Tony Hawk was nine years old when his brother changed his life by giving him a blue fiberglass Bahne skateboard. By fourteen he’d turned pro, and by sixteen he was widely considered the best skateboarder on earth. World Champion for 12 years in a row, Hawk continues to skate demos and exhibitions internationally, making him the most recognized action-sports figure in the world. According to some marketing surveys, Tony is the most recognizable athlete of any kind in the United States. In 1999, he teamed up with Activision to create the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game. His life would never be the same. In a stroke of good timing, at the X Games that same year, Tony became the first skateboarder to ever land a 900, the holy grail of vert skateboarding.
Today, his business skills have helped create a Tony Hawk brand that includes a billion-dollar video game franchise, successful businesses such as Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing, and the Tony Hawk Signature Series sporting goods and toys. A savvy marketer with social networking, Tony’s fan base numbers in the millions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. His video game series has surpassed $1.4 billion in sales with the most recent version, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, released in the Fall of 2015. He regularly appears on television and in films, and hosts a show on Sirius XM radio’s Faction channel. His autobiography, HAWK—Occupation: Skateboarder, was a New York Times bestseller, and in 2010 Wiley Publishing released How Did I Get Here? The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO. In 2012, in partnership with Google, Inc. Tony’s film production company, 900 Films, launched the RIDE Channel and has since grown into the biggest skateboard destination on YouTube.
Tony is a role model for fans of all ages. His Tony Hawk Foundation has given away over $5.5 million to 572 skatepark projects throughout the United States. Tony’s foundation helps finance public skateparks in low-income areas in all 50 states and other parts of the world through their partnership with Skateistan, providing a safe place to skate, and helping to build the self-confidence of youths from Marathon, Florida to Sitka, Alaska. Skateparks that received financial assistance from the Tony Hawk Foundation currently serve over 5-million kids annually.
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Special Afternoon Keynote
October 18, 2:00pm PT, Eve Room
In this 45 min session, hear from Tony himself how he has built his business, expanded his charity work, and stayed relevant through the many years of his career, all while being true to himself and what he stands for.