Mick Fanning Signs 10-Year Deal With Rip Curl
47-year-olds can apply stickers, too.
Tonight, at the premiere of Stab in the Dark, Mick Fanning was presented with a contract locking him on Rip Curl for the next ten years. Mr Fanning has been with Rip Curl since 1998, and by the time his new contract is up, it will mark just over three decades of the Curl front and centre on the nose of his surfboard. And oh, how glorious the ride’s been, thus far!
Longtime friend and team manager, Ryan “Fletch” Fletcher, joined Mick on stage to ink him hand and hand with RC until he’s 47. In Mick’s time under the neoprene and apparel manufacturer, he’s won three world titles, had an infamous shark encounter during a highly publicised year of overcoming personal obstacles, founded Balter Brewing Company, Mick Fanning Softboards and so much more.
In the lead up to this signing, we caught up with Neil Ridgway, Rip Curl’s Chief Brand and Marketing Officer, for more on this 10-year deal.
Stab: Most people tend to lose market value off tour but that doesn’t seem the case with Mick. Does he have more value, less value or the same value as being on or off tour? Why?
Neil: Mick’s the most important surfer in the history of our company (outside of Claw and Brian themselves), basically, you don’t walk away from a relationship like that – especially when it’s still working and good fun. Anywhere he goes, we go.
He’s part of the fabric – he’s influential both inside and outside Rip Curl – so you’re not benchmarking him on numbers and rankings and performance like you are some others. “Value” is an odd concept applied to him.
The world title bonus is a well-publicised incentive. Any Mick incentives you could share with us? As in targets?
World title bonuses vary – we have won 11 in the last 10 years so we have a pretty good handle on the impact and some wins have more impact than others. There is no standard figure. Incentives don’t really fit into a deal like this with Mick. The next three years we expect he will be charging on “The Search” and working as hard as ever in a different way. After that? We will wheel the old bugger out for all the good parties and keep on having a good time.
Surfing’s Batman and Robin, Mick Fanning and Mason Ho on “The Search” in Alaska.
Is one of the joys of being a private company that the major players can make emotional and passionate decisions like this and not have to answer to stockholders?
If you know the Values at Rip Curl, and you make decisions around them, then no one is going to whack you for making a decision based on them. So yes, there’s a certain amount of freedom in that which lets you have a crack.
Will Mick still feature on the pointy end of our Rich List? Or, in other words, is this deal a rich figure deal?
You know Mick, he’s no dummy. Of course, it’s a good deal that suits him. I will say money wasn’t the first port of call, understanding what we might achieve in the decade ahead and the actual concept of “Let’s play for another 10 years, it ain’t over by a long shot,” as respect for his achievements is at the heart of it.
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