Skullcandy's products are targeted at the outdoor action sports demographic (snowboarders, skateboarders, etc.) and general consumer market. Skullcandy products are sold through retailers, specialty outlets, and their online store.
Skullcandy was founded by Rick Alden in 2003. The first Skullcandy product, the Skullcandy Portable Link, was introduced at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The LINK system combined headphones with hands-free cellular technology, allowing users to both listen to music from a portable audio device, while making and receiving calls through their cell phone. In 2003, Alden sold the first products to Milo Snow & Skate, an action sports shop in Utah. The Skullcandy logo was designed by Jef Ingram.
Alden was named one of vSpring Capital's "Top 100 Venture Entrepreneurs" of 2008, and holds a patent for technology that integrates mobile phones and music players, LINK technology.
In December 2008 the company was named "the world's coolest ear bud," by Fortune magazine. In addition, the company received local standing in 2008, placing in the Utah Business Fast 50, featuring the top 50 best and most innovative companies throughout the state. The company has quickly jumped to its place as the third most-sold headphone in the U.S. marketplace. In 2005 the company had $1.3 million in annual sales, while its 2009 ranking puts it in place to hit the $100 million mark. As quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune, "We're gunning for No. 1," said Andrus, Skullcandy's President.
In April 2011, Skullcandy purchased fellow headphones manufacturer Astro Studios (Astro Gaming). The reason for doing so was to exchange information for the planned second generation of Skullcandy gaming headsets.
On June 24, 2016, Incipio, a maker of phone cases, wireless speakers, and additional accessories announced plans to acquire Skullcandy for $177 million.
Known for its relationships with various action sports industries, Skullcandy currently sponsors professional athletes in snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding, wakeboarding, motocross, and the biking communities. Working with athletes such as Terje Hakonsen, Louie Vito, Clay Marzo, Balaram Stack, Mark Frank Montoya, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose has spawned a few of Skullcandy's signature action sports pieces including the Terje Nine and MFM Pro. They have additionally released a wide range of NBA colour themes, and are sponsoring several NBA teams. In 2012 supermodel Kate Upton was recruited to help promote their various sports lines, and has been largely successful with promoting the company.
Skullcandy is involved in supporting Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC), a nonprofit, youth-focused education, awareness and fundraising foundation designed to increase awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection and the value of an active lifestyle. Skullcandy announced their 2007 donation of $36,723.80 to Boarding for Breast Cancer at the 2008 SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show, making their contribution the largest one-time donation the organisation has yet to receive. A B4BC supporter after 2006, Skullcandy donates five percent of all pink products sold to support the organization’s efforts.
Promotions with artists
Skullcandy features artists that endorse their products with special designs. They worked in partnership with Jay-Z to design Roc Nation Aviator headphones, advertised mainly by UK singer Rita Ora, and additionally produced two designs of Skullcrushers featuring rapper Snoop Dogg themed designs.
Skullcandy collaborated with Metallica in conjunction with the band's ninth album release, Death Magnetic, released two variants of limited edition themed headphones (Hesh and Lowrider model) and a card with an access code to legally download the album from a website developed by the band's label, Warner Brothers.
Skullcandy has a wide range of headphones, including over-ear headphones to on-ear headphones, docks for iPhones, iPads, and iPods (Pipe and Vandal), gaming headsets, and sub-woofers.