It’s 2014—Burton is essentially a household name, the company is a snowboarding empire and the sport itself is established as a partner sport to skiing rather than the fringe movement it was just years ago. If you had told anyone this was possible back in the early 70s, they would have laughed in your face—anyone but Jake Burton Carpenter, that is.
Snowboarding has grown quickly, but many people don’t realize that it has done all of its growing in the last 40 years. The inception of snowboarding coincided with the founding of Burton Snowboards and both have grown together ever since. The sport was internationally recognized in 1998 at the Nagano Winter Olympics and today the popular pastime is permitted at all but 3 major U.S. ski resorts (Mad River Glen, Alta and Deer Valley). To which Burton says, “power to the poachers.” In 2007 they offered a $5,000 reward to the person or crew that poached each forbidden American resort and put together the best video.
So, we all know that Burton breaks the rules while also ruling the American snowboard market—we just can’t get enough of this Vermont brand. But did you know that Burton controls approximately 40 percent of the snowboard market worldwide? Despite the fact that Burton is a private company, which means they don’t have to release financial information, estimates peg annual profits between $100 million and $700 million.
Dedication to the brand doesn’t stop with the riders who purchase Burton products. Burton fields an elite team of snowboarders, some of the best in the world. Without a doubt you’ve heard of these big name stars; Shaun White, Kelly Clark, Danny Davis, Hannah Teter, the list goes on and on. While you may be familiar with Burton’s line-up of snow stars, you’ll be surprised by how early Shaun White was rocking Burton Gear.
Wondering what kind of special treatment Burton employees get? Curious about the value of antique Burton boards? Do you know what sparked a protest at Burton headquarters?