‘Gold Rush’: New Equipment on the Show Sparks Sponsorship Questions Among Fans

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The show may be reality TV, but there’s nothing gets past Gold Rush fans. Especially when it comes to big ol’ logos on new, shiny equipment.

Thankfully, Redditor rob_p954 is here to ask the question on Gold Rush fan’s minds with an inquiry titled “All their equipment?”

Specifically, they want to know “Has anyone ever spoke of their equipment deal? Like, how do the come up with all the new machines? Is there a deal for them to get Volvo machines for free, or some type of rental?”

Over on Reddit’s active Gold Rush board, other viewers are quick to jump in. And one fellow fan, dabarber74, seems to have the answer on lockdown.

“Yep, if it isn’t blurred out somebody is getting paid to get on TV,” they answer. But it’s never as simple as that, is it? Especially when it comes to television sponsorships and pro-bono work. Which is what prompts Redditor hhhgguuu to reply with: “It’s either free or rented at a huge discount. Volvo sees it as a marketing opportunity.”

Extra points for the Volvo call-out! As Gold Rush viewers will undoubtedly have noticed by now, Volvo’s logo is all over the show these days. Others echo this sentiment, with u/well-that-was-fast responding: “Agreed, judging from the every increasing amounts of Volvo logos on this show, they must discount a lot.

“It’s practically the ‘Gold Rush As Brought to You by Volvo’ show at this point,” they continue. With “jackets, shirts, camera framing showing their logo, whole episodes about front end loaders, etc.”

Yep. We’re just waiting for the show’s title change to Volvo’s Gold Rush at this point.

‘Gold Rush: Brought to You By Volvo’

Yet as the same Redditor points out, “Do people decide what kind of loader to buy based on TV advertising? I guess they must. Kinda weird…”

That’s not exactly how exposure works. But Volvo is certainly getting a whole lot of facetime with Gold Rush viewers through their efforts. And surely it’s making an impact, as u/betaich says: “The marketing seems to work or Volvo wouldn’t pay for it.”

You’d be surprised. In television, it’s all about exposure. Yet as Redditor tomhalejr points out, the “real world” is a whole different ballgame.

“IRL, there are essentially three options,” they say. Said options are:

1.) Buy. 100% cash money out of pocket. That’s more Tony’s game. Buy the land, buy the equipment,…

2.) Lease. Parker is actually the smartest/youngest person (as far as the show is concerned) to figure this out. A “20 YO kid” doesn’t get leased $1M+ in equipment, unless there’s some generational wealth behind backing the “kids” play. :)

3.) As far as “renting” is concerned – As it is presented on the show – “Leasing” equipment from an individual who owns said equipment, is essentially a “rental” agreement. Rick “leases” equipment as per the show. But, Rick is actually “renting” that equipment, practically speaking.

tomhalejr, Reddit

In the end, the Gold Rush fan still finds the show entertaining. “Even though I know it is subsidized by Discovery,” they say. “Just because, each party is not subsidized equally, and each party approaches those subsidies from a different perspective.”

Now there’s a good way to look at it! It is reality television, after all. But thankfully, Gold Rush typically remains damn good reality television.