Alexander BivolBrian Kachinsky icepick on a flat rail in Moscow, Russia in 2010.
This past week marked one of the best (and for some worst) in terms of sponsorship news. Some great BMX riders landed in good team spots that fit well, while others were left scratching their heads. Between a tough economic climate and a slow moving industry, it might look a little desolate out there for the aspiring BMX pro. What follows are some high and low points of one of the biggest weeks of BMX sponsorship news. Following appearances in Animal's latest full-length video, Chase Dehart announced that he was joining the Animal Bikes team. Several days later, he added that he was leaving Cinema Wheel Co. "I had to leave behind Cinema, as Animal is a parts company. I have a lot of signature parts with Cult, so for Animal I'm going to be pushing their wheels," said Dehart. For 2013, London Olympic Games BMX contender Caroline Buchanan joined the Elite DK factory race team. "We're extremely proud to have Caroline be a part of the DK family. She's an excellent representative of her brands. A true professional athlete on and off the track, and a great fit for DK," said DK's Trevor Gay. Buchanan also signed with Airborne Bicycles for her 2013 MTB exploits. Ben Hucke joined Almond Footwear at the brand's inception and released several versions of a signature Belmont shoe with the brand. This week, Almond and Hucke parted ways, citing hectic career schedules as the reason. " I've decided not to re-sign this year for my own reasons and the most important one being that we just don't have the time to work together," said Hucke. After nine and a half years together, Scotty Cranmer and Felt Bicycles parted ways earlier this week. According to Felt, "Nothing big happened, no drama, just a decision that had to be made and both sides are good with each other." Cranmer added that he would announce his new bike sponsor within a few days. The new sponsor -- Hyper Bicycles. X Games BMX Street pro Jeremiah Smith parted ways with longtime bike sponsor Failure Bikes. Failure announced the decision via Facebook, stating "Jeremiah Smith is no longer riding for Failure for 2013. We wish him the best of luck in the future!" Smith signed with GT Bicycles soon after. "I am so psyched to be the new edition to the GT team. I am thrilled and honored to be a part of such a great team," said Smith. Chase Hawk got a jump on every other sponsor shake up, with his New Year's Day move from Vans to Etnies. "Joining the etnies BMX family means a lot to me," said Hawk from Austin. "I've been psyched on the team ever since I was a little kid so to finally get the opportunity to work with everyone is going to be awesome." UK flatland legend James White turned heads in the fall when he debuted a new video section on a Fit Ben Lewis frame. After speaking with S&M rider Chad Johnston, White was added to the S&M Bikes team through their UK distributor 4Down. The bike shipped to White: an appropriately whited-out S&M Intrikat complete setup. After a period of inactivity in 2012, Brian Hunt decided to walk away from a signature shoe reportedly in the works by Orchid Footwear. "Being apart of a brand with all my childhood heroes was a dream come true. I'm incredibly grateful for everything Orchid has done for me and I couldn't thank them enough for all the adventures and good times," said Hunt. Hunt also parted ways with safety gear brand TSG at the start of the year. 2012 Australian Olympic athlete Lauren Reynolds signed to Ssquared for the 2013 race season. She will race the USA BMX Pro series, UCI Supercross series and UCI BMX World championships, as well as continue her push for the 2016 Olympics. "I'm very picky about my equipment and I know that the Ssquared frame built up with all Answer BMX products will give me the best advantage I need to attain my goals," said Reynolds. For a decade, Josh Stricker represented S&M Bicycles and released iconic, timeless frame designs with the brand, including the Stricker frame. His name disappeared from the S&M team roster several weeks ago. This week, Stricker confirmed that he was indeed off S&M. "Off S&M, cool story. Oh boy it was fun," said Stricker via Facebook. Odyssey BMX not only added a new chapter of video content to Odsyvision, they debuted a new welcome to the team edit from 15-year-old Grant Germain. "Hailing from Wantagh, NY on Long Island, he is one of our most recent (and youngest) additions to our team. At only 15 years old, Grant doesn't even have his license yet and he's already driving trucks off some big ledges," said Odyssey on the team addition. After many years with Fit Bike Co., Eddie Cleveland made the move to Stranger on Friday. According to Stranger's Rich Hirsch, "Eddie is one of my favorite riders of all time and after a bit of a wait we can now officially announce that he will be riding for Stranger from this point forward." Raul Ruiz also parted ways with Fit Bike Co. Kink team rider Chris Doyle announced his addition to the Rockstar Energy team over the weekend. He joins Dennis Enarson, Chase Hawk, Mike Aitken and more on an already stacked team. "Looking forward to doing some fun stuff with the, already talented, team," said Doyle. Corey Bohan joined Australian brand The Set at their inception and represented the brand for the past several years. This week, Bohan's grip sponsor Duo confirmed that he had parted ways with the frame/hard goods company. He has not made an announcement on future plans. BMX race pro Sam Willoughby has rocked a Troy Lee Designs helmet for the past several years, but Troy Lee extended his deal to include all safety gear, protection and apparel for the next two years. According to TLD's Craig Glaspell, "I could not be more stoked to have the world's fastest BMXer fully under our roof." More news about old man that still sometimes ride BMX but have no problem riding all types of bicycles -- Colorado BMX nomad Leif Valin has joined the Fairdale Bicycles team. "He brings to Fairdale a great knowledge of cycling from an inside perspective few people could have," says Fairdale's Taj Mihelich. Brad Simms quit Australian-based BMX brand The Set, and in the same week, he was dropped from the DC Shoes BMX team. "I ain't gonna dwell on it," he said. "It is what it is." Simms remains on the Merritt BMX team.
After eight years with the Etnies BMX team, 2010 X Games BMX Street bronze medalist Brian Kachinsky announced on Sunday night that he was "no longer on the team."
"It's been a pleasure working with some amazing people at Etnies. I will miss my Etnies teammates greatly but luckily this is BMX and I'm sure I'll be seeing you guys somewhere around the globe soon. Thanks for having me as a part of the family. I have plenty of good memories, shared tons of laughs and always appreciated helping the BMX program. Best wishes moving forward," said Kachinsky in a statement
Kachinsky went on to infer that a new deal had been reached. "There's some exciting stuff I've been working on for a couple months and it will be announced any day now," he added, which was confirmed by Matt Meyerson of RPRT Action Sports Management.
"We are super excited to announce a new deal for Brian. This is going to be huge move for Brian,"
tweeted Meyerson seconds after Kachinsky posted his announcement to Facebook.
Etnies made no statement about Kachinsky's departure, but removed his name from the team roster on the Etnies BMX website.
Courtesy of etniesThe etnies Jameson 2 Mid Brian Kachinsky signature colorway.
During Kachinsky's time with Etnies, he released a
signature shoe with the brand, launched his own BMX street park in Chicago dubbed The Bakery, won X Games medals, completed numerous groundbreaking video parts, participated in countless demos and appeared on television multiple times promoting the brand. In a 2011 interview with ESPN.com, Etnies team manager John Povah called Kachinsky a "Model pro BMXer."