The DIVERT Story - Part 1 - DIVERT & YOU: Let’s Solve Social Inequity Together
WHAT IS DIVERT & WHY DID IT GET STARTED?
Both Founders of DIVERT Zach & David were grade-A troublemakers when they were kids. While their upbringing was not one riddled with your typical financial or family hardships, they found themselves hanging out with the cops, being adjacent to drug and gang life in their friend groups, and one after another, their closest friends began passing away around them due to bad (and easily avoidable) life choices. No matter how they got there, the direction they were headed was down the wrong path with the wrong people.
Then something interjected in their lives and DIVERTED them in a completely different direction. They were each given the fortunate gift of a skate/snowboard, just at the right time. Unlike the other gifts they got as children that would be interesting for a week or two, this one quickly turned from hobby to obsession. The overwhelming feeling of learning and landing new tricks quickly became the priority in their time between school and sleep.
The house phone would ring at David’s house in Chicago and Zach’s house in Denver, and while they were thousands of miles apart, the call would be the same. It was from a friend asking to come to the park (where notoriously nefarious behavior would take place), and Zach & David would both have a choice; head to the park with their friends, or go struggle to learn a new trick in the cul de sac by themselves. While the choice may not be obvious to you the reader, it was a no brainer to both of them, grab the board and go grind.
As the years went by, they stuck with their boards. As they continued to mature and both decided to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder, they reflected on what an impact these silly sideway’s pieces of wood had on them.
It became particularly clear to Zach when he was in an entrepreneurship class where the professor gave a provocation of, “Think of a time that something had a positive impact on your life, and if more people could have it, that would be a great place for you to start a business.” BAM it hit him like a hard slam on pavement, the Action Sports intervention he experienced was one of privilege that the majority of people were unable to experience, in that moment, he knew something must change.
On the other side of campus, David was an All-American snowboarder and on the road to pursuing a professional skateboard career; all while studying architecture. While he wasn’t riding or studying, he was flying home to bury his friends who had chosen a different path. He knew he was lucky to be in his position and he knew picking his board was the difference between himself and the friends he was laying to rest.
Zach took the provocation to heart, and started the business plan for DIVERT. David pursued many start-up ventures in and around Action Sports and culture until one day their parallel lives finally crossed… at a Phish concert no doubt. Stuck in the rafters, they knew the industry they loved was broken, and more importantly, that they could do something about it.
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WHAT HAS DIVERT DONE TO DATE?
DIVERT can live in a variety of verticals, but no matter how it lives, the mission remains the same. Make Action Sports (think skateboarding, surfing, skiing/snowboarding etc) and Creative Lifestyles (Think music, art, photo/video) more accessible to underserved populations in order to help DIVERT at-risk youth towards more productive, positive and inspiring futures.
Since its inception DIVERT has developed offerings in four major areas:
DIVERTcollective: Socially Conscious Product and Merchandise
DIVERTdayz: A variety of single day impact events from beach clean-up’s to surf lessons, to multi-sport and education events.
DIVERTlabs: Educational programming developed to teach the creative arts, social entrepreneurship, sustainability and more.
DIVERTsessions/DIVERTcity: Semi-permanent and permanent facilities that incorporate the educational programming from DIVERTlabs, the merch from DIVERTcollective, and the sports typically found at a DIVERTdayz event.
As the brand and its offerings continue to grow, we consistently look to include input, and involvement from the community so we are never straying from our mission. As a result, we have been able to have impact around the world that we are incredibly proud of. Some highlights of our work so far are outlined below:
While we reflect on the impacts we have to smile, we smile even bigger knowing that this is only the beginning. Want to know what’s next? Ready, set, DROPPING!
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WHAT IS DIVERT DOING NOW?
2020 has been a wild ride for the entire world. It has magnified some critical downfalls of our current society namely social injustice. and it has unfortunately, but necessarily isolated us from one another. When the world around DIVERT is hurting, we feel compelled to act and as a result we have developed the next progression in the DIVERT family of brands, DIVERTsessions. Because these issues of social injustice are taking place in our very own backyard, we will be bringing the DIVERTsessions pop-up to Los Angeles, CA. While we love our city, it has become apparent that LA represents one of the largest disparities in opportunity of any city in the United States, and we are excited to do our part to change that.
The DIVERTsessions Pop-Up experience is an Action Sports and Entertainment venue where anyone and everyone can benefit from the life lessons, community, and positivity of Action Sports and the surrounding lifestyles. The facilities are made up of six critical components: a surf machine, skatepark, ski/snow hill, a DIVERTlabs creative education studio, a food and beverage program, and an event venue. Let’s have a look.
Each experience comes with a guide to ensure safe and comfortable progression, a welcoming environment and a memorable experience for anyone. When you couple our experience with a price point for participation between $20-28, and a convenient urban location what you get is a place that acts as a comfortable on-ramp to the Action Sports lifestyle that has never existed before.
As a social enterprise, DIVERT is equal part impact and income. Oue business model promotes accessibility just as much as financial accounting. Sohow does DIVERT bridge that gap? DIVERT has a diverse model made up of 4 critical sources of revenue. Session ticket sales, merchandise, events, and food & beverage. Session tickets at DIVERT are in some cases 1/10th expense of how these sports exist elsewhere ($250/day at Mammoth Mountain for example.) For those that still struggle to afford the experience, our community and brand partners enable us to welcome them in, while still making revenue by subsidizing their sessions, getting the tax write off and content for their social impact campaigns. It’s a true win-win.
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HOW YOU CAN INVEST IN DIVERT
So why are we telling you about all of this now? What does this have to do with you? Have you ever heard us talk about DIVERT and said to yourself, “Wow, that is a really great idea, it makes all the sense in the world and I would LOVE if a place like that existed.” Did your mind even go one step further and think, “If there was an opportunity, I would love to get involved with something like that.” If you said those things or felt those things, then that is why we are sending you this message today.
We have had hundreds of friends and colleagues who wanted to show their support for DIVERT, but the amount they could afford felt too little, or the old school process of investing was too hairy and complicated and quite honestly, didn’t make sense for anyone. That was the old way, but new legislation in the JOBS Act has changed all that and now allows anyone the ability to participate in companies they support at an affordable price point.
Here is the short and sweet explanation, with additional informational resources attached. Have you ever supported a crowdfunding campaign? You know, the ones where you donate money out of the goodness of your heart to a cause you would like to support.
The JOBS ACT has now made it possible to “Crowdfund for Equity.” So now, you get to invest into causes like DIVERT that you want to support, but instead of simply donating and only getting an emotional return, you get to invest and receive ownership of the company in hopes of gaining a financial return as well. (read more about crowdfunding for equity here).
We have known about crowdfunded equity for about a year now, but wanted to wait until the exact right time in the project process to offer it to our close friends and colleagues and that time and place is right here, right now.
If you really love the cause, and are proud to support it, share our campaign page on your social channels! https://wefunder.com/divert.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT DIVERT?
"DIVERT is packaging experiences in a new and compelling way like iFly and TopGolf but with more cultural and social impact.”
- Peter Ruppe, Former VP at Nike
“DIVERT is creating a great new experience”
- Joe Pine, Author “The Experience Economy”
"DIVERT has the potential, matching LBE franchises like TopGolf."
- Matt Palmer, Former SVP Marketing at Disney Channel
"Someone is going to build a massive business here and I think DIVERT has the best chance!"
- Ed Wilson, Anthos Capital
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INTERESTED, BUT HAVE A QUESTION?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Founders directly: