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Sponsor Me: The WSL Goes Chasing Cash

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Even the masters of the game of pro surfing have to make a buck to keep the show rolling… 

It ain’t easy putting on a multi-million dollar surf circus every month. That infrastructure don’t put itself up and those commentators and cameramen and tech guys and gals all need airfares, a reasonable sorta stipend and some place to stay.

Three, four mill, is what it takes, depending on the finer points of the event. And since none of us are paying for those expensive-to-produce webcasts and it’s mostly free to watch an event on the beach, how’s the World Surf League gonna make ends meet?

Advertising, partnerships, branded content. The same biz model that drives newspapers and magazines, online and print, enabling us to pay $10 for a 200-page mag and get our paper journalism for only a couple of shekels and our websites mostly for free, but a biz model that leaves businesses vulnerable as hell.

And so, like of all us, even BeachGrit when we eventually start trading ideas for cash, the WSL is knocking on doors. They got Samsung, they go GoPro. But they need more or else it’s all going to end up in the sinkhole of failed dreams.

To chase money, you gotta have what’s called a media kit. Now let’s examine.

The sixth word on the WSL sponsor page is “millennial.” As in “youth” as in “marketing jargon for youth” as in “pedophiles talkin’ ’bout kids.”

“We understand and engage with millennials…”

Ummmmmmmm, really? Professional surfing, wrapped in the clothing of 2007 Fox Sports West with the voice of Pat Parnell, is what millennials dig? Complicated and subjective scoring systems? They like? Raoni Montiero?

Ummmmmmmm, yeah?


“We are in a growth business. Fortune estimates by 2017 the global surf industry will generate more than $13 billion. Worldwide participation is growing by +30 percent annually.”

I’m at least happy that surfing is an almost 17 billion dollar industry with 30% year-on-year growth.

“We are marketers, who seek to collaborate with brands on programming that achieves measurable objectives and leaves the world a better place,” says the WSL.

Who doesn’t!

Examine the document yourself by clicking here!