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Old 02-10-2010, 05:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys...searched the forum and dont see any discussions regarding this...

Just recently been interested in the business side of snowboarding...namely sponsorships. I was just wondering how much pro snowboarders pull in from sponsors? I know "a lot"...but just curious on what these board/outerwear companies pay their riders. Given the bad economy and shrinking margins are riders being dropped like crazy? My curiousity i guess has been sparked by seeing Muller sign w/ Nike (outerwear) and Forum's team just get bigger and bigger. Also noticing different directions companies are taking w/ the type of riders they sponsor. Burton seems to be out to build a contest army...and then there are companies like stepchild where their riders just seem to ride rails all day and make movies :P

Just looking for anyone thats closer to the industry to chime in =)
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i know sponsorships can mean anything from gas money, to lift pass money/free passes, to full gear supplies, and of course paydays. everyone from coffee houses to board shops to large corporations provide sponsorships for riders. burton builds their contest army because that is their target market: kids watching x games and then going to buy boarding shit. companies like step child would rather be respected by real riders, and so choose to stick with videos, etc. in other words, the riders that a company will sponsor reflects on the company itself and its motives. like rome sponsors people who can really different things with their boards becuz that is their aim as a company (ie anyone seen LNP's video parts?)
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks are highly deceiving right now and there's so many levels of "sponsorship". I have friends that are killing it for companies and blowing up that are buying their gear on proform even though they're winning bigger contests. The cash cow days are over and unless you're marketable you're not making shit. You want to talk to some pro's trying to make it hit up the guys from tahoedangerzone.com
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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most pros make more cash off selling free gear from sponsors than they do direct money from sponsors
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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so true. i have a number of friends that are pro mtn bikers doing just that
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Who really knows what a "pro" snowboarder is now adays. Chas Guldemond doesn't even have a board sponsor yet he raked in over 100k in contests alone last year. Ryan Paris was ranked #1 in big air 5 years ago and looked to be on his way to mega bucks and now he doesnt ride for any sponsors and noone knows the guys name. (I'm using them as examples because they're both from my area) I don't think snowboarding can be considered a career esp in this economy. Unless you have major talent and mass appeal.
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtonAvenger View Post
Looks are highly deceiving right now and there's so many levels of "sponsorship". I have friends that are killing it for companies and blowing up that are buying their gear on proform even though they're winning bigger contests. The cash cow days are over and unless you're marketable you're not making shit. You want to talk to some pro's trying to make it hit up the guys from tahoedangerzone.com
That is exactly what main-stream snowboarding is about these days.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binarypie View Post
That is exactly what main-stream snowboarding is about these days.
This is what mainstream anything is it seems...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Extremo View Post
Who really knows what a "pro" snowboarder is now adays. Chas Guldemond doesn't even have a board sponsor yet he raked in over 100k in contests alone last year. Ryan Paris was ranked #1 in big air 5 years ago and looked to be on his way to mega bucks and now he doesnt ride for any sponsors and noone knows the guys name. (I'm using them as examples because they're both from my area) I don't think snowboarding can be considered a career esp in this economy. Unless you have major talent and mass appeal.
Very good point.

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Originally Posted by BurtonAvenger View Post
Looks are highly deceiving right now and there's so many levels of "sponsorship". I have friends that are killing it for companies and blowing up that are buying their gear on proform even though they're winning bigger contests. The cash cow days are over and unless you're marketable you're not making shit. You want to talk to some pro's trying to make it hit up the guys from tahoedangerzone.com
I guess there are TONS of riders who are sick from a talent level...so company's need to grade on other levels? I wonder how companies determine who is marketable if their riding does not seem to be the only metric. Like what differs one of BA's friends versus say a Simon Chamberlain or Nicolas Muller (both of whom I like btw). Both of these dont really compete all that much...and promote the brand by photoshoots and crazy vids...heh.
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well the two guys you just mentioned have a very distinct and recognizable style...so I think that's a majority of the equation. Style is def #1 for me. That's why Aaron Biitner is a pro snowboarder...no double corks but miles of style.
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AZred60 View Post
i know sponsorships can mean anything from gas money, to lift pass money/free passes, to full gear supplies, and of course paydays. everyone from coffee houses to board shops to large corporations provide sponsorships for riders. burton builds their contest army because that is their target market: kids watching x games and then going to buy boarding shit. companies like step child would rather be respected by real riders, and so choose to stick with videos, etc. in other words, the riders that a company will sponsor reflects on the company itself and its motives. like rome sponsors people who can really different things with their boards becuz that is their aim as a company (ie anyone seen LNP's video parts?)
Not to slam you but what a horrible statement. Having known many kids that were sponsored by Burton but not part of the contest army I think you're way off base. The contest army just gets more publicity. And I don't see how in the world StepChild riders are real and Burtons aren't. Granted Burton has a bigger team but IN NO WAY can you say StepChild's team is better.

Back to the OP...Sponsors mean many different things to riders. 1st off not many snowboarders get paid a lot. Originally sponsors meant flow, which meant you didn't have to work as much. Their(the pro's) money came from photos and photo shoots. Depending on the sticker placement and location of the photo determined how much you got paid. The early 90's a cover netted most riders 10-25k which was equal to what a lot of guys earned for the year. Contests on the other hand were necessary for income. That's why you used to see a lot of guys enter contests even if it wasn't their style.

I can't imagine with so many pros that there are that many really making it rich. I'd say 75% won't set themselves up for the long term.
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