The Berrics Unified – Pay to Play

unified_membership_planThe Berrics has launch a shop directory called Berrics Unified. Although Berra’s video makes it sound like he is helping the little shops and single-handedly saving skateboarding, it’s really a sugar coated advertising campaign. Shops have to PAY to be listed on Berrics Unified. I don’t think that charging for the listing is bad, but I feel Berra’s video pitching the new directory is very misleading.

There is an interesting discussion on the Slap Boards as well as a back and forth between Steve Berra and Steve Miller of Exit Skateshop on twitter.

From user dirtjers on the slap forums:

***this is a message I received from Steve at Exit in Philly***

The “Berrics Unified” is a new Advertising program launched by Steve Berra and The Berrics.

If you watched the video, and some how were lead to believe this program was a way to “Keep shops from closing their doors” or to “Show you who the IMPORTANT skateshops are”. That’s because this is in fact what Steve Berra told you. He did not inform that this is a program established to MAKE MONEY, that these are shops who have to PAY to be considered important. Unfortunately for many core (and now considered unimportant) shops a new $5280 annual advertising budget is completely unattainable, because most shops are “outspent, and out advertised by large corporations”.

Berra speaks of consumer morals and “The principals skateboarding was founded upon” instead of being clear with his audience, and letting you know the truth “he is here to take your money”. The only solid truth to be found in this video can be found on your own. We are well aware small skateboarding businesses are closing left and right. The strong few who remain struggle to survive. The important shops are not paying for ad space on this website… If you want to find the important shops in your community you need to get out there and find them yourself. This should not be hard. You can find them building PUBLIC parks and spots, throwing demo and events, and teaching kids the true “principals skateboarding was founded upon”.

A scan of the information and rates sent to shops who filled out an inquiry can be found here http://tweetphoto.com/wjtzapjj. Don’t believe everything fed to by an actor reading from a teleprompter.

As I have been writing this post, it seems that Berra has deleted most of his responses to Exitskateshop. Below is a screenshot of Berra’s side, as well as the text, and links to the now deleted tweets.

From @Steve_Berra:Picture 9

@steve_berra: @ExitSkateshop I guess should stick with the PennySavers and the Yellowpages and actually pay more to reach less people. Don’t cry.

@steve_berra: @ExitSkateshop I really don’t understand paying something that is going to benefit me either. It makes no sense whatsoever.

@steve_berra: @ExitSkateshop we don’t? I have contracts with all my sponsors, with the bank etc.

@steve_berra: @ExitSkateshop you don’t make money from your shop? You don’t even make sense.

@steve_berra: Wow @ExitSkateshop doesn’t realize we worked for 5 months on Berrics unified, trying to figure out how to help shops the best way possible

Not deleted now deleted: @steve_berra: @ExitSkateshop I think guys like you are in short supply. You are s much better person than I. Good luck!!

@steve_berra: @ExitSkateshop yes help. When people buy something like,say, a car, it helps then get to work. The bus helps them get there too. Pretty smpl

From @ExitPhiladelphia (these were back and forth with the posts above):

exitskateshop_twitter@exitskateshop: So @steve_berra forgot to mention in his speech. Here is the price you have to paid to be “considered” a United shop http://pic.gd/db5f18

@exitskateshop: @steve_berra There’s nothing wrong with making money , but don’t pretend like your helping when in fact you ARE profiting.

@exitskateshop: @steve_berra the video is misleading and I am curious how many shops inquire with the idea it may be free.

@exitskateshop: @steve_berra The video claims that the program is “so you know who the IMPORTANT skateshops are” not “who the PAYING shops are”

@exitskateshop: We can’t afford a $5280 advertising budget because we have already been “out ADVERTISED” does this make us UNIMPORTANT???

@exitskateshop: listen @steve_berra We are all skateboarders, and for the most part all struggling. We do not need binding contracts to help each other out

@exitskateshop: It took ONE post to help shops with Deluxe’s Shop connect RT @jimt43 t’s free. It’s simple. It will send kids to skate shops.

@exitskateshop: yea @steve_berra you can “help shops the best way possible” by providing the same service for FREE. Deluxe,girl,blkbox etc had no problem

@exitskateshop: and @steve_berra we have contracts with people we do “business” with not people who “help” each other (as your video claims)

@exitskateshop: so if @steve_berra asked me to “help” him move a flatbar to film a part on should I have him sign a “contract”? for $5,280?

@exitskateshop: yea @steve_berra I do make money at my shop. Customers see something with a PRICE TAG and buy it. We call it “business” not “Helping Out”

@exitskateshop: well @steve_berra Wouldn’t a simple “Berrics now SELLING ad space” do it? You speak as if selling me a service is a favor or a Privilege

I like to support both Exit as well as Nocturnal, so please don’t get me wrong in thinking I’m trying to help fuel a local shop war in Philadelphia. I have friends at both shops. Nocturnal is featured on the site as well as in the video. What I would like to see is more transparency in The Berrics Unified program and Steve Berra. The video is very misleading. Be more upfront with the audience that the shops listed have PAID to be on that list.

I feel that all shops should at least be allowed to get listed for free, and have the shops that paid get banner ads and shop profiles and all that other jazz. I hope that this is the case, as the link to the Membership Plan Selection (screenshot at the beginning of this post) is no longer on the main Berrics Unified site however the page still exists. At least I am pretty sure the member plan page was linked from the main unified page. Please correct me in the comments if I’m wrong.

I really do like the Berrics, and would love to get to skate that place one day, but I’ve probably ruined any chance of that happening with this post, alone. Hopefully that isn’t the case. Unfortunately I can’t sit back and watch this unfold without reporting on it in hopes of opening peoples eyes a little bit to the politics that exists in skateboarding.

Once again, I’m not against people making money, I’m against misleading your audience.

[Update: I added in @exitskateshop‘s posts from twitter as well, since I know some people are lazy and won’t go look them up. I’m not going to mix them in the order with @steve_berra‘s comments, but you can see how this went back and forth.]

[Update 2: I received an email from Berra inviting me to call him and talk so I can discuss what the Berrics Unified really is. He did not leave me a number to call him at and I am awaiting a reply. He also deleted the last tweet remaining from this whole mess after an apparent Phone call/screaming match between Berra and Miller @Exit.]

119 thoughts on “The Berrics Unified – Pay to Play

  1. If someone with a slap forum account can post a link to this post in the thread about all this, that would be awesome.

    Slap can’t seem to remember or reset my password. I tried setting up a new account and I’m still waiting on a confirmation email.

    Anyone at slap reading this, HALP!

  2. Skateboarding is divided into to groups commercial, and core. Because of Money every major company from Disney to Walmart is trying to cash in. I believe Nike played a major role in this mess with thier big money contracts and over priced shoes. The only thing that could possible save core skateboarding now is if some other avtivity were to take its place. I give Steve Miller all the credit in the world for standing up to the Berrics and telling it like it is. Unfurtunantly though big business has a way of shutting out the trouble makers.

    Gerald McColgan
    Mystical

  3. It cost’s 50$ x 12 = $600 a year to be in The Berrics Unified 600 / 365 days = $1.64¢. That sounds practically free to me. At the city level it costs a colossal $3.95 per day. People are crying over 400 pennies. WOW. If Steve at Exit took drank one less beer a day he could afford this. Does Steve Miller even skate?

  4. On an unrelated..but related note…Slap forum is absolute bullshit. Seriously. That is hands down the WORST site to be on. All people do on there is hate. Worse than anywhere else.

  5. SCIENTOLOGY JIBBER JABBER… WHAT A KOOK, JUST LIKE A THAT BROKEN STEREO I USE TO LISTEN TO…RAISING MONEY TO PAY FOR THE HOMECOMING PARTY OF THEIR OVERLORD… NANU NANU

    PHUKFACE

  6. Scientology is no joke. Their creator is an alien right? Or is that a touchy taboo subject. Jason Lee too right? Heil Xenu!!!

  7. slap is like the 4chan of skateboarding. and think about it, if Ki is calling out haters you know somethings wrong.

    *ZING*

    but yea slap board hates on berra any chance they get. this whole thing is pretty suspect. if they were donating a portion of ad revenue back into localized not-for-profit skate projects then i might think other wise.

  8. miller is right on this
    what a bunch of bs u can’t pay to be labeled “core” that shit comes with blood, sweat,and tears.look at pops park exit helped that become a reality more than any other shop in the area. (other than kinetic cause brennan john came out and personally got his hands dirty on more than one occasion)way to mislead the youth , yeah this shop is “core” cause they paid us for that label….wtf i liked berrics better when they stuck to helping out kids like nick mullins that was righteous !(even tho a large T fit like a small?)

  9. Obviously someone on haveboard can’t handle the truth and censored my comment earlier. Here it is again pussies.

    It cost’s 50$ x 12 = $600 a year to be in The Berrics Unified 600 / 365 days = $1.64¢. That sounds practically free to me. At the city level it costs a colossal $3.95 per day. People are crying over 400 pennies. WOW.

    If Steve Miller at Exit drank one less beer a day he could afford this and be marketing his shop and doing something productive instead of crying! Does Steve Miller even skate or does he take all the money he makes off of skateboarding to buy wax for his cock duster right above his upper lip?

  10. I don’t censor comments, they go into moderation if it is an unfamiliar email address. I’ve approved your comments. Sorry I was up all night and just waking up now to do so.

    I don’t censor comments but I do have to moderate. If you had a comment approved from an ip/email combo, they should go live right away, unless there are more than 2 links.

    The only time I haven’t approved a comment is if it was completely off topic.

    Thanks for busting out your jump to conclusions mat this morning.

  11. To address your point, mr Moneyskateboarding.com/ censored, yes the very basic plan is only $600.

    The bigger issue is calling their lists the important shops, concluding that if you don’t pay Steve Berra something, you are unimportant.

    Steve Berra should not try and disguise the fact that this is an ad program with his super dramatic “I’m helping out skateboarding” video.

  12. Dear “Censored”

    I know it can be hard to pull your head out of your ass long enough to actually read what’s in front of you, but my issues were not with the price tag, but the lack of one all together in this dramatic and misleading video.

    I was one of the 60+ regional shops that filled out an inquiry under the impression that Steve Berra wanted to do what he claimed and that was to “SHOW WHO THE IMPORTANT SHOPS ARE”
    but in reality it’s to show who’s willing to pay for a level of Importance.

    As to you personally attacking me. Thanks man. I only asked Berra honest questions so I could be attacked by his loyal fans. You are right I rarely skate. I made a “mistake” awhile back by opening up a skateshop in my city which has since lead me to a “terrible” life of working 7 days a week with no business partner, no financial backing, and oh yea no time to do the one thing I love SKATEBOARD. After work you can find me bar tending to pay my bills or forming a new non profit to help build more parks in Philly.

    I guess with that being said I am a EASY MAN TO FIND. Your more then welcome to come talk to me like a man. Hell I will even buy YOU a beer.

  13. So if Johnny Ding Dong Shop of Wheels, who sell everything from Razor Scooters, Fruit Boots, Bikes and Skateboards are willing or have the ability to pay for the fee will they be deemed “Important”? Is the “Important” shop supposed to indicate they are the “IT” shop of that in particular area? “Fuck you, Pay me” or “I want my $2 Dollars”. Sorry, I just like these two in particular movie quotes.

  14. So it looks like “Censored” is former pro skateboarder and paid employee of the Berrics Salman Agah. Salman also happens to be the head of the new “Berrics Unified” program.

    If you remember not to long ago Exit helped Salman Agah out with a Release party for his project Skatebook. https://haveboard.com/wp-content/uploads/migrate/display/1507news_skatebookflyer1.jpg

    If I remember correctly Salman I opened my doors to you bought food, beer, and we played pool all night. Maybe the next round should be on you…

  15. /\ Nothing lamer than a fake namer. /\ I saw that vid on the Berrics when they first announced TBU and Miller is right, it is totally misleading. I don’t think anyone has a problem with the Berrics making some bucks on ad sales; just be real about it.

  16. When I first saw the video I blasted it on Twitter proud of what my new favorite website was doing for the skateboard business community. I went and saw Steve at Exit and he showed me how it was a pay to join program. I am so thankful for his insight and balls to talk about it.

    The program being pay to play is still a great program, everyone loves The Berrics and its more popular then any print magazine these days. HOWEVER the message in that video is just flat out wrong. The message is taking advantage of the economic state of smaller shops and the “back to core” mindset as a marketing angle. You have the ability to give back to skateboarding, JUST DO IT! Berra with this, Koston with Nike and then Salman with his slamming comments on Haveboard is just killing my impression of professional skateboarders that were once my idols. This is truly sad. You should have embraced Exit for his insight and began a dialogue with shops on the issue. Slamming online is totally immature and is proven to NOT WORK.

  17. Are the big name skaters like Berra willing to take their product out of the mall shops to further this “revolution”?

    BTW, I was psyched to see Nocturnal as the sample shop.

  18. I am pretty sure this is the end of it. I tried to have an educated and respectful conversation and bring up some facts, and Berra felt it was necessary to delete all his responses to my questions (shady), and decided having employees talk shit under anonymous screen names would be the more mature route.

  19. I was followin the whole twitter thing….. shit was mad interesting then i happen to watch the video this morning and berra was just misleading and hypocritical

  20. How ironic will it be, If Cole wins BATB, and then has to drop half the ten grand or so he gets just to pay Reign’s entry into the berrics united. This is Craziness…

  21. I myself was really hyped on this idea…I blasted it like crazy…Then I saw the price listing…

    Here’s something…how about instead of charging a ridiculous amount to list your shop, ask each shop to donate a shop t, or some other shop product to be raffled off for good cause…IE the Nick Mullins fund??? That way, the Berrics does something positive in two ways. He’s a skater in need and I’m sure every little action helps.

    When it comes to the Slap forum…for God sakes…look at it. Nothing but nameless idiots talking shit on there. I won’t check it ever again…and I feel bad for any pro who’s name ends up on it. Slap forum is a breeding ground for hatred.

    Where did the unity go?

    Just an idea. Instead of bashing Steve Berra or Steve Miller, let’s try to work on meeting in the middle.

    The Berrics as a whole is a positive in skateboarding. The Berrics got me hyped again. Steve Berra and Koston put together an awesome thing. But it isn’t perfect. Nothing is. Everyone, including the Berrics, needs their shirt tails pulled every now and again. Their idea was right, but the execution was all wrong.

    Steve Miller, thank you. Thanks for taking something like Exit, and blowing it up again. It could have laid to rest in the Neast and never been more than a memory…But you and your homies saved it. I can see have you (and other small shops) aren’t being given a fair shake.

    Maybe some of those smaller shops, can work together and get something going where it’s a congregation of supporting each other. Spreading the word of where kids can shop, other than Zumiez and CCS.

    Alot of times, these kids are just misinformed. You’d be amazed…

  22. Both Berra and Agah are showing real kooky qualities here.

    The Berrics is a PRIVATE SKATEPARK (basically a Country Club for Pro’s and Am’s)… not the saviour of skateboarding.

    The website has become a monster of drivel-like content (videos of pro’s text messaging??!) that, at best provides a few good online video clips a month. Stop the insanity… go visit 48Blocks.com.

  23. You’re giving this Berrics Unified listing thing too much credit, in my opinion. As if being listed would generate any kind of meaningful traffic to your shop.

  24. The listing will not drive traffic to the store. The shops need to handle it’s own biz by being a part of the culture and offer a genuine experience u can’t get in a mall store. Berra definitely mislead us to believe it was free from the intro video. Lame, but greed has already dilluted the majority of the magical world of wood pushing so we shouldn’t act shocked.

  25. This collection of quotes helps me put into perspective the meaning of all this. The Berrics United isn’t just a campaign to ‘benefit’ skateboarding, it fact seems to be that of a spiritual quest. “For a Scientologist, the final test of any knowledge he has gained is, ‘did the data and the use of it in life actually improve conditions or didn’t it?'”[83] (L. Ron Hubbard, science fiction author and founder of Dianetics and Scientology) Scientology is based on the idea of the ‘Thetan’ or in other terms…”the true identity of a person – an intrinsically good, omniscient, non-material core capable of unlimited creativity.” Thetans are reborn in a patternistic type fashion called ‘assumption’ or in other words, reincarnation. The Berrics United is simply a creative outlet towards becoming a positive, productive and powerful Thetan! I vote for separation of church and skate, let the berrics burnn!!

  26. Berra’s video is (to quote the infamous Mr. Reda): BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING!!!!!!!!!

  27. As my fictitious username suggests, Salman Agah is likely behind this crazy advertising scam.

    First, Salman failed at Skaterade.

    Then, Salman failed at Icelounge.com.

    Soon there after, Salman failed at Skatebook.tv.

    Now, Salman is doing “Biz Dev” for The Berrics?

    Shoot All Skaters? Or, “Shoot All Skateboard Kooks with crazy GET RICH SCHEMES?”

  28. This is the most quotable thread ever. Haveboard was called a pussy by salman agah. miller, waxing your cock duster? WTF just happend? Im joining scientology and opening jonny ding dong shop of wheels. Steve Berra and all these hollywood pros should be gang raped by chimps for being so lame.

  29. I’m pretty disapointed if that was actually Salman behind that. I expect a little more professionalism from certain people.

  30. Most kids shopping at a mall store, that are unaware of of the “core” shop down the street don’t know who Steve Berra is. Kids find out about the Berrics from shops not the other way around. Now kids may start finding out the Berrics is lame from shops. The Berrics should be paying all the shop sites and blogs that link to and drive traffic to their site.

  31. I agree with nugget if any large skate company wants a REAL revolution they should stop selling there products to mall shops as well as johnny ding dongs shop of wheels.

  32. You guys are crazy for hating on Berra like this. The $5280 or whatever it is obviously is just enough to cover the cost of a $7 domain and the time it takes to put up some info about the shop.

    You’re all being ridiculous…

  33. The Berrics likely costs a lot more to run than plenty of sites. Lets not pretend the server resources the Berrics needs is the same as this site or lots of other small scale sites, but the main point here is the IMPORTANT SHOPS are getting HELP.

    The pitch implies that this is to help struggling shops that are in danger of closing their doors. Those shops aren’t in a position to buy into these listing. Yes there is some overhead to produce verified unified shop signage, but to pitch this the way it was is what gives people a bad taste.

    We all gotta make loot somehow, but don’t give me an economy sob story to sell your ad campaign.

    Help out your local grom who can’t afford a new deck by giving them your used deck when you can instead of telling the little guy to put up(for a new board) or shut up.

  34. I think everyones main objection to this was in the delivery. To be considered “important” by the Berrics you have to pay them. It’s like paying to the mob for “protection” Telling kids important shops will be listed and giving the impression it’s free, then charging shops. Then attacking people that question it and making them look too cheap to pay for the service, when he’s the one talking about shops closing their doors. For the shops truly in the position he’s talking about that money could be much better spent on keeping product in stock paying employees or throwing one hell of a contest or demo. Things that would have a direct positive impact on local scenes they are supposedly trying to protect.
    If that really was Salman that posted that stuff it was in really bad taste. You could have expressed your opinion without insulting anyone. If Steve at Exit does “wax for his cock duster” he will surely no longer be doing it with overpriced Berrics wax. Way to further alienate the people our “trying to help”.

  35. Every dollar you spend is, in effect, your vote on the way you want your world to be. SUPPORT LOCAL SHOPS AND COMPANIES!

  36. The Berrics is a stricly skateboarding site. No matter who you are on here, you are not too cool to look have looked at it. The Berrics Unified is a paid subscription service but The Berrics has been up and running and been paid for 100% out of the pockets of Steve Berra and Eric Koston. Two Skateboarders. They have paid for Skateboarders to have jobs, they have paid for skateboarders to win contests, and they have paid for skateboarding to be publicized all out of their own pockets. The Berrics Unified is a way for CORE shops to ADVERTISE on Skateboardings current largest media outlet for a reasonable price. The Berrics Easily could have offered Advertising on The Berrics to Kohls, Target, CCS, Active, or multiple other big names that want a piece of skateboarding money, but it is offered to Core Skate Brands, and Core Skate Shops.

  37. zach your comment isnt totally accurate. you talk about how berra isnt offering advertising spots to active, but they do. active is one of the biggest mailorders out there killing core shops and they also happen to be one of the few shops on the berrics unified already. berra doesnt really care and thats the problem. its not the fact that hes selling ad space as much as its the fact that he puts on a front like hes saving core shops. and i seriously doubt that him and koston pay for those contests out of their own pocket. dvs sponsored that whole game of skate thing, stereo is sponsoring this years and then theres the berrics parent company anonymous content. theyve marketed it to a point where theyre getting money from companies for this shit, which is fine, but dont act like your saving the world or some shit.

  38. How many times do we have to repeat our selves? Unified is a better then good idea. The Berra video is the ONLY problem we have. C’mon, put out a new honest video. That’s all we ask.

  39. pay to place.

    how fucking gay.

    L Ron Hubbards worm ridden corpse would be stoked to see you trying to do a little pyramid scheming of your own, Crybaby Berra.

  40. i dont have a local shop in my area all i have are actives and zumiez but i think its bullshit that steve berra is “supporting” core skateshops when i can find berrics wax at zumiez which is a totally corporate “skate shop”

  41. Just viewed the Berrics site, and I favor the Haveboard/Exit side of the argument. That’s a pretty lame list of core shops; no FTC, no KCDC, and countless smaller-name but REAL shops. How the hell can Berra care about “core” skateboarding when it’s a rite of passage for every pimply-faced, ecstacy-taking, non-skating 15 year-old to wear an Alien shirt, a brand that is owned by K2. And his shoe company sponsors motocross bullshit and makes Ozzy slippers. I don’t get the immense popularity of the Berrics, Thrasher and Crailtap have better content and Epicly Later’d is way more interesting than some dumb skatepark montage. I just realized I never cared much for Steve Berra; been a long day, had to rant in cyberspace about something.

  42. I dont think this video was meant to fool anybody over the age of 18 which is really sad. berra’s step by step video on how to be a tool was directed at the million groms loggin in on the site. Any reasonably intelligent adult could see through this with a few clicks. Lying to kids is pretty low.

  43. I would like to reiterate that a paid shop listing is just fine in my book. It’s the use of the terms “help” and “important skateshops” when in fact you have to pay for the help and be considered important.

    I’m not against a paid advertising business model, it’s the shady pitch that has rubbed people the wrong way.

    The video is very misleading to what the berrics unified actually is.

  44. we should all pool money together, start a fake skateshop and pay for Unified ad space on their site…
    “the Berrics Sucks Skateshop”?

  45. Koston shares the name and now rides for Nike after being one of the first behind Lakai, a core skate shoe brand. I love Koston’s skating but I don’t think he cares about core any more. Don’t give him the golden ticket.

  46. I haven’t read all the comments. But I wanted to chime in and say that I understand Berra’s reason for charging and for not telling the consumers that he’s charging. It’s none of the consumer’s business. They don’t need to know that the shops have paid for their listing. They just need to know that you’re there to support skating. Shops are benefiting from the traffic of the Berrics. It would be cool of Berra to do it for free but the lights and rent don’t get paid that way. I’m sure the shops on there now are not working within the pay structure listed above, but that’s what you get for being a homie. I don’t know what Berra’s plans are here. I’m sure he’s trying to blow up his brand. I’d be more worried about that if I was a manufacture. Where’s he taking the Berrics products? Boards, Clothing,…?

  47. Hey “Just Sayin” maybe you should Just Listen. You started your comment with “I haven’t read all the comments” well maybe you should.

    It’s not only misleading to the customers but more importantly misleading to the SHOPS. From what we have heard tons of shops have inquired about the project, and were shocked to find out the thing cost money.

    Advertising = Good
    Making Money = Good
    Misleading the people your suppose to be helping = Bad

    Just Sayin

  48. It costs money, and it costs a lot of money. $5k is a lot for a struggling shop to be listed on a website. And how much traffic are they gonna get from that one listing? And how much of that will result in a purchase? Those numbers aren’t too promising. And if it’s true that Zumiez sells Berrics merch, then it’s plain to see that Berra’s got his priorities crooked.

  49. Just Sayin, charging is not what isn’t what people have a problem with. It is the pitch, and the illusion that Berra is “carrying the cross” for skateboarding. Please read the comments on this site, as well as others to have a better understanding of what is really going on.

  50. What a scum bag. Hopefully the revolution Steve’s talking about is a revolution against his money hungry ass.

  51. Steve Berra was born in 1973. Rip City Skates opened in Santa Monica California in 1976 and is still going strong today. It’s not some lame ass “ride shop” it’s a pure skate shop. I would love to see Mr. Berra roll into Rip City and give this video pitch, word for word, in person. I can only imagine the reaction. All of this whining about the worst economy in 26 years, all of the crying about corpo “extremeness”. That shop has weathered 33 years and several industry cycles and it’s still a fully core shop. What makes a shop truly “important” has absolutely nothing to do with where they advertise. Obviously Mr. Berra thinks otherwise. What makes a shop, or any other entity in the skateboarding world “important” is what they do to support skateboarding itself, even if it’s the simple act of flowing a kingpin to a kid in need who doesn’t have the cash for it on the spot. It’s hard enough to keep their doors open without having to sack up ad revenue to pay for the privilege of being labeled “important”. I suppose that since Mr. Berra is a whopping 3 years older than Rip City, he is the ultimate authority on what is core and what is not, or at least maybe he thinks he is. Wrong. He rode for birdhouse, now he “rides” for burton. That’s about all we need to know. Skateboarding is in excellent health, it doesn’t need to be medicated with pyramid schemes and propaganda. This sort of corpo-scientology greed should never be tolerated. Support your local core skate shop, keep the blood flowing forever.

  52. I’m just a single mom who linked up to the Berrics to give her sons some athletes they could look up to, emulate and get them away from the television. It worked. I also like to keep myself informed about what they are watching. We watched Berra’s video and what my kids got from it was that you should stand up for what you believe in, its okay to disagree and helping others is admirable. If his speech included adspace costs and details about the pricing, all of that would have been lost. It was my understanding the Berrics was supposed to be a place for kids/skaters. They don’t need to be exposed to all those financial details, your judgements and your criticism. As they get older they will experience it enough. I think the only mistake was that Mr. Berra assumed as adults you guys would KNOW that as a business, they need money to exist, as do you. Obviously, he overestimated the intelligence of who he is dealing with. All you ladies need to quit bitching and grow-up!

  53. Berra is parodying himself and intentionally baited these discussions… if he was smart (it would only help increase the ungodly amount of traffic his site has). I wish that were true. But the fact that it has taken Berra this long to try and monetize the site just tells me he is probably too far into debt from bandwidth bills.

    Saying the BU showcases “important shops” and that his system checks for “smart and willing people that it is excluding from participation” .. is comical and a bit sad at the same time.

    To the shops out there reading this:
    Theberrics.com has an Alexa ranking of 3,800, making it easily the most highly trafficked skateboarding website online – http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/theberrics.com – this site has more traffic than any skate mag, brand or rider site.

    Obviously, if you aren’t selling online… my entire point will be moot but – IMAGINE if you could place a FULL PAGE AD for YOUR SHOP on the most HIGHLY TRAFFICKED skateboarding website online… and it only cost $5k for the year. If you have any fucking ounce of eCommerce in your game, do the math:

    (5280/50) / 12 = 8.8
    $50 = Average Skate Shop Sale
    $5280 = Berra Unified Ad Cost
    12 months
    8.8 sales a month is what you would have to make from your ad in order to break even.

    If you can’t make 8 sales a month off an ad that looks like this:
    http://berricsunified.com/CA/defy/

    Hey I hear you, it’s funny to me to, hey it’s strange to me too but we’re talking about practice man, we’re not even talking about the game, when it actually matters, we’re talking about practice.

  54. Can someone set straight this whole Scientology discussion? From the slamming comments I assume that Berra is a Scientologist? I know he rides fo Alien. Too weird right? It’s funny to me that most religions give away their books of truth and you have to buy your way into the society of Scientology. Is this off topic? I hope so or this is way too weird for words.

  55. Mrs. Chaoss69 I think it’s awesome you have chose skateboarding for your kids as an “alternative” to Television. Unfortunately for some of us we do not have that luxury. Skateboarding is not just a “sport” in which we can sit ourselves, and or our kids down and space out and watch “athletes”. It’s our career, our livelihood, and at this point in time for many of us our only means of survival.

    This video WAS misleading the common child/skater. The video states that shops shown on the berric are the “important” shops in the community. Money does not buy importance, and I hope your children one day understand that. PLUS as much as you would like to believe this video was to show your kids to “stand up for what you believe in, its okay to disagree and helping others is admirable” You are WRONG.

    This video was a recruiting video for more shops. I may be wrong, but did the end of the video state “If your a child and think Steve Berra’s awesome send us a message.” No it was a video directed towards struggling shops who need help.

  56. Most mags have a shop list that show which shops carry their zine, it’s beneficial for both parties and I believe it’s free?

    It was obvious (maybe just to me) from the beginning of berrics that, as far as their website was concerned, would become a strong source of ad revenue for them. There’s nothing wrong with that. But this is different. Skateboarders are family and look out for each other. The shops and companies and skaters should work together to make this grow properly. This doesn’t help.

    It’s a little funny bringing in the whole scientology thing, but it IS relevant, making these shops pay indulgences is silly. And I think you should just say fuck it. $5280? yeah right dude! let me break my tax returns out…shit.

    this is really distant from my relationship with skateboarding. Steve is in the right. This makes me feel more distant from the west coast than ever. It’s silly. Let them do their thing. Your shops not going to flop because it’s not listed on the berrics.

  57. Hey Lars, if you read the post and follow the links, you can see where I say ‘”Membership Plan Selection” (screenshot at the beginning of this post)’. “Membership Plan Selection” links to http://www.berricsunified.com/plan-selection.php. No photoshop. I took the screenshot and linked to the full size for prosperity.

    I like the content on the Berrics and a lot of things the Berrics does. I don’t agree with the video associated with the Berrics Unified.

    The use of the phrases “helping out” and “So you know who the important skateshops are” is what stinks here.

  58. Sorry I didn’t mean to sound as if I was defending them on this thing though.
    (I also was not trying to imply that YOU did any photoshopping or anything). I was just confused to see it was real.

    I also apologize for not reading through the whole post, thus avoiding this post :P. I agree fully with haveboard

  59. Chaoss69,

    So you’re saying this is all our faults for not assuming Berra was full of shit? You are incorrect on that regard too. Most of us suspected something was fishy. As an adult I “KNOW” your business as well–probably a Berrics cronie. “69” in the screen name and you resort to sexism in the end? Sounds like Agah in drag.

  60. Chaoss69 is NOT a single mom! I am just assuming here but what skate mom thinks like that? Seriously, we are using our real names on here. If you have something to vent on haveboard, be real. The big money skateboard world is way more immature then I ever imagined. The rumors were true. It’s time for another east coast come back.

  61. The fakers commenting on this thread stand out so clearly. Anyone who has been on haveboard for the past few years can totally tell. I can’t wait to see how this all turns out. More then likely it will be swept under the rug.

  62. Nugget
    “Chaoss69 is NOT a single mom! I am just assuming here…”

    We don’t know this. Honestly. Yes it is a bit odd to have 69 in her username, but assuming anything is, well… Ass U Me. Let’s try to keep this respectful and not bash any other commenter personally. It gets us nowhere.

    Things are still happening and this story is still developing.

    Yes, believe it or not, some people strongly believe what they say here, whether you agree or disagree. I don’t think anyone is a “faker” if they actually buy into all of this.

    Charging for advertising is not the main issue here. It is the delivery and devaluing of shops that don’t pay into this, whether due to finances, or opposition to the program.

  63. Can we confirm “censored” was actually Salman?

    Somehow, I can never see Ed Templeton getting involved in this kind of mess. He’s been around for blah blah blah, and he’s still blah blah blah. I’m just ramblin’ here. There’s plenty of blah blah, and this is starting to sound like that Gorillaz song.

    Fuck it. Time for the East Coast to rise. The Northwest gets my respect, too.

  64. Lemme clear that up before anybody gets confused. Nobody insinuated that ET has anything to do with it. I’m just saying he’s super rad. Alright, enough ass-kissery. Fuck you, Head and Shoulders!

  65. The exact same comment from “censored” is posted by “lilscraze” on the Slap message boards, where he once made it clear he was Salman. I suppose he could have been an impersonator for a couple of years. If that’s the case, “lilscraze”/”censored” postings indicate intimate knowledge of Skatebook including specific details that only an employee would know (up to and until the beginning of this year), then switched allegiances with Berrics and has offered details that a Berrics employee would know including, who owns Exit, his physical description, alcohol choices and his skate habits.

    I suppose I know enough about some friends in the industry that I could believably impersonate them online. But that would be an incredible betrayal, not to mention time consuming. So to answer your question, “censored” probably is Salman but there could also be a very sick man out there pretending to be him, albeit, not using Mr. Agah’s name directly.

  66. Regarding censored/lilscraze, Xenu is on track with pointing out that this very likely is Salman. There are other things that will be left unsaid as to why I do believe this Anon user is Salman. The IP addresses logged on censored’s comment sure don’t help the suspicion.

  67. okay i love skateboarding so much, i love the berrics, it gives me stuff to watch everyday, i get to see pro’s doing their thing and what not.
    im 13 years old.
    i went on the berrics, looked at the video and was like in my head”woaaaaaaa this is really going to help out all those shops, steve berra is amazing!”
    I went on SBC and was checking out the berrics forum, i saw a quote from the slap forum and the rates from which berra charged.
    fucking speechless, im so pissed, i’ve read every comment you guys have posted on here and your right, it is tricking little kids, and i myself got fooled. it was a douchebag notion and i have lost all my respect for berra at the moment.

  68. My God…people get sooo scared when it comes to opinion. They want to say it, but want a way to back out in the end. Stupid. Again…the internet breeds cowards. Well..Salman may have been the innovator of switchstance, but he didn’t have the innovative skills of using a different computer when he talked shit….go figure. Oh, yeah…Ki Dizzle…you know the name…

  69. is Steve really saying that the pro & am
    skaters that provide the content are going to get paid cash? Cool how much and hows that pyramid work?

  70. Steve, if you’d just come out and said:

    “hey, the frickin bandwidth is killing me here…we need support” I think you’d have a lot of shops come on board. Or maybe not.

    To my way of thinking, the Berrics started out with a “if we build it they will come” as a business plan. Unfortunately, with the web, that usually takes you down the path of “now that they have arrived, no one wants to pay.”

    I think mostly everyone appreciates your hard work and the investment…but a lot of skate businesses don’t want to support or can’t support many of the marketing efforts out there. That’s just the way it goes.

    Full disclosure would have worked better – now you are just getting what the CIA calls blowback…

    And one other thing: Steve, you are running into a bit of a slippery slope with the statements about core vs. mall shops.

    For example:

    West 49 (Canada’s version of Zumiez) is in a ton of mall stores…and West 49th sells Berrics gear…

    Then again, most of the industry seems to have no problem saying how much they appreciate core shops while at the same time unloading massive amounts of product into mall stores.

    It’s like saying you’re just a little bit pregnant…

  71. I have always been a little confused as to Anonymous Content’s and Active’s involvement in the Berrics.
    Anyone know anymore about this connection and the current state of Active’s involvement.

    From Encyclopedia Britannica

    “If you’ve ever been to the Berries site, you’ve probably noticed rhe Anonymous Content image on the wall. Anonymous Content is a production and management firm that represents, promotes, and creates content for clients ranging from websites to actors to music videos and films. They manage Steve Berra, who brought up the idea of a site for his park, and together they’ve created everything available from theberrics.com. Anonymous is also in chaise of payroll for the park’s employees. 5. Active Ride Shop is the only sponsor besides Anonymous tbat has had a Ic^o on the wall. Steve and Erie wanted to have the park be a neutral space so everyone can film there without feeling impinged upon. Active was allowed …”

  72. Chris Cole won BATB 2….he is unstoppable. Now he can put that money towards paying for Reign’s ad space..maybe they can deduct it from his check?

  73. damn i go offline for a weekend and we are over 100 comments?

    the whole religion argument is kinda weak.
    xenu vs. zombie jesus? religion arguments are dumb cos you cant argue against a persons belief structure and making fun of them is just hitting low. however.

    if the berrics were “helping out” they would be donating loot to groups providing support for skateboarding directly. helping out means kicking down money for concrete. helping out means renegade spots.helping dudes make rent if theyre hurt. the berrics helped out nick mullins and they should get credit for that cos that was a stand up thing to do.

    i may have a different definition of helping out, but buying into a “help program” doesnt sound right.

    this whole thing could blow over by a simple word swap, which is the funniest thing.

  74. the biggest irony of this whole situation is that it probably gave Exit more exposure then paying to be on some shitty advertisement that no one looks at anyway

    Good job Exit!(not that I think your intentions where disingenuous)

  75. You all amuse me. I am a single mom! and I used that “name” because I use it on all of my accounts. The “69” is in reference to the year I was born! I should have realized I’m dealing with men and that their thinking initiates in the crotch area! You guys have way to much free time. I’m entitled to my opinion, but from my view, bringing up “scientology” and whatever other irrelevent issues just makes you men sound like catty girls. Thank you for posting my comment but honestly, this will be the last time I even look at this site. It’s giving me a migraine from all the BS being thrown around. When I initially read it I thought it would be informative about this video but it’s the complete opposite. Weird. Happy Thanksgiving!

  76. Cobra, I think it’s safe to say that lots of people look at The Berrics site. And Chaoss, if I offended you by assuming you were a fake poster, sorry about that. I had two reasons, not many moms are lurking around this site and fake posts happen pretty much every day. You have to admit your username is asking for comments.

  77. Here is one of the biggest things not being talked about. Nocturnal is by no mean Big business or a large Corp. However the owner of Nocturnal happens to be Kerry Getz. Why should this matter? Well for one he is friends with the Berric’s and has done allot for him in the past. The owner of Exit did not start the dialog with “OK I know why you are supporting Nocturnal , What will it take for me to be featured”. No he automatically took the offended party stance.

    What does an Ad cost in a Magazine? I would say probably $3,000 and that is for 1 month. Berra willing to give your shop a year of Advertizing on the biggest website for skating ever and you think that $5280 is too much?

    Ok so here is the argument that Berra makes it sound in his video that the program is there to help Skate shops, but does not mention the cost?

    Please Berra needs to make money as well and its clear the Owner of Exit is using his “We cannot afford as much as nocturnal, you won’t help us” as a ploy to get advertising by being the small guy. You want to see through something . see through that guy because pretending to be a victim here is see through. Nothing in life is free and for the price of 2 months worth of Magazine Ad’s Berra is willing to put your shop on blast for the entire skate world to see.

    My opinion he is helping the little guy.

  78. I guess chaos69er wasn’t aware Berra or Jason Lee is a scientologist. Oh well, this site is for skateboarders not their mothers. I look at The Berrics for the skateboarding not as a billboard. Congrats to Cole, SOTY perhaps? If not Busenitz?

  79. terrance, your opinion is that steve berra is helping the little guy? The Berra video is the biggest piece of garbage i’ve seen in a long time. that is until i read your opinion. Berra and all those fools have been selling product placement marketing to gatorade from the beginning. Oh hey eric Koston is that a case of delicious gatorade in your trunk. Product placement marketing is so fuckin beat because it has to be scripted in. OK so eric pulls up and pops the trunk and thats when berra coments on how much he loves drinking it……. So “core” of the berrics to offer it to gatorade first. i wonder if he made a COMPLETELY MISLEADING video for the corprate big wigs at gatorade. I bet not. he probably just quoted them a price. I guess he saves those dramatic videos for the core shops and the people he needs to mislead the most. Any body who skates for themselves should be bummed. terrance, i dont know you but read this whole post again then watch the video, if you still have the same wacky opinion then i guess your a douche.

  80. “you want to see through something see through that guy because pretending to be a victim on here is see through” Well put doctor douche. Im offended when people mislead me.

  81. On Wednesday the Berrics put up a new video that explains in great detail the breakdown of how the Unified Program works. Thank you. That was ALL we were asking for. To all those moms out there that think kids don’t care about money and how it works in skateboarding, sorry as it turns out the Berrics do care what they think.

    If Steve at Exit making a huge stink about the last video had something to do with this video update, great. Us skaters do have to revolt and be heard to get things done. I think it is only a testament to how important the bigger picture still is to many skaters and skaters in the industry alike.

    Oh and Koston, thank you for that sweet message at the end. It warmed my holiday heart.

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