Hospitality and Sports Shoes


There is a saying that hospitality is almost impossible to teach, and it is all about hiring the right people.

Tinker Hatfield was hired at Nike before Blake Griffin was born and started a shoe revolution in the industry where “there was no romance, no tying in with athletic personalities, no design inspiration from outside. They were just done for sports.” Initially, he was hired as Nike’s corporate architect, designing office spaces, showrooms and stores, among other things, but it soon became apparent it was a fashion movement he had in mind.

Soon after, parents had to beg their kids to change into a pair of dress shoes for weddings or other such occasions, but to no avail. Just like my cousin Mike.

Innovation Kitchen Chef sparked his game-changing shoe designs for Nike, including the iconic Air Jordan series. It is worth taking a look at this whole docuseries, but this particular episode in “Abstract: The Art of Design” offers an incredible insight on how to think about design, human relationships, and hospitality.

It all starts with passion, Prep Athlete of the Year, and unfortunate set of events that took away spolymath’s (sports + polymath 🙂 ) ability to compete, but enabled him to express his vision and change the sports world through design, innovation, and storytelling like no other person before, and probably after. No personal track and field record, last second three pointer or a touchdown could match this feat, a story about the human relationships resulting in the ultimate business story.

Passion and design are interwoven into his personal relationship with Michael Jordan, individual bigger than the institution itself, and friendship that results in new version of Air Jordans year after year with storytelling in the center of everything and faith to “just do it”.

Years passed since Jordan’s retirement, but their relationship seems unchanged. Hatfield recently gifted him a set of brand new custom-made skis for his birthday, and skiing seems to be Mike’s winter pursuit. I wonder what Innovation Kitchen ski or snowboard “Snow Jordans” would look like or

U.S. Olympic luxury winter fashion line comes to mind. Mikaela & Lindsey: Bold & Beautiful  

Marketing pitches aside, it is all about hospitality and the sports shoes in this case. We hope that we can do the same in our work hives and use this story to illustrate why. This venture is also the result of few guys meeting through basketball, sharing passionate nature, friendship, and the entrepreneurial spark.

In other words, hospitality is the key in office as a service industry and must be complemented by innovative design and storytelling elements. It is no wonder that Wework is classified under hospitality business category on Linkedin,  just as all the other shared office and workspaces operators. Moreover, ever changing co-working and growing co-living “little” brother offer many opportunities, and no doubt bring disruptive wave that will also change the hospitality industry for better.

It all starts with hiring the right people.

RyersonSenecaHumber, and George Brown hospitality and tourism schools, just to name few, offer Toronto the same foundation and rational used by various tech startups in efforts to attract public and private investment needed to establish Ontario and Quebec as the future global technology hubs. Investing into people skills would be just as wise, making hospitality alongside recreation the new sources of opportunity. They will no doubt become the pillars of support for changing 21st century workforce, and used to offset disruptive forces that will change, and eventually eliminate lots of current occupations.

Toronto and Montreal could and should be AI, but also global hospitality education destinations.

We missed this year’s Global Coworking Unconference Conference, but plan on coming in 2019. Our topic will be Hospitality, education, opportunities: Canadian experiment and the ultimate work experience.

Stay tuned and come to see where @hiverswork

Hivers Workspaces – Where work and hospitality coincide

We provide short and long term office, conference, and special event space rentals with all amenities and managed hospitality services in Etobicoke, across the street from Sherway Gardens.