Shaun White Could Leave Red Bull After Sides Fail To Extend Sponsorship
Gold Medal-winning snowboarder Shaun White and Red Bull "haven’t come to terms on a renewal of their three-year relationship, opening the door for one of the nation’s most recognizable athletes to sign with a new beverage partner," according to Mickle & Lefton of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that White's deal with Red Bull, valued at more than $1M annually, "ended after the Winter X Games in January." White's agents at CAA since then have been "pitching beverage companies" on a deal worth more than $3M a year. CAA officials "have discussed a renewal with Red Bull, approached Coca-Cola and talked to Pepsi about a deal with its Mountain Dew or Gatorade brands, but haven’t signed anything to date." Mickle & Lefton note the more than $3M price tag that CAA "has placed on a future beverage partnership with White is reflective of the Olympian’s growing fame." But sources indicated that brands are "objecting to the pricing of the youth marketing magnet and demands for creative authority and control over any content created." Even with White's "year-round visibility and success, a $3 million to $6 million deal will be tough to sell." Connexions Sports & Entertainment President Bob Walker: "I don’t see any brand paying that type of money for him during these economic times, but if anyone can get it, Shaun can because of the Olympic program" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/6 issue).