Even after building a reputation as the best and most admired skateboarder on the planet in the 1980s, Tony Hawk’s skateboarding legacy still transcends the half-pipe. In addition to building a brand that includes a video game franchise worth a billion dollars, and successful businesses such as Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing and 900 Films, Hawk is also a sought-after speaker, particularly on the subject of brand image and authenticity. Hawk gives the following tips:
Hawk pointed out that the skate crowd is educated about authenticity — the growth of skating is embedded in the history of urban streets. It allows his brand to walk the discussion by staying involved in the grassroots skating sport (now through presentations against competition). Early in his career, Hawk learned one of his biggest lessons as a businessman when he signed a deal that gave up more leverage than he expected in retrospect. The loss of control affected his brand’s credibility.
If you want your company to authentically connect with consumers, start right at home by being yourself an authentic, open leader and contributing to a community where everyone is empowered to bring their full selves to the table.
The Tony Hawk Foundation has contributed nearly $6 million to develop over 550 low-income skate parks, providing a safe place for skating and building self-confidence. Hawk is not just handing over a check — youth are encouraged to participate in the advocacy process and engage their city councils.
In the modern days the biggest challenge faced by the entrepreneurs is the expansion of the business says Hawk. In the old days sport was considered to be more profession oriented, is transformed as a healthy concept, good for their children. Hence it is the necessity of the entrepreneur to value the feelings of the parents to make sure the words are valued.