Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

With Vans, Tony Hawk Looks Back While Moving Forward (CE)


There’s an iconic photo of Tony Hawk in 1983, sitting on his skateboard inside a drainage pipe. The pipe is located within a network of ditches and irrigation canals in Cardiff, near San Diego—nicknamed “Sanoland” for the sanitation plant at San Elijo Lagoon.

In the photo, taken when Hawk was in his early teens, his long legs anticipate his eventual 6’3” frame. On his feet, he wears Vans Classic Slip-Ons. The shoes were developed in 1977, and Hawk “incessantly bugged” Dad, Frank Hawk, for them, finally wearing him down in 1978.

Click here to read the story at

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is product endorsement?
  2. Why do brands pay athletes and entertainers to endorse their products and services?
  3. What characteristics do brands look for when determining which athlete or entertainer might be the best fit for endorsing their products and services?
  4. Why do you think Vans’ felt Tony Hawk was the right fit to endorse the brand?
  5. Based on information from this story, what will Tony Hawk be doing to help promote the Vans brand?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors