Chapter 6. "EXTREME" IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD: "This is how we do it in our world"


Dear Tony Hawk

I am 13 teen years old and I am your biggest fan. I have all your T-shirts, and merchandice. I also have your bio, the Falcon 2 deck, "The End" video, and your trick tips tape. In school, some kids bad mouth you and say you are a sell-out and I look at them in despise.


In 2002, we cut a sponsorship deal with a marketing agency for a Hershey's-branded chocolate milk product. My name and image were going to be all over the campaign: TV commercials, print ads, point-of-purchase displays, and packaging. Even though I didn't have any contractual control over the "creative," as it's called, I decided to push for at least a modicum of authenticity, since I'd be skating in the TV spot.

I really wanted the ad agency to get a director for the TV shoot who had experience filming skaters, so I steered them toward Stacy Peralta, my former team manager and co-creator of Powell Peralta Skateboards. Stacy's star was rising in Hollywood at that point, having directed the well-received documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. They said okay, and I was stoked to be working with him again.

But when we got to the set in L.A., we noticed that the extras were dressed in dorky orange and brown outfits. Somebody had decided to color-coordinate the wardrobe with the package design. Fortunately, I'd brought along my recently hired brand manager, Jaimie Muehlhausen, who politely asked the stylist if they could dress ...

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