Shaun White, Red Bull part ways
X Games 17's Skateboard Vert gold medalist Shaun White has parted ways with Red Bull, ending his sponsorship with the energy drink giant that helped propel the skate and snowboard prodigy into the highest ranks of competitive sport worldwide.
"After four exceptional years as a Red Bull athlete, Shaun White has decided to pursue other business ventures," said Patrice Radden of the Red Bull Media House. "The end of this partnership has been on amicable terms."
Reached via email by ESPN.com, Radden said: "We are extremely proud of our time spent with Shaun, including the Red Bull 'Big in Japan' filming trip, his participation in Red Bull Snowscrapers in downtown New York City, and most notably the Red Bull Project X athlete performance project, featuring a private half-pipe training facility, which helped contribute to Shaun's gold medal performance in the [2010 Olympic Winter Games]."
Last month, the Sports Business Journal reported that White and Red Bull had not come to an agreement to renew his contract, which expired shortly after White's historic Winter X Games SuperPipe three-peat in January. That contract was valued at more than $1 million annually, and White's team of agents at Creative Artists Agency have reportedly been seeking a beverage deal worth at least three times that.
"I don't see any brand paying that type of money for him during these economic times, Connexions Sports & Entertainment President Bob Walker told the Sports Business Journal. "But if anyone can get it, Shaun can because of the Olympic program."
In addition to back-to-back Olympic gold medals, the 24-year-old holds the most medals in Winter X Games history at 15, 10 of them gold. In X Games Skate Vert competition, White holds five medals, including gold from Saturday night.
Samantha Hill with WKT, who handles public relations for White, could not be reached for comment.