The Round Table, Episode 6: What Will the Olympics Bring to Skateboarding?
As an industry, we’re currently lapping in this “pre-Olympic era.” A time where those involved in the process of introducing skateboarding to the 2020 Games discuss how to convey the DNA on a global level, how to maintain its sanctity in competition, and how to position it to the masses. The perception of skateboarding’s arrival to the Summer Olympics is key, but with that comes a wave of big money, big sponsors, and big media wanting a piece of the athletes and culture. So we ask: What will the Olympics bring and how do we prepare?
The growth of skateboarding is a constant topic, as is any sport, but the international potential for a positive influence with the Games could present some solid opportunities. Skateboarding’s culture in the U.S. has arguably already been defined, but it’s countries like Japan who, as Jeff Kendall describes, hold the Olympics in high regard. It’s here where endemic brands and media have an opportunity to help shape international skate culture as its introduced to various countries, leading up to Games. We saw this adoption with snowboarding’s debut to the Olympics.
But as Don Brown points out, “Everyone who sponsored Shaun White will be jumping in on the bandwagon, throwing cash, wanting a piece of ‘skateboarding’…but the skateboarding we grew up with was just for the love of it…everyone hated you, and we liked it like that.” Case in point.
Check out the rest of this conversation in episode six of The Round Table.
Chime into the conversation below. The Round Table is an 11-part series focused on The State of Skate. Transworld SKATEboarding’s Mike Fitzgerald moderated the conversation with Don Brown, Sr. VP of Marketing for Sole Technology, Jeff Kendall, Vice President of NHS, Inc., and Per Welinder, President and CEO of Blitz Distribution.