Three-time X Games gold medalist Leticia Bufoni officially joined the Nike SB team on Friday after signing an exclusive shoe sponsorship deal and clothing contract. She announced the news via social media from Paris, where she's competing in the Far'n High International Skateboard Contest (a Nike SB-sponsored event) this weekend, before traveling to X Games Austin to defend her Women's Skateboard Street gold medal.
Details of the Nike contract have not been disclosed, but Bufoni's management team described it as an unprecedented sponsorship deal for a female skateboarder and a "meaningful, multi-year commitment from Nike."
"Thanks to the entire crew from Volcom and Osiris Shoes for all your support over the years," Bufoni wrote, referring to her two longtime former sponsors. Osiris supported her as far back as 2008, when she was featured in the grom team video "Children of the Revolution." In 2013 Osiris released a limited-edition Bufoni shoe as part of its Rider Revolt line.
"It has been great working with these brands and they will always be special to me," she wrote. "Today, I'm entering a new chapter in my skate career as I'm excited and honored to announce that I'm joining the Nike SB family."
Nike Brazil spokeswoman Rochelle Rosenblatt said the company had originally planned to hold the news until Monday, but allowed Bufoni to make a social media announcement first since she's skating in Stefan Janoski's signature Nike SB shoe -- men's size 5 -- at Far'n High.
"For us it's amazing to have Leticia on the team and for Nike to be able to show the power of women through her eyes," Rosenblatt said. "She's young and brings a lot of diversity to the team, not just because she's a woman but because she's one of the best Brazilian skaters. We plan to use Leticia in our campaigns and will be working closely with her, but this is all very new: we're excited to see where it leads."
Bufoni, 21, had a tremendous year in 2013, winning X Games gold in the Women's Skateboard Street event in front of her home crowd in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and again in Los Angeles, as well as in the debut of the Real Women video contest in Barcelona. She has made the podium in every X Games Women's Skateboard Street contest since 2010, winning silver in 2010 and 2012 and bronze in 2011, has been the top-ranked female skater on the World Cup Skateboarding circuit for four years running, and was a nominee for Female Action Sports Athlete Of The Year at ESPN's 2013 ESPY Awards.
She has also been holding her own against the men's field in recent contests like the 2014 Simple Session in Tallinn, Estonia in February, where she qualified 22nd out of 31 skaters and said she's just getting started. She has said she's planning to continue to compete against the guys whenever opportunities arise, just because there's no good reason she can't.
Bufoni will continue to ride decks from Yeah Yeah Skateboards, the company she started earlier this year, and is also sponsored by Oakley, Nixon, TNT Energy Drink, Crail Trucks, Bones Wheels, Journeys, Keep a Breast, and Grizzly Griptape.