Professor James Hanson: The Global Motocross Manager

When professional motocross racing didn't pan out for James Hanson, an opportunity arose to take a position at Rockstar Energy Drink as the marketing manager for the Northwest. Without any hesitation, Hanson lined himself up for an interview, and eventually landed the job. Eight years later, Hanson's role has since changed to the global motocross manager for the entire Rockstar Energy Drink motocross team, but he's still happy as can be because he's still able to be in the industry that he loves.

When professional motocross racing didn’t pan out for James Hanson, he took a job at Rockstar Energy Drink, and never looked back.

What is your job title, how long have you been with the company, and what is your background?

I've been with Rockstar Energy Drink for eight years now, and I'm the global motocross manager. I actually grew up racing motocross, but I didn't make it as far as I wanted to. So, I quit racing and took this job. I guess you could say that I made it in the industry.

Was there someone that actually helped you get your foot in the door, or did you just apply for the job?

What basically happened was that Rockstar was looking for a person to manage marketing in the Northwest, which is where I'm from, and someone from the company called one of my friends to see if they knew anyone. The next thing I knew, I was doing an interview over the phone, I met some people in Seattle to throw a party, and I ended up getting the job.

When we asked Hanson what has been the best event in his eight years at Rockstar Energy Drink, he said that the recent camping trip at Ocotillo Wells was definitely the highlight of his career because he was able to ride with the team.

As your current position, what is it that you have to do?

I manage anything motocross, worldwide. So, I have teams in Belgium, France, and the United States. I manage all the pro riders, as well as the amateur riders. I manage all of the motocross content on the website. I also take photos and shoot video. Pretty much, anything that has to do with everything, I handle.

Do you work out of one place, or are you constantly traveling?

For the most part, I'm traveling every week for nine months. Things slow down a little bit during the offseason, but still, things are constantly happening during that time: team photo shoots, getting riders, and assembling plans for the following year. I work from home Monday and Tuesday, and then I'm flying to the races Thursday through Sunday.

In the eight years that you've been working for Rockstar Energy Drink, is there one particular event that stands out as the best you've ever been involved with?

Honestly, in the eight years that I've been working with Rockstar, the coolest thing I've ever done was the Ocotillo camping trip. Even though there was a lot of work involved for the trip, I got to ride with all of the riders, and relax by the campfire at the end of the night.

Being a rider yourself, does that help you at all with your job?

Yeah because I went pro and got some top-10s racing Arenacross, and I get the rider's mentality when it comes to sponsor stuff. What's also cool about Rockstar Energy Racing is that we're all kind of coaches in some way. Dave Gowland provides a lot of experience as a team manager. Scott Simon, who's our truck driver, used to race professionally, and he's able to provide some input. Now we have Davi Millsaps on the team, and he provides the team with a tremendous amount of knowledge. So, for the most part, Rockstar Energy Racing is a well-rounded team.


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