From the Marketing Program to Motorcycle Apparel
PROVO, Utah – May 14, 2020 – With a résumé that includes a marketing degree, filming a motorcycling web series, and co-owning two companies, Andrew Hancock hasn’t led a traditional career path.
After graduating from BYU Marriott’s marketing program in 2011, Hancock started to break into the business of cinematography. He even filmed a short documentary about cancer research called The Red Dot, which made Hancock a finalist for the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. Hancock’s interest in film led him to work for Dave Ackerman on the latter’s YouTube channel. Little did Hancock know at the time that working with Ackerman would lead to the two of them co-owning Tobacco Motorwear, a company that sells protective motorcycle apparel.
Hancock began working for Ackerman in 2011, and in 2013, Ackerman decided to shoot a movie that could be launched on YouTube about a motorcycle trip through Baja, California. Hancock and Ackerman were paid by sponsors to create the video, and Hancock was in charge of filming and editing the trip’s footage. “The trip was crazy stressful because the whole time I was shooting footage and I had to figure out the story of the videos,” says Hancock. “However, as stressful as that experience was, the trip was a formative event for me and my working relationship with Dave.” The movie is now a nine-part YouTube series called Motos in Mexico.
After the trip, Ackerman invited Hancock to create and sell protective motorcycle apparel with him, and the two used Kickstarter to sell their first Tobacco Motorwear product. “We launched on Kickstarter and did fairly well,” says Hancock. “We sold about 500 pairs of jeans.” Currently, the company offers protective motorcycle apparel for men and women, and their newest product, armored jeans, allows a rider to put armor inserts into pockets that cover the knees and hips.
Perhaps fittingly since Hancock’s involvement with Tobacco Motorwear started with a trip, Hancock’s joy in owning a business comes from the journey. “What motivates me isn’t the end goal of selling a company,” says Hancock. “The progress to get to that point is what I enjoy seeing.”
In addition to owning Tobacco Motorwear, Ackerman and Hancock recently acquired Pack Animal, a company that produces bags. “Pack Animal is a brand that has bags for motorcyclists or for anybody,” says Hancock. “We can only grow to a certain extent in the motorcycle space, so Pack Animal allows us to grow outside of that.”
Of course, Tobacco Motorwear and Pack Animal weren’t Hancock’s first experiences with the world of business. His experiences from his time as a marketing student at BYU Marriott gave him a foundation on which he could build a successful career. “I was exposed to a lot of different things in BYU Marriott’s marketing program, like how to run a drop-shipping company,” says Hancock. “Later, when I was faced with a problem, I could look back on what I had learned and see if that provided a solution.” After graduating, Hancock expanded upon the education he received from the program by learning additional skills, such as how to edit film.
Though Hancock still does some freelance cinematography, his current focus is on his companies. “For now, I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m working on Tobacco.” Nevertheless, Hancock is sometimes able to combine his interest in cinematography with his work at Tobacco Motorwear. In addition to his other responsibilities as Tobacco’s co-owner, Hancock has filmed marketing videos for Tobacco, which he notes has helped to save the company money on its creative work. From following a passion for film to starting a company, Hancock has found ways to shape his own career path.
As someone who has taken his career path into his own hands, Hancock encourages BYU Marriott students to begin their professional journeys now. “Don't hesitate to start something,” he says. “If you want that job at Google, everybody is so within reach and so easy to contact that you can make stuff happen now. There’s no reason to wait on pursuing your goals. Learn what you want to learn, and you can make your goals happen on your own.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Natalia Green