Orange County Business Journal

Yokohama Tire Gets Olympic Boost

MARKETING: LPGA deal benefits from schedule shift

Yokohama Tire Corp.’s namesake Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament will help decide who will compete in the Rio Summer Olympics—a task that’s necessary for the first time since the sport was removed from the Olympic lineup 112 years ago.

Printers Flat on Sales in 2015, Trend Offset Still Tops

30 Biggest Combine to Stay About Even at $618M

The local printing industry isn’t dead, but it’s not growing either. That’s the takeaway from a review of Orange County’s 30 largest commercial printers, which combined for $617.7 million in sales last year, about the same as in 2014.

Ad Shops’ Revenue Up 12.8%, Combine for $1.36B

Year of Corporate Tweaks; Advantage Remains No. 1

Orange County’s largest advertising agencies posted an estimated 12.8% gain in revenue last year, the second consecutive year the group has surpassed the $1 billion benchmark.

DFM Flips Register Land to Harrah

MEDIA: New owner sees route to profits as renter with 11 SoCal dailies

Digital First Media holds the reins at the Orange County Register, but the 14.3 acres surrounding the daily newspaper’s operations at 625 N. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana went to developer Mike Harrah for $34 million.

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PacSun Files BK

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. in Anaheim filed for bankruptcy protection and said it will convert debt into equity for creditor Golden Gate Capital.

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PacSun to File for Bankruptcy

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. is preparing to file for bankruptcy next week, according to news reports.

Agencies Take Home Load of OC ADDY Awards

Winners Move to Next Round in Contest

The American Advertising Federation of Orange County held its annual awards ceremony at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana.

New SaaS Firm Name Reflects Evolution

TECHNOLOGY: Avetta helps companies vet suppliers

PICS Auditing LLC, an Irvine-based software-as-a-service company that specializes in prequalification of vendors, dropped the Pacific Industrial Contactor Screening acronym and rebranded itself Avetta.

eBay Buys Irvine Automotive Marketer

Cargigi Inc. in Irvine was acquired by eBay Inc. on undisclosed terms.

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Mitsubishi Beats National Sales Pace

Only one of four Orange County-based automakers exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicles in March, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Top Digital First Editor to Oversee Register Newsroom

Digital First Media’s Executive Editor Frank Pine will be in charge of the Orange County Register in Santa Ana and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, according to sources close to the matter.

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Mirman Exits Freedom

Freedom Communications Inc. Chief Executive Rich Mirman was let go Thursday along with about 70 staffers, including Editor and Senior Vice President of Content Rob Curley; Vice President of Circulation Bruce Blair; and Lake Trout, senior vice president of sales.

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Bloomingdale’s to Join Orange Outlets

The Outlets at Orange said it will add a Bloomingdale’s outlet to its 120-tenant lineup at a shopping center in Orange.

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New Owner Cuts Execs at Register

Digital First Media, the new owner of the Orange County Register, has parted ways with several members of prior owner Freedom Communications Inc.’s senior management team, according to sources close to the matter.

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eBay Buys Irvine Auto Marketer

Cargigi Inc. in Irvine was acquired by eBay Inc. on undisclosed terms.

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Irvine Retailer Names New CFO

The Wet Seal LLC in Irvine hired Judd Tirnauer as its executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective May 1.

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Irvine Ad Tech Firm to Culver City

Adaptive Medias Inc. in Irvine said it plans to combine with AdSupply Inc. and move its headquarters to Culver City.

Vans Gets Artistic With 50th Anniversary Campaign

Features French Drawings, LA-Produced Soundtrack

Cypress-based action sports footwear and apparel brand Vans Inc. launched The Story of Vans, a marketing campaign that combines “a mix of artistic methods to highlight iconic moments from the brand’s 50-year history.” It includes five short videos—one depicting “the journey of the Vans brand” and four others that “emphasize Vans’ core forms of creative expression.” 

SWELL Head Named Parent’s Co-CEO

Australia-based online retailer SurfStitch Group Ltd. named Lex Pedersen and Justin Stone co-chief executives.

Register Reports To LA in Wake of Sale

MEDIA: Now one of 11 dailies in Digital First’s SoCal regional group

The bankruptcy sale of Freedom Communications Inc. to Digital First Media indicates The Orange County Register will be overseen by executives in Los Angeles with responsibility for a regional publishing operation with 11 daily newspapers stretching from the San Fernando Valley to the Inland Empire.

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SWELL President Named Parent’s Co-CEO

Australia-based online retailer SurfStitch Group Ltd. named Lex Pedersen and Justin Stone co-chief executives.

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Freedom to Go to Digital First

A bankruptcy judge in Santa Ana this morning approved the sale of Freedom Communications Inc. and its Orange County Register to Denver-based Digital First Media Inc.

Agency Ups Role in Client Work With Startup Stakes

Gets Equity Share In Exchange for Services

Irvine-based agency INK is taking an active role in its startup clients. It launched an “equity based model for agency-client relationships” that enables it to acquire a stake in promising enterprises.

Experian Offers New Experience

Seeks to Change Reputation From Credit Judge to Consumer Ally

No one wants to be seen as the bearer of bad news, even if it’s part of their job description. Experian plc, one of three major credit reporting agencies, is no exception.

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Volcom Sheds Eyewear Subsidiary

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. has sold Electric Visuals in San Clemente to the eyewear subsidiary’s chief executive, Eric Crane.

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Tribune Top Bidder for Register

Tribune Publishing Co.’s $56 million offer was selected as the winning bid during Wednesday’s bankruptcy auction of Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Inc. held at the office of Lobel Weiland Golden Friedman LLP in Costa Mesa.

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Stalking Horse Bid Set for Freedom Auction

Digital First Media’s $45.5 million offer has been selected as the stalking horse, or starting, bid for Wednesday’s bankruptcy auction of Freedom Communications Inc. in Santa Ana.

New Boss, Direction at St. John Knits

Veteran Exec Emphasizes ‘Modern, Relevant’ Design

Bruce Fetter took over the reins at St. John Knits International Inc. with a new challenge for the American luxury house: connecting with the modern woman on the rise.

PacSun Tries Out App Game Product Placements

Players Pick Characters’ Favorite Spring Duds

BRAVEN LC, a subsidiary of Incipio Technologies Inc. in Irvine, signed on as the official sponsor of the Australian Open of Surfing.

Kawasaki Thinks Small

Hopes New Model Stirs Market That’s Remained in Idle Amid Auto Recovery

Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. is betting on a new, much smaller motorcycle to help spur sales of its larger models in a market that’s relatively flatlining.

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Taylor-Dunn Acquired

Minneapolis-based Polaris Industries Inc. acquired Taylor-Dunn Manufacturing Co. in Anaheim on undisclosed terms.

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Orange Outlets to Grow

The Outlets at Orange said it will begin construction on 60,000 square feet of retail space this month.

PacSun Retains Restructuring Specialist

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. has hired Washington, D.C.-based restructuring firm FTI Consulting Inc. and investment bank Guggenheim Securities in New York to deal with $160 million in debt payable at the end of this year.

Wet Seal Moves HQ To Irvine Spectrum

RETAIL: Apparel chain pares back under private equity

Wet Seal LLC is moving on—literally.

Toyo Tires Partners With Rally Driver Ken Block

YouTube Star, Ducks Deal Add Visibility

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has signed a marketing partnership with Ken Block, a rally driver and star of the “Gymkhana” extreme driving videos.

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PacSun Hires Restructuring Specialist

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. has hired Washington, D.C.-based restructuring firm FTI Consulting Inc. and investment bank Guggenheim Securities in New York to deal with $160 million in debt payable at the end of this year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Kia Leads OC Auto Brands

Only one of four Orange County-based automakers exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicles in February, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Kawasaki USA Chief to Retire

Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A President Masafumi Nakagawa plans to retire in April.

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Billabong Posts Narrow Loss

The parent of Irvine-based action sports apparel maker and retailer Billabong USA saw global revenue of about $401 million in the first half of its fiscal 2016, a 7.6% increase, excluding the impact of exchange rates.

Great Wolf Opens Park, Starts ‘Storytelling’ Campaign

Ads That Don’t Name It A ‘Gamble’ in New Market

Great Wolf Lodge Southern California in Garden Grove, a 603-suite resort that features a massive indoor waterpark, this month ushered in its first guests—and its inaugural ad campaign.

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Billabong Posts Narrow Loss

The parent of Irvine-based action sports apparel maker and retailer Billabong USA saw global revenue of $400.63 million in the first half of its fiscal 2016, a 7.6% increase excluding the impact of exchange rates.

ASICS App Buy Puts It Abreast Of Runners Pack

RETAIL: $85M deal latest in string of fitness tech moves by competitors

ASICS America Corp. is just catching up with competition when it comes to mobile sales and marketing.

Quiksilver Promotes ‘Vision of Life’ in New Campaign

Says, ‘Stay High’ In Design, State of Mind

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver, fresh out of bankruptcy, launched a “Stay High!” brand campaign to emphasize the apparel and footwear maker’s “vision of life, finding positive and getting stoked.”

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Vans Revenue Up in Quarter, Year

Vans Inc. revenue was up 3% in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to its parent, Greenboro, N.C.-based VF Corp. The Cypress-based shoe and apparel division’s full-year sales totaled $2.2 billion, a 7% increase compared with 2014.

Hyundai Seeks New Connections to Consumers

AUTOS: Super Bowl image ad set stage for upcoming campaign

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc.’s advertising splash during Super Bowl 50 was a setup for a new branding campaign that’s scheduled to be in full swing come spring.

Opus Hires NY Firm to Fill Niche on Smaller Loans

On Deck To Help Bank Maximize Position

Opus Bank in Irvine signed a marketing and referral agreement with New York-based On Deck Capital Inc., whose financing products focus on small businesses.

Swell Move for Global E-Commerce Operation

RETAIL: OC-grown brand lends name to parent in strategic shift

Swell is about to hit the Asia-Pacific and European markets.

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Mirman Group Will Wait on Freedom Bid

An investment group led by Freedom Communication Inc. Chief Executive Richard Mirman will not submit the initial or “stalking horse” bid for the company’s assets by today’s deadline.

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Advantage Adds President

Advantage Solutions named Jeff Hansberry its president and chief commercial officer, a new position, effective March 21.

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Time Inc. Buys Irvine Ad Tech Firm

Irvine-based advertising technology company Viant Inc. was bought by Time Inc. in New York on undisclosed terms.

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