The momentum of the Championship Tour, the World Surf League and professional surfing is... uh oh.
Shockwaves are currently reverberating throughout the surf universe this evening, stunned faces, stuttering mouths dribbling the creamed corn they were trying to enjoy for dinner, as, moments ago, a rumor surfaced suggesting the World Surf League has laid off its Chief Financial Officer and multiple others mere hours away from the Surf Ranch Pro kickoff.
Sources close to the levers of power in the World Surf League’s Santa Monica offices have shared that the devastating job destructions were entirely unexpected and ruthlessly executed though the Chief Executive Erik Logan and the Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer remain safe.
But the Chief Financial Officer, and multiple others, are through. Entirely surprising seeing as just months ago, Logan stood before a vast audience of hundreds and declared, “We have not even had the biggest day in pro surfing yet and we’ve already eclipsed some of the most amazing milestones we’ve seen in the history of the sport. Already this has been the most consumed live digital audience in the history of professional surfing before this day has ever happened. We’re up 13.4%, precisely, we like precise numbers. We’re ahead of that before the biggest day in professional surfing. The momentum of the Championship Tour, the World Surf League and professional surfing is real.”
He later declared, “This year will be a record-breaking revenue year for the history of professional surfing on a couple of different vectors. Not only in terms of revenue, but equally as important, in terms of a record number of partners that are on and how we’re seeing the renewals going down the road in terms of the partners re-signing. This is truly exciting.”
One of those partners was, of course, a regional Australian ladder company who signed on for the 2023 and 2024 seasons and very much looked forward to the continuation of the successful onsite activation. The “Bailey Ladders Leaderboard” was also greenlit for the live broadcast and across WSL’s social media channels.
“The WSL is happy to have Bailey Ladders increase their involvement to include the CT events in Australia for the next two years,” the World Surf League’s Australia-Pacific President Andrew Stark stated. “We had incredible feedback from fans onsite and watching from home on the Bailey Ladders Leaderboard. We look forward to continuing this activation across four events in 2023 and 24, both onsite and online. We’d like to thank them for their ongoing support and for seeing the value in professional surfing.”
Neither vectors nor ladders were enough to stave off the hounds and the CFO, and multiple others, are now, allegedly, finished making dreams come true. But does this bit of quality gossip force you to pause and consider the overall health of professional surfing? The fortitude of its billionaire owner Dirk Ziff? The shared abilities/competence of Logan and Miley-Dyer?
Or does the bloodletting make you feel that sound business minds are prevailing? That Lee Iacocca has been reincarnated and doing painful but smart stuff that will allow professional surfing to soar like baby boomer years Ford?
Ahhh Lee Iacocca.
Did you ever read Talking Straight by Lee Iacocca?
Maybe now is the time.
Candles, anyhow, for the World Surf League’s ex Chief Financial Officer.