After a few weeks of backroom manoeuvring, this morning it has been reported that John John Florence has peeled his Hurley sticker off and is officially off the team.
Last Haloween the brand was purchased from Nike by Bluestar Alliance, the Hurley family promptly removed from their posts and a new team of corporate lawyers handed a scythe with which to go at the world’s most talented surf team.
In early January, according to Stab, the brand’s lawyers sent out an email to every surfer on the team whose contract featured anything close to a get-out clause informing them their time was effectively up.
Carissa Moore, Rob Machado, Michel Bourez and Eli Hanneman were all gone.
And now, John too has either walked or been pushed, accepting a rumoured $2 million payout to get out of the remainder of his 2-year contract- reportedly worth $12 million.
Stab postulates there are two ways the two times world champ could go now:
One, John picks up a big name non-surf brand sponsor who fills the financial gap left by Hurley. Or two, he signs with a smaller surf brand for far less dough.
However, it seems there is a third, perhaps more likely scenario for a surer of his status and nouse. Following the route followed by Craig, Dane and Slater after they split with their capitalist overlords, John could start his own brand.
And look here, he already has a separate Instagram page, with its own brand name, a not insignificant 60k followers and its own inspiring tag line. Could Parallelsea be about to join Outerknown and Former as the third in the great resurgence of surfer run brands?
Or perhaps John will go the way of other top athletes/ instagram influencers and make his crust through a series of single campaign collaborations and one-off endorsements.
Most importantly, do you even care? Do the sponsorship deals of the sport’s best really affect your life one iota? Let us know in the comments.