What is Jamie Thomas’ Net Worth?
Jamie Thomas is an American professional skateboarder and entrepreneur who has a net worth of $50 million. Aside from establishing himself as a dexterous skateboarder, he is the owner and president of Black Box Distribution, a company that offers customers such brands as Zero Skateboards and Fallen Footwear. Born in Dothan, Alabama on 11th October 1974, he made his beginnings in skateboarding at the age of eleven. Having recognized the sport as his true calling, Thomas moved to the West Coast of the States to pursue skateboarding. The first sponsorship that he received was by Thunder trucks in 1992 when he got Real Skateboards and Spitfire wheels under the Deluxe Distribution company. It was while he was living in San Francisco that he turned pro and started riding for skateboard deck brands. In 1994 he decided to relocate in Southern California, where he filmed video sections for Spitfire and Invisible.
One year later, he left Invisible to join Toy Machine, for which he filmed two videos one of which was “Welcome To Hell”. Since, he has never ceased to make films that comprise discography of over twenty flicks. It was in 1996 that he set up a small clothing company through Toy Machine’s distributor Tum Yeto. Later on, the company got renamed Zero Skateboards. Today, Thomas owns another company, Black Box Distribution, which was established in 2000 and serves as a parent company of Mystery Skateboards, $lave Skateboards, Zero Skateboards, Threat By Zero, Insight Clothing, and Fallen Footwear. Jamie Thomas has been playing his role of entrepreneur so well that he received a regional “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Ernst & Young in 2006.
Jamie Thomas, born on October 11, 1974, is not only a renowned American professional skateboarder but also a successful entrepreneur in the skateboard industry. Known as “The Chief” in the skateboard community, Thomas has made significant contributions to the sport and founded influential brands such as Zero Skateboards and Fallen Footwear.
Early Years and Introduction to Skateboarding
Jamie Thomas’s journey in skateboarding began in his hometown of Florida. Although he spent part of his childhood in Atlanta, Georgia, and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, due to his father’s work as a nuclear engineer, it was in Palm Beach Gardens that he discovered his passion for skateboarding at the age of eleven.
Skateboarding Career Takes Off
In 1991, Thomas achieved a significant milestone by winning a skateboarding competition in Panama City, Florida. However, it was in 1992 that he decided to take his skateboarding career to the next level. Thomas left his hometown of Alabama and made a pivotal move to San Francisco, California, with aspirations of becoming a professional skateboarder. During this time, he was sponsored by notable brands such as Thunder Trucks, Spitfire Wheels, Vans, and served as a flow rider for Real Skateboards. His journey continued as he joined San Diego-based Invisible Skateboards.
A Turning Point in Southern California
The year 1994 marked a significant turning point for Jamie Thomas as he relocated to Southern California. He graced the cover of TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine and contributed to video parts for Spitfire and Invisible. In 1995, Thomas made a pivotal decision to join forces with skateboarder and artist Ed Templeton at Toy Machine Skateboards. This collaboration led to the creation of “Welcome to Hell,” a skate video that would become one of the most influential skate videos of the 1990s.
The Iconic “Leap of Faith”
One of the standout moments in Jamie Thomas’s career was captured in the Zero video “Thrill Of It All.” In this video, Thomas attempted what would become known as “The Leap of Faith.” This daring trick involved an “ollie melon” over a handrail and down an 18-foot, 8-inch drop at Point Loma High School in San Diego. Although he didn’t successfully land the trick, Thomas’s bold attempt earned him significant recognition and respect within the skateboarding community.
Sponsors and Support
Throughout his career, Jamie Thomas has been sponsored by a variety of influential brands, including Zero skateboards, STRAYE footwear, Thunder trucks, Spitfire wheels, Bones Swiss, Mob Grip, olloclip, Active Ride Shop, and Official headwear. These sponsorships have played a crucial role in supporting his journey as a professional skateboarder.
Venturing into Business
Jamie Thomas’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident in his contributions to the skateboard industry. In 1996, he founded Zero Skateboards through skateboard distributor Tum Yeto. He expanded his influence by establishing the skate footwear brand Fallen Footwear in 2003. His dedication and success were further recognized when he received a regional “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Ernst & Young in 2006.
Evolution of Zero Skateboards
In a 2014 interview, Thomas shared his vision for the future of Zero Skateboards. He revealed that Dwindle Distribution, a skateboard company responsible for several popular brands, would take over certain aspects of the Zero brand, including sales, finance, production, and distribution. Despite these changes, Zero’s employees would maintain their independence and focus on the team, marketing, and creative aspects of the brand.
Continuing Passion and Collaboration
Jamie Thomas’s passion for skateboarding remains unwavering. He emphasized the importance of authenticity for core skateboard brands in a 2014 interview, highlighting the need to stay true to the sport’s roots. Thomas also expressed his enjoyment in collaborating with sponsors and companies on various projects and encouraged others to engage in skateboarding for its motivational benefits.
New Ventures and Challenges
In 2017, Jamie Thomas embarked on a new venture by joining the footwear brand STRAYE footwear, alongside fellow skateboarders Chad Muska and Antwuan Dixon. This move signaled his continued commitment to the skateboard industry and its evolving landscape.
The Garage Days Collection Controversy
In April 2019, Jamie Thomas made headlines when he announced the sale of his collectible skateboard business, Garage Days Collection, to a collector. However, this decision led to legal disputes, with lawsuits filed by both parties in California and Florida courts.
Personal Life and Faith
Jamie Thomas is a devoted family man, married to Joanne, with whom he has three children born in 2003, 2006, and 2008. The Thomas family resides in Encinitas, California. Thomas is also a Christian, and his faith is reflected in several skateboard graphics featuring Christian imagery and scripture.
The Origin of “The Chief”
Thomas’s nickname, “The Chief,” was coined by professional skateboarders Elissa Steamer, Erik Ellington, and Jim Greco. This moniker has become synonymous with his legacy in skateboarding.
Advocacy for Vegetarianism
In January 2000, Jamie Thomas joined forces with Ed Templeton in a print ad for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to promote vegetarianism. This endeavor showcased his commitment to advocating for causes he believes in beyond the world of skateboarding.
A Musical Tribute
Jamie Thomas’s impact on skateboarding is so profound that Blur guitarist Graham Coxon dedicated a song to him, which can be found on his solo album, “The Golden D.”
Jamie Thomas’s remarkable journey from a young skateboarder in Florida to an iconic figure in the skateboarding industry is a testament to his passion, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit. His influence on skateboarding, both as a professional skateboarder and as an entrepreneur, has left an indelible mark on the sport and its culture. “The Chief” continues to inspire skateboarders and enthusiasts worldwide, embodying the spirit of authenticity and innovation in skateboarding.