me to expect a change in the public’s perception of ski and snowboard videos, and to force our movie crews to work harder and spend more money. By choosing not to stick with the simple extreme sports movie formula and progressing towards the quality exemplified by the Sundance Film Festival, we will now be forced to allocate more funds to our film subsidiaries in an attempt to maintain our market share. Their video features the editing talent of Jeremy Jensen, and wild lives of Bode Merril, Phil Damianakes, Austen Granger, Tim Ronan, and Branden Doyon on snowboards, with Blake Nyman, Julian Carr, Rachael Burks, and Jamey Parks on skis. They reportedly traveled nonstop during the 06-07 season, filming on location in Utah, Colorado, California, the Pacific Northwest, Argentina, and the B.C. Interior, finding deep snow and unique terrain. Gone are the days of simple intro shots, ski or snowboard-only action, a lack of creative exploration, and mediocre soundtracks. I hear the movie is so good that I’ve now added two film students to our company so we can seamlessly and quietly embrace consumer-focused culture in our future films.

Due to their rapid growth, unconventional marketing/operation tactics, and devotion to quality, we feel our holdings in the extreme sports clothing market are at risk, both in the North American sector and overseas as well. Besides unique street wear using organic cotton and even alpaca wool that features designs by Nelg, Josh Judkins, and J Eichhorst. Levitation Project owner Nico was overheard talking about “a 144 piece line of technical and functional winter apparel, all of the highest quality, and ranging from extra-warm winter-weight jerseys and soft-shell jackets all the way down to socks. Colorways and products will be distributed to different regions and countries, ensuring that even in a room full of a hundred people, no two could be wearing the same shit.”

Simply put, The Levitation Project is bad for business, they expose the motives of corporations like ours, and thousands of true skiers, skaters, snowboarders, and surfers around the world are joining their movement. If more and more of our customers realize that our corporation exists not for the enrichment of these sports, but solely for profit, then The Levitation Project will put us out of business. We must do something now.