A lot of people might not know this, but your dad is super supportive of you. Always around and almost like one of the guys. The first time I met you was at Elevation in Guadalajara, and your dad was right there with you. Tell us about him.
My dad is a great guy and very very supportive of me and even all my friends. He has grown to love BMX and the industry just like I have. He pretty much went to every contest with me when I was younger. He’s not one of those crazy soccer dads though, he’s never cared how I did in the contest, as long as I had a good time and didn’t get hurt. Now that I’m older he doesn’t go to as many contest with me, but he has a big Role in the MARKIT CREW as he is the official bus driver! There’s not many other middle aged dudes that could hang with a bus full of rowdy BMX riders.
My mom is more behind the scenes, but she has been just as supportive too throughout this whole BMX thing. I couldn’t thank my parents enough for everything they have done for me.
You must have some funny/interesting stories involving him. Anything come to mind that you could share with us?
At one point he was getting shipments of shoes and shirts from Vans and Nike. He would be in the background so much at contests they both were trying to get their stuff on him. He was stoked though getting fresh gear from two really legit companies haha. I’m not sure who he’s repping at the moment…
Let’s talk about Nike. You were one of the early riders that Nike brought on for their 6.0 program, which has evolved nicely over the years. How did that deal come about and what was running through your head when it happened? Nike is a pretty serious sponsor and you were pretty young.
I was getting shoes from Nike for a little, just kind of like a flow thing, and I was going up to LA for a Volume On The Clock premier when I was 15. Mark Losey, the Nike TM, asked if I wanted to join Nigel and Garrett on the actual team when I saw him up there. Obviously I was shocked. First off joining two guys I really looked up to, and second being asked to ride for the biggest shoe company in the world, which was now stepping foot into action sports. I said yes, and I think I made the right decision.
Does Nike have a different perspective on sponsoring & promoting riders over the usual BMX sponsorships? What have you learned from your time on the Nike program?
In the beginning Nike only wanted younger kids who hadn’t blow up yet. The plan was to have them grow as the brand grew. It worked exactly how they wanted. Especially with the BMX side of things. Minus the switch up of Spinner and Chad, the team has stayed the same with only 4 guys. It’s crazy knowing they easily could have put every good rider on the team with the kind of money they have, but they keep it small with just us 4 and really put their focus on just one small team instead of a huge team nobody can keep track of who’s on or off. After they got the US team established they started doing the same thing all over the world with teams in different countries. If you keep up with BMX you know Nike has a stacked global team as well.
There always seems to be a certain contingent of people in both BMX and Skate that think Nike is an evil outside force that shouldn’t be involved in BMX (or skate). What is your response to this kind of criticism? That Nike is bad for BMX.
That is a pretty ignorant statement in my eyes for people to be saying. All you have to do is look at the facts. Nike puts so much money and focus into promoting BMX. They’ve done insane contest, Like the Pool, Barcelona’s team filming contest, the Barcelona ramp contest right on the shore, street at the Chicago Dew Tour, The Huntington contest, etc… The list goes on and on and a lot of the setups they build they leave for the locals to ride. I don’t think there is anything wrong with what Nike has done. In my eyes they have strived to help BMX grow and become more popular around the world.
The way I see it, Nike supports great riders, which allows you to keep doing what you do, and they also have the means of exposing BMX to outside people. I saw Garrett Reynolds on a prime time Nike TV commercial. If that’s “bad” for BMX, I don’t know what’s good.
That is true, like I said they strive to promote our sport into the public eyes and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure when kids saw Garret in that commercial it got them stoked to try and start riding if they didn’t already. Nike promoting through action sports is a huge sign that action sports are here to stay.
Anything brewing with Nike that you can spill the beans on?
All that I have heard of is plans, nothing 100% yet, sorry.
*click through to next page