“I have more money now” – Shaun White revealed the secret to making a fortune even with fewer sponsors


Shaun White has had a long list of sponsors throughout his career, securing his first sponsorship at age 7. Retiring this year after his run at the Beijing Olympics in 2022, White has been dipping his toes into every pond. From actor, musician, snowboarding legend and apprentice to skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, what hasn’t he been up to?

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And funding his career has been a long list of sponsorships from the very beginning. White even found himself in a position to reject endorsements and make even more money.

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Shaun White on streamlining his portfolio

White now has a much thinner sponsorship portfolio than over a decade ago. It has in the past been sponsored by many top brands over the years, including Ubisoft, American Express, Target, and Red Bull. After his victory at the Vancouver Olympics, he created the Shaun White Enterprises to consolidate all his business relationships.

White spoke to Elizabeth Weil for The New York Times, where he talked about this process of transitioning from athlete to owner. “It’s a long game” he said. “I have more money now, so I can have fuller relationships, not just this sponsor setup where you’re like, ‘How many stickers do I need to put on my board.

In 2011, ended his relationship with RedBull, a sponsorship that offered him a lot of money and even built his private half-pipe. White wanted more autonomy. “Few people know it: I have fewer sponsors than in the past and I earn more money.”

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For Shaun White Enterprises, he hired Keith Yokomoto, a COO with extensive experience, to run things.

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Currently, White has six long-term deals in the bag. He’s added Celsius energy drinks, Krave beef jerky and the Masters workout app to his portfolio over the past year. White is the highest paid snowboarder.

ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA – FEBRUARY 09: Shaun White of Team USA performs a trick during a practice session ahead of the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Qualifier on Day 5 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park on February 09, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

White continues to earn six figures a year from his contracts. That’s quite a feat, considering extreme sports like snowboarding and skateboarding are rarely covered on TV. White announced and started his own lifestyle brand, Whitespace, with his brother Jesse. White’s partnership with Burton Snowboards of more than two decades has come to an end. And he saw the opportunity to make a board adapted to each of his needs.

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He released a limited number of signature Whitespace Freestyle Shaun White Pro snowboards to celebrate the launch. After retiring, White has time to grow the brand from its current infancy stage.

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