Dragon’s Mike Tobia on the NFX2 Goggle, XP Collection, and Maintaining the Brand Heritage Founder Will Howard Created
Dragon has more than 20 years under its belt. In the early days before the brand got its start, Founder Will Howard was an Oakley employee and was looking to break out and put his own spin on the lifestyle surrounding surfing, motocross, and other action sports. That type of passion and start-up mentality is still a big part of what the brand does today—a prime example, says Director of Product Mike Tobia, is Dragon’s continuing relationship with athletes like Shane Dorian and Jamie Lynn, who have been a part of the brand since day one.
TransWorld Business sat down with Dragon’s Tobia to get an update on the NFX2 Goggle, which won the 2015 ISPO Design Award, its new performance-driven XP Collection, and how a brand with a longstanding foundation in the action sports industry is able to maintain its position and continue speaking to tastemakers.
“We think that authenticity doesn’t go away…” says Tobia. “Dragon has always been core to its roots. So if we expand and grow, we’ll continue to reinforce and reinvest in the things we love that the brand was built off, and that’s never going to go away. There’s always going to be an emphasis on specialty retail and how we can support them in the best way, always an emphasis on our athletes, and ultimately the consumer and the product to enhance it’s performance.”
Dragon Founder Howard is still at the forefront of the business today, imparting his experience and wisdom on the company and it’s staff. Tobia says some of the key takeaways he’s learned from Howard are: “You have to work hard and earn it. Be calculated with the decisions you make. There’s no easy path to the top. It’s best when you don’t follow, you lead and cut your own path.”
Watch the full interview from The Sessions @ SIA above.
Editors Note: The Sessions @ SIA is a video series produced by TransWorld Business in collaboration with SIA Snow Show, featuring some of the most influential snowboarding brands, executives, and athletes. Stay tuned to TransWorld Business as the next videos in the series roll out. WATCH ALL THE SESSIONS @ SIA INTERVIEWS