The world’s best professional surfers are currently in Lemoore, California’s “crispy” water doing turns, getting barreled, delighting the judges though maybe not the spectators. Our Jen See is there and a report from hell will be filed shortly but while we are waiting, might we discuss the World Surf League’s Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer and her inspirational message delivered from Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch just yesterday.
Pairing a black sun dress with black glasses, Miley-Dyer shared how emotional she felt in making equal pay between male and female surfers on tour. How Caroline Marks makes ten-times more than she did when she, herself, was surfing professionally and how that’s the way it should be.
The video was introduced thusly:
It’s five years ago, here at Surf Ranch, that we announced equal prize money for men and women for all of our Tours. It is always special for me to reflect on what equal prize money means to me – for the @wsl to place an equal value on men’s and women’s performances, and for surfing to make a statement in doing so. It is what I am most proud of. Lemoore, you will always have a special place in my heart. Happy to be here and excited for this weekend ahead!
Beautiful and Miley-Dyer has always taken sole credit for the beauty, praising herself regularly while accepting awards for the achievement, celebrating herself in speeches, though that narrative has been brutalized by a just-published Forbes feature on the CEO of U.S. Ski and Snowboard, one Sophie Goldschmidt.
But do you remember her? The British tennis enthusiast acted as CEO of the World Surf League for three heady years. According to the important financial magazine:
Goldschmidt, who served as CEO of the World Surf League (WSL) from 2017 to 2020 and notably led the historic implementation of equal prize money for men and women, saw these opportunities for growth at U.S. Ski & Snowboard. As an avid lifelong skier herself, then, it was a no-brainer to step into the President and CEO role in October 2021.
Uh oh. Goldschmidt led the historic implementation of equal prize money for men and women?
Zero mention of Jessi Miley-Dyer?
The piece carries on, in any case, discussing how much money U.S. Ski and Snowboard is making, how both “visibility and revenue” are being amplified, a “total addressable audience” growing more than 200% to a whopping 245 million “across web, mobile apps and linear television,” a 13% increase in views of the Winter Olympics etc.
“Every four years we get turbocharged,” Goldschmidt said, speaking about those Olympics. “But we want a consistent drumbeat of coverage. We need to educate the U.S. market even more on this. We spend five months week in and week out competing on the World Cup stage; some would argue winning the [crystal] globe is more important than the Olympic medal.”
Major massive success though, again, no whisper of Jessi Miley-Dyer.
Do you imagine Dirk Ziff looks over at professional skiing and snowboarding and thinks… dang it?
Well, let’s turn our attention back to the Surf Ranch Pro, I suppose, and its sparse crowd and its noticeable lack of Red Bull branding on the skis.
More on that story soon.