Kelly Slater has announced that he will end his association with clothing brand Quiksilver. The 42 year old surfer had been with the company for over 23 years.
Slater has decided that the time is right for him to set up his own brand that, in his words, “combines my love of clean living, responsibility and style.” He will work with The Kering Group, the French conglomerate that owns Gucci, Puma and Volcom. “The inspiration for this brand comes from the people and cultures I encounter in my constant global travels and this is my opportunity to build something the way I have always wanted to.” Kelly said.
Since turning pro at the age of 18 in 1990, Kelly and Quiksilver have shared a successful partnership, including the launch of his own line of clothing. When he won his 10th world crown, he had the option of a multimillion dollar bonus or a 3% ownership stake in Quiksilver. He chose the latter.
The split with Quiksilver is amicable. “There aren’t enough pages or words to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the experiences that have come from this relationship we’ve shared together.” Kelly said.
Kelly Slater has been the poster boy for endorsements throughout the modern times of surfing. The 5 year deal he had signed with Quiksilver in 2009 was worth an estimated $400,000 per year, excluding royalties from his clothing line and bonuses. With these factored in, it’s possible his income from Quiksilver would have reached over $2 million per year. He also has deals with GoPro, Kommunity Project, Chia seeds and Channel Islands. Surfing magazine Stab estimates his recent sponsorship earnings to be in the vicinity of $3.4 million per year.
Slater is managed by Terry Hardy, who also has John John Florence as a client. Florence holds the record for this highest endorsement deal by a surfer, signing a 5 year, $16 million deal with Hurley.