John John launches his own brand
In terms of sponsorship, John John Florence has broken two records in the surfing world: In 2013 he commanded surfing's highest pay cheque when he signed with Hurley for USD $30 million, and last year he walked out on the biggest pay cheque when he left Hurley with $12 million left on the table.
The former showed John's marketability, the latter his desire for independence.
Overnight he combined the two when he publicly launched his own brand, Florence Marine X.
“I am excited to announce Florence Marine X, an apparel brand I am proud to launch alongside Bob Hurley, who has been an inspiration to me over the years, along with longtime friends and industry leaders,” John John said by way of press release.
It was Bob Hurley who drove the bidding for Florence in 2013, saying at the time: “John John has that special talent that only comes around every few decades or so. Needless to say, I’m humbled, honored, and so looking forward to supporting John John as he revolutionises surfing over and over again.”
At the time John signed with Hurley it was owned by Nike, yet they provided the Hurley family autonomy to run the company. That arrangement changed when Nike sold Hurley to Blue Star Alliance, who promptly gutted it causing Bob Hurley, and his sons Jeff and Ryan, to walk away from the company he started.
When John John also walked away from Hurley, a co-venture was suspected, and Florence Marine X is the result.
Undoubtedly, the name is long-winded, yet it could've been even longer as the 'X' stands for 'exploration'. The press release states that Florence Marine X will create, “products for outdoor exploration and thriving in the elements, while doing its best to protect the ocean and the land.”
Their website or social channels show no further signs of abbreviation - Flomax?
It's worth noting that John John now joins Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds as surfers who walked away from lucrative contracts to start their own company.
Florence Marine X, which plans to launch in the spring of 2021, will reportedly include men’s apparel, wetsuits, boardshorts, and other pieces.