Tony Hawk: Keep marketing “authentic”

Tony Hawk: Keep marketing ‘authentic’

Legendary skateboarder delivers keynote at CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference.

March 12, 2018

Skateboard legend Tony Hawk encouraged credit union leaders to “stay authentic” at the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference in San Francisco.

Hawk regaled attendees with stories from the rise of his skating career, his involvement in video games, and other business ventures.

Some of the takeaways from Hawk’s keynote include:

►Don’t be afraid to get hurt in the pursuit of progress. Hawk says he got a lot of bruises perfecting his tricks as a young man, but that the pain was worth it in the long run.

►Keep social media fun. Think of it as a focus group at your fingertips, he says. Keep posts entertaining and “don’t just be a corporate message center.”

►Control your brand. Hawk says that when he started to gain fame, he wasn’t savvy about controlling how his name and brand were used in licensing deals. But it's critical to authenticity to stay involved in how your name gets used, he suggests.

►Don’t get stressed by haters. With success, Hawk says he faced many “haters” along the way. But if you believe in what you are doing, don’t fret. “I knew in my heart I was representing skateboarding well,” he says.

At the end of the “freestyling” address, Hawk took questions from the audience via Twitter. One audience member asked Hawk about his biggest guilty pleasure.

After laughing, Hawk says, the song “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. Whenever he is having trouble landing a trick for a long time, he puts on that song and the trick seems to work itself out, he says.


► Visit CUNA News for more conference coverage, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNACraig@cumagazine@CUNACouncils, and by using the #MBDCouncil hashtag. Learn more about the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council, a member-led professional society for credit union executives, at