“Brand snobbery” certainly has been permeating our human nature for as long as I can remember. If we are honest, we have all done it and we have all seen it done.
As humans, when we get our hands on something that beats all others in terms of engineering, design, performance and excellence, the temptation of pride is hard to resist. If that isn’t counteracted with a healthy dose of humility and wisdom, deceptive and pretentious “brand snobbery” is born within our mind. One only needs to go to any motorcycle brand dealership to witness that mentality.
When it comes to Ducati, you can witness the pride of their owners. You can also witness the envy of many. Heck, even other competing brands will compare themselves to Ducati as a reference point to benchmark themselves. When Ducati bikes show up and rev, heads turn—no question. I have a good friend of a mature age who at the mere sound of a Ducati or at the mere mention of the name Ducati, she goes back to a demeanor displaying the excitement of several 7-year-old children jumping up and down while all of us awkwardly look at each other unable to understand or relate to the depth of her excitement. One night, we saw her sitting and talking by herself to her boyfriend’s Ducati—literally! She is a living, breathing epitome of a pure “Ducatisti”. So much so her boyfriend is now wondering if she is with him for him or for the bike. As far as I remember, when I was a little boy, Ducati was an unattainable “holy grail” of sort which only a few fortunate could afford. Not any longer!
Jason Chinnock, CEO, Ducati North America is the antithesis of “brand snobbery”. I absolutely love this man’s story. His ascension from the trenches to the top corner office of this mega brand is inspiring to say the least. Not only this, but it goes to show if you put your mind to anything you can get it. It is a testament to the old saying of following your dreams is not a foolish thing. That even huge global corporations such as Ducati are still capable to see, recognize, and reward the potential and hard work of passionate individuals who bet on quality and merit more than entitlements.
Jason started as an apprentice in a small motorcycle repair shop in California. He then earned a degree in business administration and marketing and joined the sales team at Ducati North America. He became Vice President of Sales and Marketing followed by a promotion to CEO of Ducati North America in 2016. Jason was instrumental in launching the beloved Panigale V4 and the Ducati Diavel. Jason has been named an International Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. A strong voice for the motorcycle industry and a passionate defender of Ducati’s values, he has also been a contributing founder of MotoGP and World Superbike racing. Philanthropic organizations such as the “Ride to Give” program have also benefitted from the fruits of Jason’s passionate pursuits. Jason has been recognized by the Motorcycle Industry Council, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the National Motorcycle Dealers Association, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. It has been said Ducati grew to become one of the most profitable and admired motorcycle manufacturers in the world because of Jason and his leadership.
Now hold on to your helmets! As if this was not enough, would you believe as a 13-year-old Jason went door to door in sales? Jason has held the position of Marketing General Manager for Lamborghini. This champion in a past life was a touring rock musician. He was a tank pilot during Desert Storm. Raised in a Christian based home, motorcycles were a forbidden thing. Today Jason and his dad enjoy riding together.
“It’s really not about bike building, it’s about connecting people.” Jason said in our one on one. This eligible bachelor visited Ducati’s manufacturing plant in year 2000 and that’s when he told himself, “This is where I belong!” With a top speed of 167mph under his belt, Jason proudly states how content he is today. His job constantly challenges him to be the best he can be. “Stay true to yourself in your pursuit of dreams. Bring people in who desire to be part of it all. Apply yourself. Balance passion with skills and do not choose the pursuit of money,” Jason says.
Now what? Well, Ducati has presented to the public eight new models that complete an ever-wider range, able to offer all Ducatisti the most suitable bike to express their passion for two wheels. Among the most awaited models, there are certainly the Multistrada V4 Rally, the motorcycle for long adventures and the new Diavel V4, the model that won the “Most Beautiful Bike of the Show” award at EICMA. Also, the second generation of Scrambler Ducati, (the conception for which Jason was deeply involved in) confirms the simplicity and authenticity that have always represented essential values for all Scrambler Ducati enthusiasts, becoming more contemporary, attainable, colorful, and endowed with an even more lively personality.
What is the equivalent to my bike? I asked Jason. “The Panigale V4S” he responded with confidence. I’ll be visiting the dealership in the near future “brand snobbery” or not, who cares? It’s the experience that matters.
Photos and source: Ducati North America
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