“My friend said, ‘Oh my God, it’s Gene,’ and then he bolted — he just left,” said Ross Janzen, who was manning the booth for the Faction Collective. “I turned around and it was Gene. People were standing three-deep around him. I was completely dumbfounded. He’s an imposing figure.”Company founder Tony McWilliam knew the risk of proceeding without a license but, hey, in the extreme sports world, you gotta take extreme risks:
We knew there might be a risk, but we wanted to get some impact.
Well, he certainly got that:
And Simmons gets results:
“If you’re a bootlegger, and you think you’re going to get by and put something out illegally, it will cost you more to defend that than simply getting a license,” Simmons said in a telephone interview Friday. “They think they can get by being a nuisance, just pests, until they meet Gene Simmons, who kills pests dead.”
Janzen offered to give Simmons the skis. Instead, Simmons gave Janzen his lawyer’s contact information.
For now, Faction is playing it safe. It is trying to license the image. If that fails, it will not sell the ski with that graphic.
“We’re not selling the ski,” said Billy Miller, Faction’s head of marketing. “We’re a small ski company.