"May end years of stagnation in the sport."
What was dubbed “The Dream Tour” by the ASP several years ago has buckled under tightened budgets and a bad business plan. Though the ASP has grown and shown areas of positive improvement, the one area it was seriously lacking was in media ownership.
Now, Kelly Slater’s manager has swooped in and purchased the media rights to the ASP, as announced on The Australian here. This move, in itself is a smart, calculated move by Terry Hardy, Slater’s manager. ZoSea is the name of his team’s entity, and their move should have several positive effects on the ASP in the future.
The ASP deserves credit for knowing enough to know they don’t have the mettle to grow into a thriving and growing worldwide sport tethered directly to the same companies that backed the surfers, and funded many of their careers. The lessened influence and ownership of events by the surf companies is a huge box checked, if that is in fact achieved.
But what does that make of Kelly Slater? Does this stamp 2012 as his last year on tour? Will he be a force in some form of media output to come from this new deal? After all, his manager’s team is bringing dollars and taking ownership stake. Would it be fair and right for Slater to stay in the hunt for a title when the man who runs his business affairs owns a share of the ASP?
I wasn’t being prescient when I posted this about Slater being the ASP. In fact, maybe now he will be in ways we never imagined. It would be interesting to hear from Slater on how much of the shaping of this deal came from his input.