The WSL Says, "Hello Facebook"
Not a title sponsor, but it's something!
In the wake of Samsung pulling their sponsorship, the WSL has announced their new partnership with Mark Zuck’s baby, Facebook. As the WSL presumably’s been looking to pick up any thing or one to fill the Samsung void, they’ve found an FB patch. Along with the traditional webcast streamed live on the WSL’s website, now the same real-time action will be presented on the WSL’s Facebook utilising Facebook Live.
Companies like Facebook, Jeep or Samsung’s interest in surfing is important for the survival of the WSL. A professional tour is what separates surfing from other board recreations. It's what made Kelly Slater an international icon. It serves as surfing’s final validation and without big named non-endemic companies backing, interaction on a global level suffers. Ask any grandparent, and they will tell you Facebook is bringing people together.
“One of my favourite things about surfing is that it's always evolving – the equipment, the approach, the progression," Jordy Smith told the WSL. "It's great to know that this evolution isn't limited to the water. Facebook is such a special place for different cultures to connect and now the evolution of surf will be shared beyond coastlines. Looking forward to a great year, although I just got a bit more nervous thinking about a few more million people watching my heats."
"As a truly digital-first League, streaming the entirety of our season on Facebook speaks to the pioneering nature of our sport,” said Tim Greenberg, WSL's Chief Community Officer. “With Facebook's scale, we can better serve even more fans by bringing the magic and drama of professional surfing directly to their feeds. It's an incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of sports media distribution."
This should remind us as the lifeline of surfing begins to feel flat, interest in it is at an all-time high. The live streaming partnership with Facebook will help surfing appeal to others, even if they appear pointless to the core, it's quite the contrary to business.