I’ve been waiting for a chance to drop these photos and today seems like a fitting day. February 28th marks the last day with John Richard as the brand manager for the Tip Plus brands and since the announcement of his departure, the internet has been hot to throw in their opinions on the matter, unfortunately with plenty of misguided, negative comments to go along with. I do not have a manifesto to write on the issue, but all I know is this–John made some serious strides in pushing the Tip brands during his duration as their brand manager and helped to provide a good time and great experience for both his team and kids at events Tip threw. In a short period of time, Richard’s influence brought a dream lineup of street riders to a long stagnant Primo team, threw numerous events promoting dedicated shops in Southern California and beyond, and took an interest and created tight, personal relationships with his team that had previously not existed at Tip; a type of relationship that still does not exist at many brands today.
Critics have been hot to bring up John’s lack of history in BMX, but many also have not seen things from both the inside and out. The appointment of the highly talented (on his bike or not) Aaron Brenner to the Tip team was a strong one, bridging whatever gap existed between John, his team riders, or BMX in general. If the lack of a “core BMX” element in Richard’s scheme of things was perceived, it was misguided–responsibilities more apt to a person with the personal, intimate knowledge of BMX and riders were quickly delegated to Brenner (or the rest of Tip’s knowledgable, BMX riding office) when appropriate.
Again, I do not have the words or feel the need to write a manifesto on the issue, but I do feel as if Richard’s approach is applaudable, and that he took strides to take care of his team and promote his brand in the best way possible. I do, however, feel that the current state of BMX is far too critical on petty, odd issues that do not hold much merit at the end of the day besides looking like a big dog on social networks and that the real, deep, underlying issues that challenge BMX in today’s world are hardly discussed with the same ferocity (or public light). That being said, enjoy some photos from the last Tip event in the John Richard era of Tip at the East County Jam. Thanks for the good times and support!