Vans vice-president of creative Jamie Reilly said sponsoring skateboarders used to be like sponsoring burglars.
Now with skateboarding firmly in the American mainstream and growing in popularity around the world, Vans is launching its 'This Is Off The Wall' campaign.
The campaign will produce a series of digital storytellings and activations that aim to inspire and support the global skating community.
The large umbrella campaign kicks off with 'Vanguards,' a celebration of women skateboarders across the globe.
“Our brand’s identity is continually inspired by personalities such as the women you meet in the Vanguards campaign,” said Erwin Federizo, Vans’ global executive creative director. “By sharing their stories, we are able to continue celebrating the unique individuals who are living and breathing Vans’ ‘Off The Wall’ ethos. Creative campaigns like this are a true testament to our purpose.”
In a four-minute spot, young women from Brazil, Japan and the US share their unique style approach to skating.
"I know I'm going to try to land the trick, you know, and if you can't do it today you try it tomorrow," said Brazilian skater Yndiara Asp, right before falling and crashing her head into a pole.
She smiles, grabs some ice and says, "I'm going for it, that's my style."
The three other skaters are Lizzie Armanto, Brighton Zeuner and Mami Tezuka.
Beginning on International Women's Day (8 March), Vans will host a series of women's skate workshops across the world.
As part of the Vanguard experience, the skatewear company will also host a Vans Park Series, featuring skate clinics and activations curated by the local skaters featured in the campaign.