Q&A With World Surf League CEO Erik Logan - Stab Mag

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Q&A With World Surf League CEO Erik Logan

A talk about growing the sport and Olympic participation.

elsewhere // May 31, 2021
Words by Jack Mutschler
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Erik Logan recently sat down with Chris Kuc of the Sports Section to answer a few questions on the current state of competitive surfing. Erik expands on the challenges faced with growing the WSL, attracting landlocked viewers, and the impact the Olympics has on surfing. Check out some of Logan’s responses below.

What is the biggest challenge you face in growing the World Surf League?

No. 1, I think a lot of people don’t know that there actually is a professional league for surfing that’s been around since 1976. We crown world champions. Kelly Slater is our 11-time world champion. We’re the entity that does that. 

It was funny because when I left my job working in television, I said, “I’m going to the World Surf League,” and the first reaction of half the Hollywood people I talked to was, “Is that a thing?” I’m like, “Yeah, it’s actually a thing. It’s been around for a while.”

How big an impact do you expect the Olympics to have?

It’s going to be transformative for the sport of surfing. First and foremost — getting back to our prior point — is that when someone says surfing is going to be in the Olympics, there are people who will be like, “Wow, I didn’t even know surfing was a thing.”

The Olympics are introducing us to the balance of those people who would be interested or even aspire to be in our sport — to be like, “Oh, wow, OK.”

How do you get and keep viewers who are landlocked and perhaps won’t see an ocean for a long time?

When I joined the company, one of the things that I wanted to do was to tell more narratives outside of the jersey. Because that’s my background in terms of media and running companies. So we started a studio business, and we sold two major shows. 

 Read the full interview here.


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