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Ken Block aboard his Hoonigan Racing Ford Mustang. (Hoonigan Racing photo)

FROST: Ken Block’s Wide-Ranging Perspective

WILMETTE, Ill. — A new year and season are upon us, and those in motorsports are assessing the future. Most of the focus is on competition, but activities off the track are playing a more prominent role.

Drivers are becoming more entrepreneurial by starting their own business endeavors and entering into partnerships that allow them to generate money beyond their typical salaries.

The world of an entrepreneur is a constant grind and mix of hard work and dedication.

Successful racers must set goals and then focus on achieving them. Motivation and execution is the key. Setbacks and failure are part of the journey but pushing through adversity and focusing on the outcome are important ingredients. With the growth of the internet and social media, drivers with large followings and audiences can utilize their influence and direct attention to their personal business ventures.

One who defined these characteristics was Ken Block. His passion for family, sport and business is well documented.

Launching, operating and selling DC Shoes was the beginning. They took a risk, redefined the category with innovation and style, and it took off. Block and his associates marketed the athletes who became superstars, which resulted in exposure and street credibility. These characteristics were keys to his success away from the race track.

Block viewed motorsports with wide perspective — racing was part of the landscape along with the ability to have fun while sharing that enjoyment with the world. His vision and creativity defined him and set him apart. Timing helped.

The start of YouTube in 2005 and the release of his earliest drifting videos in 2008 made him one of the early automotive video megastars.

A billion views later, the Gymkhana series and Hoonigan franchise became part of pop culture and household names. As a result, manufacturers and popular brands partnered with Ken Block. It was authentic and multi-generational.

As colleague Rob Dyrdek exquisitely stated, “There are a handful of athletes who go on the become great business people, but there is no such thing as a great business person who goes on to become an athletic icon. Except Ken Block.”

Rally on No. 43!

This story appeared in the Jan. 18 edition of the SPEED SPORT Insider.

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