The line begins forming shortly before noon, as children and
their parents assemble on the sidewalk of an upscale outdoor
shopping center in West Hollywood. This is long before the
velvet rope is put in place to organize the queue, before the
three beefy security officers arrive and before the guest of
honor, a gawky 34-year-old "retired" professional skateboarder,
takes his place at a table inside the front door of a pristine
new skate and apparel shop that bears his name: Hawk Skate. The
line grows in the cool spring sunlight. Adolescent boys and
girls wearing long, baggy surf shorts and clunky skate shoes
carry battle-tested skateboard decks plastered with Hawk logos.
Older shoppers shuffle past, befuddled. "Tony Hawk?" says a bald
man in plaid Bermuda shorts. "Never heard of him."
You and three other people on the planet, Grandpa. For nearly
two decades, Hawk has been a legend in the world of
skateboarding, a waif genius who began competing at age 11 and
was soon reinventing the underground sport, creating close to
100 tricks, dominating competitive vert (halfpipe) skateboarding
and, by age 27, ushering in the X Games era. "He's the Michael
Jordan of skateboarding," says Tommy Guerrero, a former pro
skateboarder who competed through the 1980s. "He's the guy with
all the talent, creativity and competitive drive."
Logically that should have been the end of the story: "The
doctor, the best contest skater there ever was," says Jake
Phelps, longtime editor of Thrasher magazine, one of the edgy
publications that speaks to skateboard culture. But it has not
ended there. Long past the age generally associated with
skateboarding yet still at the top of his game, Hawk has crossed
over, dragging his rebel sport (and several others in the X
Games bracket) into the mainstream. If you are between ages six
and 18, or are the parent of a child in that demographic, Hawk
probably resides somewhere in your house. In the Xbox, perhaps.
Or the PS2 console. Maybe in the CD player. On the bookshelf. On
the television set. In the garage. In the dresser drawer. In the
freezer. "He's the man who skates with a wallet in his back
pocket and a Lexus in the parking lot," says Phelps. "Tony Hawk
"Tony is the first skateboarder who has given the world a face
to put on the sport," says Stacy Peralta, who directed the
critically acclaimed skateboard-roots movie Dogtown and Z-Boys
and has known Hawk for 20 years. "He has become a part of
American pop culture."
In an online poll conducted by teen marketer Alloy last week,
Hawk was voted the "coolest big-time athlete," ahead of Tiger
Woods, Jordan and Derek Jeter. "If you're a manufacturer and
you've got a product that you think will appeal to an audience
that's under 21 years old, you've got to look real hard at Tony,
maybe even more than some of the big names in mainstream
sports," says Keith Bruce, senior vice president and director of
sports marketing for Foote, Cone & Belding, an international ad
agency that does not have a relationship with Hawk.
In the past four years Hawk has become a one-man marketing
phenomenon. Sales of Hawk-branded items generate more than $250
million annually, and Hawk himself has earned an estimated $10
million in each of the last two years. He is represented by the
William Morris Agency and has a personal publicist. His sister
Pat, a onetime backup singer for John Denver and Michael Bolton,
runs Tony Hawk Inc., which employs 75 people. The Tony Hawk's
Pro Skater video game series has amassed about $450 million in
sales since its introduction in the fall of 1999.
In '92 Hawk took out a $40,000 second mortgage on his small home
to start Birdhouse Skateboards, a board and accessories
manufacturing company, and Blitz Distribution, a company that
distributes six other brands of skateboards and accessories. The
combined sales for Birdhouse and Blitz--which Hawk owns with
former pro skateboarder Per Welinder--approach $25 million a
year. Hawk started his own clothing line in 1998 and sold it
within two years to board-sports clothing giant Quiksilver. The
line did $13 million in sales last year.
Hawk also has licensing agreements with Adio Shoes to market
Hawk Shoes; with Mattel Toys, which uses his name and image on
Hot Wheels miniature cars and a remote-controlled skateboard;
and with Heinz, which pays him to serve as the spokesperson for
Bagel Bites and Hot Bites frozen snacks, a product line that has
enjoyed a 20% jump in sales since signing Hawk. "Face it, the
guy is totally golden right now," says pro skateboarder Bucky
Lasek, who performs on tour with Hawk. "He could put his name on
toilet paper and sell it to the world."
In February, Hawk made his first appearance on Jay Leno, and in
May he did David Letterman. He does a cameo, as himself, in the
high school movie The New Guy and is one of the principal stars
of Disney's Ultimate X, an X Games IMAX film in which one fan
says, wide-eyed, "Tony Hawk is god." In late April, Hawk shot a
sitcom pilot called What I Like about You, starring Jennie Garth
(formerly of Beverly Hills 90210) and Amanda Bynes (of
Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show), again playing Tony Hawk,
celebrity skateboarder. The show has been picked for the WB's
fall season. Hawk will provide the voice for his own character
in a fall 2002 episode of The Simpsons in which Bart joins
Hawk's traveling skateboard show--and Hawk duels Homer in a
vert-ramp showdown. Each summer Hawk does a multi-city
skateboarding tour with Birdhouse team members; last year it was
condensed into a series of one-hour shows, Tony Hawk's Gigantic
Skatepark Tour, for ESPN. (Hawk-owned 900 Films produces the
video.) A Saturday-morning cartoon show featuring Hawk is in
development, and Disney has bought film rights to his
autobiography, Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder.
On May 5 Tony and his wife, Erin, were driven in a limo from
their home in Carlsbad, Calif., to Hollywood for Movieline
magazine's Young Hollywood Awards, where Hawk--seated at a table
with L.A. Confidential director Curtis Hanson and American
Beauty's Thora Birch--was presented with an award as Cultural
All of this--the celebrity, the money--is in many ways a mystery
to Hawk. Ten years ago he was nearly broke; five years ago he
was hoping to keep Birdhouse solvent and get work on the side as
a film editor. Sitting on the floor of the sprawling
5,000-square-foot, $1.6 million ranch house where the Hawks are
raising their two sons--Spencer, 3, and Keegan, 10 months--and
helping to bring up Tony's son Riley, 9, from his first
marriage, Erin says, "There's a Talking Heads song Tony likes to
sing: 'And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a
beautiful wife/And you may ask yourself--Well...how did I get
Hawk began skateboarding at nine and was instantly hooked, a kid
with long, unruly blond hair who had found no joy under the
restrictions of team sports. His father, Frank, would drive him
to Oasis, a skatepark beneath a ramp to the 805 Freeway not far
from their house in San Diego, and later to the Del Mar Skate
Ranch, next to the famous thoroughbred racetrack. "He was a
skinny little kid, all padded up," says Grant Brittain, who
managed the Del Mar park and later became an accomplished
skateboarding photographer. "There were a lot of kids back then
who got dropped off as a babysitting service, or who got into
lots of drugs. Tony just kept busy, skating."
Hawk's support at home was extraordinary; his father not only
drove him to skateparks, but also organized the California
Amateur Skateboard League and later the National Skateboard
Association, so that his son--and others--would have contests
and awards to validate their sport.
Tony had come into the late-'70s world that Peralta captured in
Dogtown and Z-Boys, in which gnarly surfers worked moves on the
curved walls of empty swimming pools. They were the precursors
to the vert skaters most often seen today by mainstream
audiences. Tony entered his first competition at age 11 and
turned pro for Powell Peralta Skateboards' team, the Bones
Brigade, at 14. By 16 he was changing the sport. "People were
blown away by the things he was doing back then," says Peralta.
"His style was so different, so creative...so dangerous." Hawk
didn't have the upper-body strength to snatch his board into
midair moves, so he became the first skater to Ollie--or spring
into the air with the board on his feet, as if it were stuck
there--into vert moves. His style was initially derided by
veteran skaters, but it later became the foundation for almost
every move in vert-ramp skateboarding.
As a teenager Hawk was an integral part of Peralta's Bones
Brigade videos, which underscored the freedom and joy of
skateboarding and are revered by skateboarders to this day.
Hawk's contracts became more lucrative, and he dominated vert
contests. By 1987, when he was 19, Hawk was earning more than
$200,000 a year from video royalties and sponsorship deals.
Skateboarding is relentlessly cyclical, however: up in the '70s,
down in the early '80s, up in the mid- and late '80s, back down
in the early '90s. By '93 the sport had been devastated by an
internecine battle between vert and street (rails, stairs and
other urban features) skaters and by liability issues that
forced many swimming-pool-style skateparks to close. Hawk was
married, with an infant son, and struggling to pay his big
mortgage bills. "I did demos [skatepark demonstration
performances] where I could count the spectators on two hands,"
he says. According to a survey done by American Sports Data,
Inc., there were 5.4 million skateboarders in the U.S. in 1993,
only half of what there had been six years earlier.
Yet Hawk kept skating and trying to build a business. Birdhouse
survived, although it did not prosper. In 1995 ESPN debuted what
was then called the Extreme Games. Curious, Hawk went to Rhode
Island, where all the events were staged, won the vert
competition and finished second in street. People began to
recognize him in public. Birdhouse sales spiked.
"Never underestimate the power of television," says Hawk. "I
never liked the way they manufactured rivalries between skaters,
but TV made a difference." In 1999, competing in the Best Trick
event at the sixth X Games in San Francisco, Hawk became the
first skateboarder in history to complete a 900, a dangerous 2
1/2-revolution spin off a vert ramp. He had tried the trick
several times before, never landing it; in the process he had
suffered a cracked rib and a spinal injury that required several
adjustments. Yet on this night he succeeded. He promptly retired
from competition, and since that night his life has been a blur.
Hawk's friends know him as a techno-geek at heart. "If there's a
new gadget, he's got it in his bag," says Guerrero. He travels
with a Titanium PowerBook, an iPod and a Palm Pilot, and on a
recent afternoon he was busy assembling the latest Apple desktop
computer in his home office. It's no surprise, then, that he
loves video gaming and that in the mid-1990s he approached the
lords of that industry to develop a skateboarding game.
Early returns were not good. "Nintendo had this one guy who was
a little bit into skating, so they brought me in for a meeting,"
says Hawk, "but as soon as I got there, the guys in the suits
were like, 'Why do we want to do a skateboarding game?' They
didn't get it. I remember standing up across a conference table
from a guy from Midway and yelling at him to at least try
developing the game. No luck."
In September 1998 Activision, which is based in Santa Monica,
Calif., called Hawk and expressed interest in doing a skating
game. It was a natural partnership. Activision is to gaming what
skateboarding is to sports: iconoclastic, contrary, rebellious.
"We wanted to get into sports gaming," says Kathy Vrabeck,
Activision's executive vice president for global publishing and
brand management. "Other companies were already there. The one
area where we thought there would be room for growth was extreme
sports." Programmers from Neversoft (then an independent
company, now owned by Activision) developed a demo and showed it
to Hawk, who tinkered with it and gave other feedback for almost
a year. In May '99 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was unveiled at a
trade show in Los Angeles, and it created enormous buzz. It
debuted in the fall, and by Christmas it had shot to the top of
the sales charts. Pro Skater 3 was ranked No. 7 among all video
titles and second among sports games in 2001 (after Madden NFL
2002). The game has earned Hawk royalties of more than $6
million per year.
Through those three incarnations the game has created a large
portion of Hawk's wealth, and Activision is now the No. 3-ranked
software publisher, behind Electronic Arts and Nintendo (and
ahead of such mainstays as Sony, Sega, Midway, Acclaim and
Microsoft). The company's stock price has more than tripled
since '99 and was largely unaffected by the post-Sept. 11 market
swoon (as was the entire gaming industry, which, according to a
March article in FORTUNE, outsold the movie industry in 2001).
Activision has followed Tony Hawk's Pro Skater with
extreme-sports titles attached to five other Hawk-like
superstars, including BMX rider Mat Hoffman. "Tony's game turned
him into a mainstream celebrity," says Hoffman. "He was the
pioneer on this. I was more than happy to follow him."
Meanwhile sales of Hawk clothing have flourished on the strength
of his name and the growth of skateboarding, and sales of
Hawk-endorsed snack foods and kids' toys have been pumped by his
personal appearances. John Carroll, managing director for Heinz
frozen potatoes and snacks, says that when he hired Hawk to man
a Bagel Bites booth at the 2000 Winter X Games, "we needed to
get extra security because our line was so long that it was
spilling over into other booths. The way he made a connection
with each person in line was amazing. We also have relationships
with Kristi Yamaguchi and Larry Bird, and Tony is as good as, or
better than, anybody I deal with in this business."
In an era in which sports idols are too often self-absorbed and
aloof, Hawk is unaffected and generous. When a geeky 12-year-old
was slow to approach Hawk for a signature at his West Hollywood
store, Hawk pulled him close, signed his skateboard deck and
asked, "How old are you?"
"Twelve," said the boy, hair hanging over his face, lip
"Twelve!" shouted Hawk. "Cool!" The boy smiled broadly, clearly
feeling he'd shared a personal moment with his idol.
Hawk's public rap sheet consists of one amicable divorce (in
1995) and a slew of skateboard-related citations. At home he
gets up in the morning and makes breakfast for the boys while
Erin sleeps in. He picks Riley up at school in an SUV, like all
the moms do. "He's a guy who, for corporate America, can reach
parents," says John Griffin, senior vice president with Clarion
Marketing and Communications in Greenwich, Conn. "You get a
family guy, a squeaky-clean guy. That's important."
Hawk also knows how to test the boundaries of squeaky clean. He
appeared on the love-it-or-hate-it MTV series Jackass wearing a
chicken suit and skateboarded off a loop into a lake. He also
wore a ridiculous bubble-wrap fat suit. "His concern about
[potential] damage to his image doesn't override his sense of
humor," says the executive producer of Jackass, Jeff Tremaine.
Of course, the key to Hawk's success might just be his name.
Tony Hawk: "What an iconic American name," says Peralta. "It's
like Johnny Lightning or something." Hawk gets a great kick out
of this. His name--absolutely legit, Anthony Frank Hawk--wasn't
so cool or serendipitous when he was a picked-on adolescent.
"They yelled, 'Tony Hawk, bony c---,'" says Hawk. "It didn't
seem like a great marketing tool back then."
As Hawk has prospered in the last half decade, skateboarding has
grown robustly. According to American Sports Data, Inc., more
children under the age of 18 skateboarded (10.6 million) than
played baseball (8.2 million) in 2001. "The tide is rising
because of Tony," says Peralta. "Parents look at him and say, 'I
don't mind my kid doing that. He's Mr. Straight Guy.'"
Yet inside the skating world, neither the sport's growth nor
Hawk's emergence as a mainstream celebrity have been met with
universal approval. Many skaters remain tied to the sport's
rebel roots and embrace underground rituals. "Underground
skating is where it's at, and it's all street, all search and
destroy" says Mickey Reyes, team manager for Real Skateboards,
which sponsors street-style amateur skaters as young as nine and
pros as young as 16. "These kids, their attitude about Tony Hawk
is, 'Who gives a f---? I don't care about doing a 900.'"
For skateboarding fans outside Hawk's core audience, the stars
are teenage (and younger) street skaters who make their
reputations performing dangerous tricks without pads, in
forbidden places, captured on film or videotape. They get
contracts with skateboard and apparel companies and earn
anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 a month. According to industry
insiders, there are 350 to 400 such street pros, but no more
than 30 vert pros like Hawk. (Hawk, it should be noted, has done
lots of street skating, and at a high level, but it is not his
"I think there's a pretty significant portion of people inside
the sport who think Tony has sold out," says Guerrero. "I can't
say they're wrong. Tony has won more contests than anybody in
history, but he's also opened a door for corporate America to
see what we're doing, and that changes the whole nature of
things. A lot of people didn't want that door opened. For the
diehards, it dilutes the whole experience."
Darrell Stanton, 16, a 6-foot, 150-pound high school sophomore
from Houston, is a professional street skater who caught the
attention of manufacturers by making what his peers call a
"sponsor-me tape" of his best tricks. He occasionally spends
evenings at skateparks but often just sets out with his friends
in search of railings and stairs to attack. Not long ago Stanton
landed on the cover of Thrasher for executing a Backside Nose
Blunt Slide--skating on the front edge of his board--down a
cement ledge along 13 steps. Like most good street tricks, it's
dangerous. "I hope the whole skateboarding popularity thing
stops before it gets too mainstream," says Stanton. "I'd like
for it to stay a raw sport."
Hawk is hardly out of touch with the cutting edge. Birdhouse
sponsors a traveling team that includes nine street skaters.
(Hawk joined the team, unannounced, for the May Birdhouse Tour,
skating demos in such unglamorous locales as Fargo, N.Dak.,
Rapid City, S.Dak., and Wichita, Kans.) Nor is he out of touch
with mass skating. He donates all his demo fees to the Tony Hawk
Foundation, which, among other things, has provided start-up
money to build 65 public skateparks around the country.
"I've heard all the criticism," says Hawk. "Kids all think I'm
old and I'm a dinosaur and I suck. Street kids don't care what
I'm doing on a vert ramp. But there are so many kids who started
playing my video game who had never skated in their lives and
then they thought it looked cool, so they went out and bought a
board and tried it. And they liked it. Look at our skatepark
tour. That's not about highlighting what I do, it's about the
whole sport. I think street skating is awesome. The whole world
is your playground. Vert skating is more of a spectator sport."
Hawk stops pleading his case. "Here's what skateboarding is to
me," he says. "It's my form of exercise, my sport, my means of
expression since I was nine years old. It's what I love. I never
expected it to give me anything more than that."
On the last Saturday in April, the Mandalay Bay Events Center in
Las Vegas quivers with sound. At the center of the arena floor is
a huge portable vert ramp, 15 feet high on each side, with an
eight-foot opening in the middle. It is surrounded by steeply
angled metal ramps. Behind the ramp is a concert stage where a
band called the Offspring is ripping through an earsplitting
cover of the Ramones' Blitzkrieg Bop while a hall of fame lineup
of skateboarders and freestyle BMX riders fills the vert pipe in
a choreographed routine, and freestyle motocross riders soar 30
feet into the air on 250-pound dirt bikes. The effect is complete
sensual overload, much to the delight of a crowd of more than
This is Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam, the erstwhile Birdman's
grandest experiment of all. It is the X Games version of the Ice
Capades, a 90-minute show at which fans can watch performers
usually seen only on television (rarely) and as animated figures
in video games. Hawk conceived the HuckJam more than a year ago
and believed in it so deeply that when he couldn't secure
sponsorship, he put up more than $1 million of his own money to
build the ramp, buy the lighting and hire the talent. "We're
approaching a transitional time for skateboarding," says pro
skateboarder Bob Burnquist. "Somebody needed to think of the
next feasible step. That's what Tony has done. With his business
sense it's no surprise that he was the one."
The HuckJam plan would unfold in two parts: this onetime show in
Las Vegas and then a multiple-city tour in the fall. For the
Vegas show Hawk invited the most experienced marquee performers
in skateboarding (Burnquist, Lasek, Andy Macdonald, Lincoln Ueda
and 15-year-old Shaun White, who barely missed making the U.S.
Olympic team in snowboarding), freestyle BMX (Hoffman, Dave
Mirra, Dennis McCoy, Kevin Robinson and John Parker) and
freestyle motocross (Carey Hart, Mike Cinqmars, Clifford
Adopante and Ronnie Faist), along with the Offspring and another
band, Social Distortion. (The fall tour will have two rosters
which together will include all of these A-list performers.)
The skateboarders and bikers signed on as soon as Hawk called
them. "When I heard Tony's name, I said I'm in," says Mirra,
who, like Hoffman, is nearly as big in the BMX world as Hawk is
in skateboarding. The HuckJam helps these athletes prolong
careers that have been interrupted frequently by injury.
Hoffman, 30, has suffered more than 50 bone breaks and undergone
a staggering 14 operations; motocross rider Hart, 26, the only
man to have landed a dirt-bike back flip, fell to the ground
from 40 feet in the air, breaking his right foot in 10 places
and cracking three ribs and his tailbone, when he tried the
stunt at the 2001 X Games. Tightly choreographed routines are a
perfect way to ease into retirement while giving fans a solid
"The goal is to build something that will live beyond my
involvement in it," Hawk said before the Vegas debut. "This
first show is either going to be a huge success or the most
expensive party I've ever thrown for a bunch of my friends."
During two weeks of April rehearsals at a mammoth airplane
hangar in San Bernardino, Calif., it was clear that the 6'3",
175-pound Hawk has lost nothing athletically and, in fact, might
be improving in his third decade as a skateboarder. He has
emerged relatively unscathed from a long career in a punishing
sport, having had just one knee surgery, although he has been
knocked unconscious 10 times. His ankles crack like castanets,
and his right shin is perpetually scabbed from sliding vert
falls, but he is otherwise whole. Hawk still attacks vert tricks
with his distinctive pterodactyl swoop, and he remains the only
skater to have landed a 900. He has now done it nine times.
"Tony could enter a vert contest tomorrow and win it," says
Lasek. It would be inspiring to attribute Hawk's fitness and
sustained skill to rigorous conditioning, but in fact all he
does is skate. In the summer he surfs.
The Las Vegas show comes off spectacularly, save for the walkout
by a handful of parents who cart off their children when the
Offspring begin dropping f bombs. "The demographic was a little
younger than we expected," says Hawk. "We'll respond to that."
More than 3,000 seats are sold on the day of the event, a huge
number in a busy town, and one that doesn't generally cater to
the skateboarding-age crowd. The choreography and the athletes
are sharp. Hawk lands on his head attempting a 900 to close the
show, but he walks off, lucid if wobbly. Accountants and
planners with arena rock-show experience will soon tell Hawk
that the fall tour is feasible. Planning has begun.
Two weeks pass. The occasion is a late-afternoon photo shoot at
Hawk's private vert ramp, a $100,000 structure on a barren lot
next to a friend's house in Oceanside, just north of Carlsbad.
Low gray clouds and a steady breeze from the northwest have
turned early May into January as Hawk strips down to skate
shorts and a red Quiksilver T-shirt and pads up to ride. After a
brief warmup, he tries to drop in off the 19-foot-high ramp at
the center of the halfpipe, ascend the 23-foot center ramp on
the opposite side, suspend himself briefly in the air, turn 180
degrees, stick the nose of his board on the rim of the pipe, pop
back in and then ride down. In skating parlance it's called a
Frontside Ollie Nose Blunt. "It's a super old trick," says
Brittain, the photographer, "but Tony's never done it this big
[high]." Thirty-four years old, wealthy, yet still trying
For half an hour Hawk repeatedly attempts the move, sweating
through the T-shirt, his face turning crimson. Numerous times he
bails out early in the Ollie, laughing at himself as he scampers
up the ramp on his feet while his board rattles to the well of
the pipe. When he finally nails the move twice in succession, he
whistles shrilly and holds his hands out to the side, as if
accepting praise from an unseen audience. But there is no crowd,
just one skater and three witnesses on a desolate piece of real
estate dotted with twisted cottonwood trees and dead sagebrush.
Even with his work finished, Hawk continues to ride the slick
brown walls of the pipe in the gathering twilight. "Stupid fun,
just like always," he says, pumping into a succession of air
moves off the top of the pipe. The sound of ball bearings and
wheels on wood pierces the suburban silence. Tony has told Erin
and the boys that he will be home for dinner by 6:30, and it is
nearly that now. He rolls to the bottom of the ramp, jumps off
his board, kicks it from horizontal to vertical and grabs it
before walking toward the waiting Lexus, a kid and his toy
finished for the day. A grown man leaving his job, heading
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY HARRY HOW/ALLSPORT SITTING TALL Hawk has retired from competition, but other skaters say he could still win vert events.
COLOR PHOTO: J. GRANT BRITTAIN FLIGHT RISK? From the time he first took to the air on a skateboard, at age nine (below), Hawk's moves were flamboyant and seemingly reckless, yet he suffered relatively few injuries in his career.
COLOR PHOTO: CHRIS TROTMAN/CORBIS [See caption above]
B/W PHOTO: JOHN STOREY RIDING THE RAILS As a teenager Hawk worked out his tricks both at home, under the eye of his father, and on outdoor ramps.
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK [See caption above]
COLOR PHOTO: ACTIVISION (VIDEO GAME)
TWO COLOR PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BIRDHOUSE PROJECTS
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK PUNK'S PROGRESS The onetime shaggy skateboarder shares a $1.6 million house with (from left) Spencer, Riley, Keegan and Erin.
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK LEADER OF THE PACK Hawk and his Boom Boom HuckJam crew of skaters and bikers plan to take their show on the road this fall.
WHEELS OF FORTUNE
Here is the bulk of Tony Hawk's business portfolio, which
generates sales of more than $250 million a year and earns Hawk
an estimated $10 million annually. (Figures were available for
only some of the items.)
INTERACTIVE VIDEO GAMES Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (three versions),
produced and marketed by Activision. Annual sales average $180
million. Hawk's annual royalties: about $6 million.
BLITZ DISTRIBUTION Markets six brands of skateboards and various
accessories. Hawk is co-owner. Annual sales: about $15 million.
HAWK CLOTHING Licensed to Quiksilver. Annual sales: $13 million.
BIRDHOUSE SKATEBOARDS Hawk is co-owner. Annual sales: $10
H.J. HEINZ COMPANY Sales of Bagel Bites and Hot Bites have risen
20% since Hawk signed on as spokesman in 2000.
MATTEL INC. Hawk is a licensor for Hot Wheels and a
remote-controlled skateboard. Sales in 2001: $10 million.
TONY HAWK, INC. Includes the Boom Boom HuckJam Tour.
900 FILMS Makes Tony Hawk's Gigantic Skatepark Tour and
instructional skateboard videos; distributed by Hawk's Red Line
X CONCEPTS Uses Hawk's image and name on Tech Deck miniature
skateparks and skateboards.
HAWK SHOES Made by Adio Footwear.
OTHER ENDORSEMENTS Fury Trucks (the fixtures that attach wheels
to skateboards), TSG Helmets, Arnette Sunglasses.
STILL ON TOP OF HIS GAME, HAWK HAS CROSSED OVER, DRAGGING HIS
REBEL SPORT INTO THE MAINSTREAM
"TONY'S STYLE WAS SO CREATIVE, SO...DANGEROUS," SAYS PERALTA.
"PEOPLE WERE BLOWN AWAY."
HAWK'S CELEBRITY AND WEALTH ARE IN MANY WAYS A MYSTERY TO HIM.
TEN YEARS AGO HE WAS NEARLY BROKE.
"STREET KIDS THINK I'M OLD AND I'M A DINOSAUR AND I SUCK,"
HAWK SAYS. "THEY DON'T CARE WHAT I DO ON A VERT RAMP."
"TONY HAS PUT A FACE ON HIS SPORT," SAYS PERALTA. "HE'S BECOME A
PART OF AMERICAN POP CULTURE."