Days after DC Shoes dropped their BMX program, the now-former team is still struggling to understand what happened with the brand that ultimately led to the cancelation of the program. Former DC Shoes team rider Ryan 'Biz' Jordan wondered if his first shoe sponsor, DuFFS Footwear, was up to. "I wonder if Duffs will rehire me," he said, adding that he was broke after losing a monthly check from DC.
Meanwhile, X Games BMX Dirt gold medalist reflected on the changes. "It felt weird putting on a new brand of shoe after only wearing DC Shoes for the past ten years," said Bohan.
Former DC team rider Chris Doyle spent an even longer time with DC Shoes as a sponsor. "Thirteen years with the brand ended in a five-minute phone call," said Doyle, who had ridden for the brand since 2000.
Shoe sponsor options for former DC BMX team riders are looking slim. Currently, Vans, Etnies, Nike, Lotek, Osiris, Almond, Ipath and SCG boast BMX teams, but all of them are stacked full of talent and most likely not able to expand their respective teams past flow deals.
What is a pro BMX rider to do when the economic climate of the BMX industry seems unable to support the riders pushing the sport? It's incredibly tough to say. And what is a pro rider to do when they've been dropped by a sponsor and don't have many other options as far as income goes.
It's an unfortunate situation -- one we'll probably see more of before the end of the fiscal year in 2013, and one that will probably lead to more and more pro riders juggling part-time jobs alongside their riding (unless they pick up new corporate representation outside of BMX.)
For the pros out there getting any type of paycheck (or free product for that matter) for riding BMX, take the time to appreciate your position and learn to not take anything for granted. It's not what anyone wants to hear, but the time spent in the BMX spotlight as a pro never lasts forever.