How Vans is ramping up messaging ahead of skateboarding’s Olympic debut

The iconic skate-centric shoe company hopes to maximize its street cred as skateboarding makes its first appearance as an Olympic event.

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This year’s Olympics will be one for the record books. The global sporting event has already made headlines as organizers have struggled to grapple with the COVID-19 virus and ensure safety during the event.

Fans will not be allowed to attend any events, and medical experts are urging spectators to stay home and watch the games from the couch. Yet, the sports spectacle could have a unique captive digital and TV audience—and sponsors hope to make the most of the storylines heading into this year’s games.

One big story to watch is the debut of skateboarding as an Olympic sport. And one brand with a long history in the skating world is looking to grab some air—albeit not as an official Olympic sponsor. Vans has launched a summer campaign ahead of the games, “No Matter How Big Skateboarding Gets, Never Forget Where It Starts,” featuring skate icons such as Tony Hawk and a partnership with award-winning nonprofit Skateistan.

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