The worldwide yoyo boom of the late 90s has taken on mythical proportions in the minds of many players, and that period in yoyo history was essentially the birth of what we consider modern yoyo play. And for better or for worse, one guy was standing at the center of the entire thing and his name is Alan Nagao.
An incredibly successful entrepreneur, Alan was the owner of HPK Marketing, the company contracted by Yomega to manage their global promotions during the boom. Alan was responsible for putting together the first all-star team of yoyo players in the world, touring them through every country that sold yoyos, and selling tens of millions of yoyos in just a few short years.
When the boom died, HPK wasn’t prepared to scale back its operations and essentially collapsed in on itself in short order. Demonstrators and employees were fired just hours before the HPK-hosted 1999 World YoYo Contest in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Alan burned most of his bridges in the yoyo industry shortly thereafter. The bigger they are, the harder the fall…and at the time, Alan was hands-down the biggest player in yoyo marketing and demonstrations. Alan Nagao is the guy who made Yomega a household name and basically destroyed Duncan’s market share and brand equity in a way they never fully recovered from.
The 90’s yoyo boom was a lot of things but mostly it was a train wreck as the industry saw its first major success since the 1960s and squandered it in just a few years.
Love him or hate him, Alan Nagao was a key part of the advancement of modern yoyo play. Enjoy this nice little bit of fluff, narrated and presented by Kainalu Elementary.