LA Times – Frisbees, Hula Hoops and Hacky Sacks – Wham-O Looks to Reinvent Itself for the Digital Age (2017)

This is one of a couple of recent articles that have been written about some changes at the Wham-O company and some attempts to get products such as Frisbees and Hacky Sacks going back out the door.

The first thing that came to mind is that these articles came out almost exactly when the World Championships were happening, surely there were opportunities to connect the two topics together.

Life was once an easy summer breeze for Wham-O. The Southern California toy outfit, founded in a South Pasadena garage shortly after World War II, churned out Frisbees like pancakes and Super Balls like gumballs.

Its Boogie Board (devised in 1971 by Orange County-bred Bahai surfer Tom Morey) stood sentinel in suburban garages. Only squares didn’t own a Hula Hoop (introduced in 1957; 100 million units sold within three years).

In Wham-O’s television ads, its iconic starburst logo dropped into living rooms like a Super Ball off a third-story balcony.

Times sure have changed.

Of the many entertainment-centric outfits disrupted by the digital era, few have been upended like Wham-O. Its toys, once symbols of an endless summer, are now relics of a bygone season.‎ Even the notion of a firm devoted to plastic playthings feels like an anachronism. Why kick around a beanbag when there’s FIFA Mobile Soccer?

GoErie – Footbag a Kick for Erie Players (2017)

This is a local news report about the Lake Erie footbag tournament, which is becoming a regular event on the East Coast of the USA.

The second annual Lake Erie Footbag tournament recently took place at Griswold Park.

Anthony Ritz of Erie was 9 years old when he kicked a Hacky Sack for the first time. At 27, he’s still kicking and has no plans to slow down.

Ritz competes in footbag net, a sport in which participants must use only their feet to get a foot bag over a 5-foot net. Scoring is similar to volleyball.

“When you find something that you really enjoy it goes right to your heart,” said Ritz, who recently organized the third Lake Erie Footbag tournament at Griswold Park.

Read the full article here.

Jessica Alba’s Newest Office for The Honest Company Marries Comfort and Photos (2017)

Could Jessica Alba be the star footbag needs to boost the profile? In short, probably not, but she’s got an office where a key feature is an area to have a kick.

“I think the office is definitely a fun place for kids,” says Jessica Alba. “When you come, you can play hacky sack, or cornhole outside. My kids always want to play, and we have shuffleboard and hammocks, and we have a lactation room for new moms and refrigerators that’s a really calm beautiful space. I had a four-month-old when I started the company, so I know how difficult it is going to work for new moms.”

You can read the full article on Architectural Digest

Thought Co – The History of Hacky Sack (2017)

A look at the early days of the sport. I was a little disappointed as I thought it was going to continue on with the history, but only mentions the very initial days.

Hacky Sack, also known as Footbag, is a modern, non-competitive American sportthat involves kicking a bean bag and keeping it off the ground for as long as possible. It was invented in 1972 by John Stalberger and Mike Marshall of Oregon as a fun, challenging way to exercise.

INVENTING THE HACKY SACK

The story of Hacky Sack began in the summer of 1972 in Oregon. Mike Marshall introduced visiting Texan John Stalberger to a game that involved kicking a bean bagrepeatedly to keep it off the ground for as long as possible — using all parts of your body, except your hands and arms — and then eventually passing it to another player.

Read more at https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-hacky-sack-1991667

 

The Daily Collegian – Man in Pajamas Facing Multiple Charges (2017)

This is not a story you hear every day, and maybe not painting the sport in the best light, however it’s quite a funny story.

Davon Clark, 23, is facing several charges including terroristic threats, robbery, simple assault and harassment for an incident that occurred at The Pointe apartment complex on April 3.

Clark, who was wearing “blue pajama pants,” got into a fist fight with roommates of a former friend over a hacky sack and a pair of Yeezys.

“All I want is my hacky sack,” Clark said, according to court documents.

Read the full article here.

 

Media Post – Q&A:Wham-O CEO Wants to Get Kids Back Outside (2016)

This is an interview with a marketing focus with Wham-O CEO Todd Richards. Like other similar articles, Hacky Sack is one of the brands the company want to entice people back outside with, while also selling more of their own products.

Richards, who had previously served as vice president of sales for the company in the early 2000s, returned to the company last December to see this vision through as CEO. Here, he talks with Marketing Daily.

Q: What has been your mission coming back to the company?

A: As a kid growing up, like a lot of people my age, I grew up with Wham-O products. I saw this opportunity to bring back to the forefront of consumers the products we have, like Frisbee Slip-n-slide, Hacky Sack and Hula Hoop. These are products everyone knows around the world. I [also saw] a generation of kids that aren’t familiar with Frisbee or Slip-n-Slide.

The Gloss – There Was A She’s All That Reunion and We Can’t Handle The 90s Nostalgia (2016)

There is a bit of a craze for 90s nostalgia at the moment and this particular publication didn’t miss the reunion of the starts of the movie She’s All That. The “hacky sack scene” is responsible for getting plenty of players started on footbag.

It’s been a whopping 17 years since the movie was released, and we are still freaking out at this photo. Talk of a She’s All That remake did briefly excite us, but nothing can compare to seeing Zack and Laney together again. The fact that these two are still looking as good as ever 17 years later, just makes things even better.

There is no word on whether any hacky sack was involved in their coffee meetup, but we’re still cool with the reunion even if there wasn’t. It’s enough to make you grab some popcorn and watch She’s All That tonight.

You can read the full article here.

Here’s some footage of the man behind those feet, Big Add Chad Devlahovich

 

 

 

 

The Garden Island – The Power of Play (2016)

This one is a bit of a different view of footbag, talking about the value of play in general, and also the benefits of barefoot activity. This is something that is often valued for young children but the man interviewed here, Reverend Zander recommends his of hack circle, juggling and other disciplines into what he calls “Hackido”.

The full article can be read here.

HANALEI — Reverend Zander likes to play. It is, he says, a “universal expression of joy, builder of brains and the great healer of the soul.”

Welcome to the world of Hackido!

It’s a small, soft round ball made of hemp fabric on the outside and hemp seeds inside. Take one, two, three of four of them, and, well, you’ve got the power to change your life in your hands, Zander says.

And the lives of others, too. Perhaps the world.

“It’s about play. It’s a spiritual thing for me,” he says. “I consider play our sole purpose. It’s universal.”

“You can do this anytime, anywhere, any place,” he continues as he juggles three Hackido! balls. “It always changes up the mood. I don’t care what kind of a situation you’re in. If you pull out three hacks and start juggling, people go, ‘Oh, there’s a juggler, everything is cool.’”

 

Idaho Statesman – Footbag Brings Us Open to Boise (2016)

A preview of the 2016 US Open, which was held in Boise, Idaho. There is a large picture of Evan Gatesman and some chat with Red Husted. It is part of a regular column on outdoor activities in the region.

The full article can be read here.

The 2016 US Open Freestyle Footbag Championships are Saturday and Sunday at Boise State’s Centennial Amphitheatre. It’s the sport many remember as Hacky Sack, which is a brand name.

Three of the best players in the country live in the Boise area, tournament director Ethan Husted said. That group includes Jim Penske, Evan Gatesman and Nick Landes. Penske has the most US Open titles in the event’s history, Husted said.