Shaun White’s Star Rises


Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White is boosting his personal brand, big time. The champion snowboarder just partnered with D6 Sports to launch his own action sports product line, Shaun White Supply Co., at an event (above) with the Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas.

Offering action sports hard goods including skateboards, bikes, stunt scooters, protective gear, and ramps and rails, SWSC’s website says its “main focus is to create, produce and deliver authentic products at an affordable price.”

What’s more, “Every product has been rigorously tested, changed and tested again until Shaun and his team felt the Shaun White Supply Co. standards were met. It was important to White that not only could SWSC’s products be used by him in competition, but that they could also be used by recreational athletes in an effort to give individuals the opportunity to enjoy, experiment and excel in action sports.”

The namesake collection follows on White’s other high-profile deals.[more]

White has lent his name to a clothing line for Target, sunglasses and goggles for Oakley (a partnership dating back to 2001), a gear line for Burton Snowboards, and two video games — Shaun White Snowboarding and Shaun White Skateboarding — for Ubisoft.

In addition to endorsing BF Goodrich Tires, he also just became the face, smile and (presumably) breath of Stride gum.

White licensed his name to the Kraft-owned brand for a unique product named for the athlete, Whitemint gum, that retails for $1.49, according to the New York Times. The Times points out that celebrities have appeared in a few gum commercials recently (Serena and Venus Williams doubled up for a Doublemint campaign while Marlon Wayans appeared in a Dentyne commercial), but gum is rarely named for a celebrity. The Times does come up with one of those, though: LeBron Lightning Lemonade, which made its debut in 2005 and was only on the market for two years. 

“What the category has been to date has really been about the promotion of functional benefits and attributes of the product,” said Maurice Herrera, senior director of United States gum brands for Kraft, according to the Times. “We as a portfolio are looking at how we can establish a greater level of relevance and make our brands more relatable.”

Back in January, Bloomberg Businessweek rated White just behind Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning as the second most powerful athlete of 2011. With Manning sidelined by an injury and White’s star on the rise, it will be interesting to see if the order’s reversed on the 2012 ranking.