The BIG news last week in the sneaker world was of course the talk by Tinker Hatfield at the Agenda Emerge event in Long Beach, CA following the two day Agenda Tradeshow. News quickly spread around the world and hit major mainstream outlets including Rolling Stone, Washington Times, USA Today, LA Times, Mashable, and MTV just to name a very short list.
Nice Kicks caught up with Agenda Emerge co-founder, Mark Sperling, to talk about just what happened and what lead up to the epic event.Agenda Emerge Co-Founders Mark Sperling (left) and Aaron Levant (right)
Matt Halfhill – Nice Kicks: First things first, gentlemen, please introduce yourselves to all of those not familiar.
Mark Sperling – Agenda Emerge: Thanks Matt, My name is Mark Sperling, co-founder of Group Y (www.GroupYnetwork.com) and co-producer of Agenda Emerge (www.AgendaEmerge.com)
Matt Halfhill: It was quite a stacked two day event at Agenda with tons of great brands showing some great goods, but things kicked in to very high gear with Agenda Emerge.
Mark Sperling: Agenda Emerge for the past few years has been the closer to a non-stop two days of street wear & action sports brands selling and showing their upcoming seasons lines. Its a way for us to give back and help educate the next generation of brand builders (and some current ones) to fully understand the lessons learned by those leading the way and provide tools to prepare them so one day they can exhibit within Agenda. This year we curated a “dream team” of presenters with Shepard Fairey, Nike’s Tinker Hatfield, Hurley’s founder Bob Hurley, Ryan Hurley, CR Stecyk III, Social Distortion’s Mike Ness and Herschel Supply Co’s Lyndon Cormack. It was a highly anticipated event, whereby we had a over-capacity audience of 850 attending.
Matt Halfhill: Tinker always draws an audience, but at what point did you know Mr. Hatfield would discuss the Nike MAG and a 2015 release?
Mark Sperling: This was a question we ALL wanted to ask Tinker once he was confirmed as a speaker. When Ryan Hurley (Hurley’s Creative Director & Emerge co-presenter) was putting together the evening’s questions, he decided to throw it in there to see what Tinker’s response would be. I honestly thought Tinker would brush it aside and say “Next Question”. But he answered it the best he could, given Nike likes to make official announcements.
Matt Halfhill: And quite the aftermath…
Mark Sperling: All of us from Agenda Emerge – Group Y and Agenda Show, are still completely blown away by the viral response that has happen within the first 24 to 48 hrs. When I woke up the morning after Emerge, my phone was buzzing from all the media alerts that were posted. Then it really hit me when I saw it on the front page of Mashable.com and seeing a video clip of it mention on Good Morning America. From there it spread like wildfire where it suddenly seem it to be the top story globally. On social media front, I lost count how many times its been RT or mentioned … 10,000’s??? Guess it shows that the general public have been waiting for the Air Mag to become a reality since the movie came out, and this hopefully helped address some of the rumors flying around for so long.
Matt Halfhill: What lasting impact do you think this will have for Agenda Emerge?
Mark Sperling: It definitely help place Agenda Emerge on the map. Its created a buzz about how special our event is, and the high quality of speakers we invite to participate like Tinker, Shepard, Bob, Marc Ecko, Bobby Hundreds, Nas, Paul “Prod” Rodriquez, Jeff Staple, and others. I think Mike Ness, lead singer of Social Distortion said it best on stage Tuesday night, “All of these people collectively, and individually, made a change in history and in their industry.”
Matt Halfhill: Anyone in the business who knows both of you know there is always something in the works. What’s next?
Mark Sperling: Since Agenda Emerge’s launch, Aaron Levant (Agenda Show’s founder) and myself have been consistently trying to build on this platform. For this year, we added Agenda Emerge Workshops in partnership with Project Cobalt – an all-day brand building and marketing workshops with industry leaders helping to further enhance the education of our attendees. We are also exploring ways to showcase past presenter’s talks via videos and accompanying materials. In addition, we want to expand our speaker base to include other innovators and leaders who can share their story but also provide valuable insight. There are no boundaries for Agenda Emerge and we will explore all options to see what makes the most sense to our original mission …