Do sponsored players earn a lving just from getting sponsored?

Yes! When I first started my dad had seen the actual broadcast and showed me, I watch it once a month at least when im bored doing homework! That is the funniest thing. I didnt click your link yet, but I like the one where once he starts doing it you can hear him say"What .should I do" in the background

Yup, that’s sheer genius what he pulled off.  I wish the yoyo community would create a new 8-A class because you have to use 8 yoyos!

No.  You can’t make $200 on a throw that cost’s $150.  If it cost roughly $40 to make it (Per yo, keep in mind that when you are making them, you make runs of around a hundred, so a whole run would cost roughly $4000), then you sell it wholesale at a little more than half the price to make money.  If you sell it wholesale to YoYoExpert for $90, they have to make money, so they’re probably going to sell it for about $115 (Just an estimate, I don’t know YoYoExpert’s markup).  Another thing to keep in mind is that machining the double rims on a Chief-like yoyo takes extra cuts, so it costs more to machine.  Then beadblasting, Center-Trak bearings and Splash anodizing add up to the cost.  A raw yoyo would sell for a lot less.

We are working towards it.

Last year we initiated a program where our to level sponsored players received a pro player ‘salary’’ but realistically, this money the usually spent to get to more contests (which could earn more result incentives). On top of that there are royalties from yoyos, we have a video and contest incentive program and various other ‘bonuses’. We paid out well over 2x our total profits on team expenditure BUT the top guys only made 10-20k…hardly a living.

Currently the industry isn’t huge and there is no money from outside the industry for sponsorship. looking at a much bigger industry, Surfing, Quiksilver just CUT almost its whole team, keeping only a couple of marque names… so there is a lot of debate in other industries to the core belief of endorsements. Its pretty clear we like the idea, we just dropped a dozen signature models in our champions collection. If you want to support the players more go buy their models!!

So to answer the question, even at the top, not yet. At the bottom, some brands SELL their product to sponsored players at discounts and don’t even provide string.


That K-Strass is a genius hes had a recurring role on the office for 3-4 years now all from those stupid videos.

this is pretty much the only way you will ever be able to make a living yoyo-ing

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^ attitudes like that are one of the reasons why. If people on a yoyo forum can’t take what we do seriously how can we expect a wider audience?


haha, I wasn’t expecting to be attacked by the dude who owns yyf when I posted that… I think yoyo-ing should be fun man! Steve is a huge influence in the yoyo world, and his stuff is always fun! If yoyoing got business suit serious, it would lose it’s soul.
Maybe someday they will have yoyoing in the olympics, or it will have a large following by non-throwers, Maybe someday it will be the “norm” for an adult to play with something that is deemed a kids toy by the general public, and that is all good. But a yoyo will forever be a toy. A toy that makes us all happy, and makes others happy when they see the crazy things it can do! Steve was willing to do something that crazy to make people laugh, and to be happy, man!
I love yoyoing, and would love to see it reach out to more people in the world, but I really don’t see why posting a funny video of an amazing pro who is willing to go up on stage and give it his all in a tutu dress is destroying the image of yoyoing. I can’t tell if you were offended about the posting of this video, or if you are offended by the video, but i am sorry that you were offended. That was not at all my intention by posting the aforementioned video.

The problem is that there are different ideas about what is that we do –
1. Have fun.
2. Expand the market.
3. Shop till we drop.

Only #2 and #3 require any degree of seriousness.

I can’t help but suspect that Ben wasn’t attacking Steve in that reply… admittedly, the point wasn’t entirely clear, but I think it’s been missed.

My interpretation:

Ben took that video as a way of saying ‘the only way to make money with yoyos is to be ridiculous and put on a silly show’…

His reply was to that idea in general. If people don’t take yoyos seriously, it will never be a way to make real money… it needs to get beyond the ‘it’s a toy’ or ‘dance monkey, dance!’ on stage… it needs to be perceived in the same way skating or other huge businesses are. That’s the only way sponsored players will ever do it full time professionally, the only way we’ll see massive growth in the industry, the only way we’ll be able to start handing out huge cash prizes.





It used to be that Ben was always supportive of me taking off my pants in public.

And now…

Where’s the love, Ben?

Where’s the love?


I think the main problem is throwing will never be perceived as a sport. If it did, I can see it fitting well in something like the X Games.

A secondary problem is, to many non-throwers, yoyoing just isn’t exhilarating to watch. People who watch BMX: BMXers and those who like to see insane stunts, but it makes moderate money and is sometimes high stakes. People who watch poker: Poker players and insomniacs, but it makes a ton of money and is always high stakes.

Yoyos are a very niche market, much more so than a lot of other hobbies and interests. So the ability of it reaching a mass audience that both understand it and appreciate it is slim, and because of that, advertisers and media companies don’t see the value in spending money on it.

Has there ever been an attempt to get into the X Games? Or even a coordinated effort to livestream competitions on the web?

I think livestreaming competitions would be cool. Have it set up like any other sporting event: Showcase underdogs and the stars; have interviews in between sets; allow companies to showoff their products; have behind-the-scenes looks at manufacturing, product testing and distribution; preface the event with an email campaign then hold live giveaways based on submissions. There are so many things that can be done to help get throwing recognized.

Of course, these things cost money. But you gotta spend money to make money, and I’d say, if entities in the yoyo world are wanting to be serious about this, then the stuff mentioned above is a good way to start.

Quite honestly, I think the only reason that yoyoing doesn’t have a larger “non-throwing” fan base is for the simple fact that they do not understand it. Where does the vast majority of general public see yoyoing? 1A/Contests. Granted the other divisions aren’t any better but the majority is 1A. What’s at contests? The lame a** excuse for what we call a hobby. It’s all about “lets make this thing move as fast as possible so that to the public it looks like a blur.” Heck even half the yoyoers can hardly tell whats being done on stage. They see it are awestruck for a second and then go on their merry way because it cannot be understood without having spent countless hours doing it yourself.

Every day I see more and more people fascinated with other divisions.
2A - This is what most people know as yoyoing. It’s relatable. It’s flashy and fun
4A - Yoyo not on a string, more likely to stop and ask how or just watch for longer than it takes for them to get confused and walk away.
5A - yoyo not attached to hand see 4A.

All these players get so hyped over speed and the scoring system it takes away from the public. Who cares if we know whats going on? Everyone always complains about not reaching a wider audience but they don’t see that we are excluding them, and limiting ourselves to grow as a community.

By saying it’s because it’s a toy is a cop out. Like a skateboard isn’t a toy. Like riding a bicycle isn’t a toy or hobby just the same. So I will repeat myself, by saying it is just a toy, it is a cop out, and your mentality retards the community as a whole. People like watching stuff they can’t do. Just look at the following behind Nascar, Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Heck just watch X-games or the olympics. Where do we fall short? Why not us? Why are we not there yet? Because of you. Every single one of you that is waiting for someone else to do it. Waiting for the public to finally notice.

No, the vast majority of the public sees yoyoing through a window of memory, recalling a childhood in which “walk the dog” and “rock the baby/cradle” were the string tricks you had to know, and if you could do a 3-leaf clover looping trick, you were the boss.

Nothing wrong with those memories at all (and I cannot do 3-leaf clover, so I’m not the boss yet!); just saying that’s where the public is. The vast majority of the public does not know that 1A, 2A, and international contests exist. Never mind any other yoyoing division.

Just because they don’t know what the difference between divisions means, does not mean they don’t know they exist.
Yes, some only know it to be as you have stated, but so many more have seen it the way it is now. Most contests are in a public place where there is general populace attendance. On top of Major network coverage (though clips and excerpts) yoyoing as a whole is much more widespread than most seem to think. We just don’t have anything to really draw them in besides the demos and touring people do, outside of contests.

I can totally see what you’re saying.

I yoyod a lot in the late 1990s, but just recently got back into it. I mean, I remember when pulling off a UFO was considered amazing, and ball bearing throws were the new (and expensive) jam.

So I get back into it this year and I’m just wowed by the different styles of play, different kinds of yoyos available and all of the various strings out there. It makes sense that the hobby evolved over the years, but it is kind of overwhelming.

Now I’m learning everything for the first time again. I don’t mind it at all, but GregP speaks the truth: The public is disconnected from what this hobby is like now.

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I appreciate your optimism, but I haven’t met a single person who knows that there is more than old-school string tricks and a bit of looping. Even those who are now aware of modern yoyoing (since there are two of us at my workplace now, the rest of the staff are at least aware!) do not understand the term “1A”.

I’m not saying nobody in the world except yoyoers know these terms. Surely some people do. I’m saying the majority doesn’t.

Imagine if you will, you’re watching a news report… first of all, it’s a miracle that yo-yo is being covered at all. But you can bet your life that the reporter will qualify any specialized terms. “The most popular division is for playing with the yoyo on the string, also called ‘string tricks’ or ‘1A’” (or something similar).

I’d be absolutely astonished if anybody would take for granted that the term “1A” would be understood. It would be utter chaos if you then covered the rest of the As in the story. :wink:

A bit closer to home… you’re talking to someone and you have no idea if they’re aware of the yoyo world or not. They ask you what your passions are, are you honestly telling me you wouldn’t bat an eye and with a straight face would say “I throw a lot of 1A yoyo, though I dabble a bit in 5A as well.”

Even saying “I play modern style yoyo” gets raised eyebrows, and that’s the best I can offer people in a conversation! “What makes it ‘modern’? What’s different?” are always the follow-up questions.