"That's not normal for most sports."
Shock news out of the WSL’s Santa Monica office as breakaway staff members, including its Chief Strategy and Brand Officer and veteran of fifteen years and four months, Mr Dave Prodan, shatter the previously impregnable Wall of Positive Noise™ to single out a much-loved heritage surfing magazine for censure.
During a recording of the WSL podcast, The Lineup, and in a sub-program called Break Room, where other WSL employees are brought into the game, in this case marketing coordinator, Lyndsey Volk, podcast producer Ryan Faucett, art director Kimberly Hogan and Henry Bear, role unknown, a listener’s question is read out.
“Is there a rivalry with Stab or is it good for the brand to have an antagonist?”
An unnamed employee unloads,
“Hmmm. It’s an interesting question. So, I work in marketing, for me there’s no rivalry with Stab. They cover us. They’re a media outlet who cover surfing so they naturally cover the best in the world, but it’s not like I’m going on my day-to day, uh, job writing promos or emails saying (funny voice)… oooh… I wonder what Stab’s going to say about this or (funny voice)… ooooh… I’m going too throw this clip in there and see how Stab reacts.
“But I read a lot of sports media and I have seldom seen a media outlet cover the sport that they love and specifically cover so… (voice raises an octave) negatively… I guess is the word. I feel like there’s a way to have fun with it, like you see Deadspin, stuff like that.
“I’m not saying there’s no place for criticism in sports, I mean, it’s everywhere, I think the question comes for the fact that most coverage the WSL gets from Stab is negative and that’s why people on Instagram are like, ‘Oh there’s rivalry, how are you responding?’ and are asking us as employees if it plays into our day-to-day jobs.
“That’s not normal for most sports…”
Following is an anecdote about Mad Men with the WSL casting itself as devil-may-care Don Draper and Stab magazine, a much-loved title founded in 2003, as a meaningless underling.
1. When did the Stab vs the WSL vendetta begin and how did I miss?
2. Do you, or can you, speak fluent passive-aggressive, as per WSL employees?
(With thanks to BeachGrit reader, Mr Wilson, for listening to the podcast until the forty-minute mark were the exchange takes place.)