The New York Times has an interesting article spotlighting the growing trend of skateboard companies and fellow apparel brands sponsoring youths as young as 7.  Considering that 6 – 11 year olds make up 43% of a five billion dollar industry, it’s not surprising companies are clamoring to give emerging talents some free gear.

The NYT’s writes:

Although the value of sponsorships starts out modestly for the youngest — usually free equipment, apparel and minimal monetary payment — the rewards are great for those who continue to excel. Ryan Sheckler, 17, first won an X Games gold medal four years ago. Today, he earns in the low six figures in prize money alone, with sponsorship deals adding significantly to that. Nyjah Huston was 11 when he competed on the Dew Action Sports Tour and at the X Games in the summer of 2006, earning tens of thousands in prize money.

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