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Freeman Magazine - Spring 2008



At first glance, the rock band Hanson appears to have as much to do with entrepreneurship as Britney Spears has to do with theoretical physics, but Taylor, Isaac and Zac — the shaggy-haired brothers who skyrocketed to stardom in 1997 with the chart-topping single “MMMBop” — are actually savvy businessmen who started their own company to market their music when they became disenchanted with the major labels. At the same time, they’ve devoted themselves to social causes including AIDS and poverty in Africa.

On Oct. 24, Hanson visited the Tulane campus not to perform but to talk about business and social entrepreneurship in a special lecture organized in conjunction with “More Than Just Business,” the TIDES course for students interested in business. TIDES — short for Tulane Interdisciplinary Experiences — are first-year courses that combine classroom instruction and extracurricular events around a single topic.

“Because of the public service requirement, we are attracting a certain kind of student to Tulane who is interested in social entrepreneurship,” says Amjad Ayoubi, the TIDES instructor who organized the lecture. “This was a great opportunity to have Hanson talk to students about both the music business and social entrepreneurship.”

Taylor, Isaac and Zac Hanson fielded questions from students and talked about their career in the music business and their decision to bypass the major labels and start their own company, 3CG Records, to market their music. They also talked about the importance of social responsibility in business. On their current tour in support of their latest album, The Walk, Hanson has partnered with TOMS Shoes to distribute 50,000 pairs of shoes to children in Africa.

While the focus of the lecture was on business and social responsibility, the highlight of the presentation for many in attendance occurred near the end, when in response to a request from the audience the brothers did a brief a cappella version of “MMMBop.”

Last Updated 11/19/08

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