At age 11 Bert LaMar knew he had the skills to make it as a professional skateboarder; he just had to find sponsors to back him up. One day at the skate park he saw a photo shoot taking place with some professional riders. He decided to jump the fence, drop in the bowl and show off his skills. He rolled in frontside and collided with another pro who was dropping in from the entrance to the bowl. As he was leaving he turned back and dropped in again for a run. He rolled out and on the deck, then back into the bowl frontside one at the time could do this trick. Tom Sims,(owner of Sims Skateboards), was so impressed that he said, “get this kid in a Sims shirt;” that was the beginning of Bert’s professional career as one of the top professional riders in the industry.
At the age of 20, Bert tried a snowboard for the first time. Two months later he stopped by
the World Cup Championship in Breckenridge, Colorado while in town on business. Bert
entered the half pipe competition as an amateur. After practicing for only a few days he changed his entry to that of professional. So confident was he in his riding ability, Bert told Jake Burton (owner of Burton Snowboards, one of the biggest brands in the industry) that he should get Bert a Burton board because Bert had a strong chance of winning the World Cup Finals. Jake laughed. Bert won the event the next day and was flown to Vermont to sign sponsor deals with Burton and film a Wrigley’s Gum commercial.
Bert went on to win three straight World Cup events the next year, and the overall World Cup Half Pipe title. During this time Bert studied the marketing and advertising techniques of the big snowboard companies and knew that there was a great deal of room for improvement and for higher quality products. With these two goals in mind Bert formed Lamar Snowboards, which started out from his home garage with very little capital. Lamar grew to become a top brand in the industry instantly, and did $14.5 million in annual sales. Not only were the products top of the line in quality, but the creative design and marketing raised the bar and reset the industry standard in both performance and design always with the core athlete in mind.
By age 30 Bert left the snow to pursue his new passion: golf. Bert thought his prior successes in the skate and snow industries would once again push him forward in the game of golf. After ten years of playing the Southern California Mini Tour, many amateur events, and playing a few events for the Celebrity Tour, Bert has won several local and regional tournaments and has truly embraced the golf lifestyle. He continues to play on a regular basis in tournaments and practices constantly. Knowing that success in a lifestyle brand comes from the heart and from being submerged in the lifestyle, Bert formed iliac Golf in 2005. With his creativity for marketing and design, and his eye for high quality craftsmanship, Bert made a commitment to model his business on the lifestyle of the core golfer. Today Bert couldn’t be happier—pushing himself to improve in tournament golf, and taking notes on how to enrich his next iliac design.
January 2012 Bert launched a new deal to buy out investors and gain full control of his brand. Bert turned down numerous offers from corporations and businesses to remain true to his vision. The story continues...