Sparrow’s ex-team manager at Nike 6.0
Back when Sparrow was about 13 and was on the Nike 6.0 team, I took him over to Portland for a meeting at their headquarters. Louie Vito was there, as well as BMX rider Garret Reynolds, downhill mountain biker Josh Bryceland, and surfers Nat Young and Carissa Moore. They were there to be presented as “the future of action sports talent” – but Sparrow wasn’t at all fazed. He was just doing his thing, getting excited about all the American sweets he’d be able to take home and sell to his mates.
We’d been wakeboarding and paintballing, and then they took us for a burger. The restaurant had a PA system – one of those ones for calling customers to the counter or whatever. Sparrow ran off and somehow got himself round the back of the kitchen, grabbed the microphone and started swearing at everyone in the restaurant. “You’re all a bunch of shits, you lot!” and stuff like that.
One of the guys at the table was Sandy Bodecker, who was essentially the man responsible for getting Nike into action sports (as well as football). A bigger figure in the industry you’d struggle to find – and yet there was Sparrow, in his first opportunity to impress the bigwigs, just abusing everybody.
The guys had to go up and ‘discipline’ him in a sense, and remind him that what might be suitable in North London might not fly in the homeland of corporate sportswear – or words to that effect! I liked it though – it was just Sparrow being Sparrow, and set the tone for his whole career.