Treasure Hunting Shows

Does Gold Rush get free equipment?

The exact details of Gold Rush’s brand deals are unknown, but the show does have partnerships with quite a few equipment brands.

Before Gold Rush started airing all the way back in 2010, many people all around the world did not have the faintest idea what it meant to mine for gold in remote claims scattered all over Alaska.

However, now, fourteen seasons down the line, many devoted Gold Rush fans still have some questions about what exactly happens when the cameras stop rolling.

Who pays for the Gold Rush equipment?

If you have been a Gold Rush fan for a long time, chances are, you have heard the adage “you have to spend money to make money” quite a few times throughout the years.

But with the crews’ various operations just getting bigger and bigger every year, questions have started surfacing about who is actually doing the spending.

The reality is that we have seen many of the fan-favorite Gold Rush stars complain about money leaving their pockets through the years, but with the show’s close affiliation with Volvo Construction and other brands – we would not be surprised if they got some of their equipment for free (or, at least at a heavily discounted price).

Gold Rush through the seasons

Gold Rush has aired 14 seasons and more than 300 total episodes to date, as follows:

Season Episodes Premiere date
Season 1 10 December 3, 2010
Season 2 20 October 28, 2011
Season 3 16 October 26, 2012
Season 4 20 October 25, 2013
Season 5 25 October 17, 2014
Season 6 22 October 16, 2015
Season 7 22 October 14, 2016
Season 8 20 October 13, 2017
Season 9 22 October 12, 2018
Season 10 22 October 11, 2019
Season 11 22 October 23, 2020
Season 12 24 September 24, 2021
Season 13 26 September 30, 2022
Season 14 23 September 29, 2023

Television and product placement

The very first time a television show was sponsored was a 1946 boxing match between Joe Louis and Billy Conn, proudly brought to audiences across the United States by Gilette.

And while many people assume that modern-day television sponsorships are limited to advertisement breaks and informercials, the reality is that sponsorships have become quite difficult to spot.

These days, brand sponsorships can range from long-term partnerships and to licensed products, to cleverly integrated product placements.

And with Gold Rush still bringing in an average of almost two million viewers per week in its two most recent seasons, it is really no wonder that brands would be chomping at the bit to get in on the action.

Gold Rush has now been firmly established as its own brand (and its stars as celebrities in their own right). And just like any other mutually-beneficial partnership; strategic brand alliances can help the show to grow even bigger.

The Gold Rush brand partnerships

Carefully crafted non-disclosure agreements mean that outsiders will likely never know the full truth behind what goes into the making of Gold Rush.

But, while no Gold Rush star has ever admitted it, there seems to be quite the special bond between the show and brands like Volvo Construction Equipment, or even Miller.

The Miller website has an entire section dedicated to the brand’s “partnership” with the Gold Rush cast, as does Volvo Construction Equipment.

And if you keep up with the stars of Gold Rush outside of the show, you will likely know that several stars, including Tony Beets, Todd Hoffman, and even Parker Schnabel have gone out on a limb to promote Volvo Construction Equipment on social media (and at various conventions).

However, until the specifics of these brand deals are confirmed, we will not know exactly how much the brands pay to be endorsed by the show, or how much the Gold Rush stars actually pay for their equipment.

How much does running a Gold Rush operation cost?

While the exact deal between the Gold Rush stars and the show’s various brand partners remains a mystery, it is easy to see why these miners would take any opportunity to cut down on their equipment costs.

In 2021, Tony Beets revealed that he had to fork out $7 million for new equipment in order to expand his operation. Moreover, Parker Schnabel recently spent about $15 million to purchase some new ground for Gold Rush’s new season.

If you take into account all of the other maintenance and supply costs, along with wages (which Parker Schnabel revealed totals up to $40,000 per person per season for his crew in an old Reddit AMA) it is evident that running a Gold Rush mining operation could easily cost millions of dollars per season.

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