Kelly Bird has enjoyed a 25-year tenure in skateboarding on both sides of the desk. After a career as a pro in the ‘90s, he graduated into the role of industry guy with brands including DC Shoes and Lakai. Bird is currently working as the Brand Manager at Nike SB. As someone that’s worked at multiple shoe companies and been outspoken in the past about corporate involvement in skateboarding, Kelly has a unique perspective on the difference between a brand like Nike and those birthed by skateboarding. He breaks it down succinctly in his new interview with The Chrome Ball Incident.
Look, when Nike got into skateboarding this third time, they clearly figured out the right way to go about it. Obviously, their product is incredible, but also the level of service that they were bringing to their riders, compared to any other skate brand, was undeniable. For those who want to knock Nike, skateboarding had 30 years to figure out how to treat these dudes like professionals. But we didn’t do it. So you can’t be mad at a brand that comes in with an elevated sense of how professional skateboarders should be treated.
For more on Bird, head over to Chrome Ball to read the full interview.