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Today In “News That Won’t Affect Your Daily Life Whatsoever”

The WSL’s got a new CEO. 

news // Jul 20, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The WSL’s search for a CEO is over. Announced today, Sophie Goldschmidt has been appointed the new overlord of professional surfing. 

A move which proves Bobby Martinez a man with Nostradamus-esque foresight. Previously, Goldschmidt was in a leadership role with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and is a former pro tennis player herself. 

Goldschmidt’s last gig was at the NBA as the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of EMEA, where she endeavoured to expand pro basketball in Europe.

“Sophie is a wonderful executive with an incredible breadth of experience and relationships across a variety of markets and sports organizations,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a prepared statement by the WSL. “Having worked with her firsthand, I know she will be a great leader for the WSL and will bring unmatched innovation, passion, and vision to the role.”

Beside tennis and the NBA, Goldschmidt’s other resume items include time with Adidas and the Rugby Football Union. She is also currently a non-executive director for the PGA European Tour and the Youth Sport Trust.

On her LinkedIn profile she notes that while at the WTA she “brokered the $88M Sony Ericsson title sponsorship—the largest sponsorship deal in the history of women’s sports.” That could come in handy given the WSL’s purported issues with securing big sponsorship dollars.

A graduate of Baylor University in Texas, her credentials in the mainstream sports world are impeccable. She’s received numerous awards for being a successful, up-and-coming sports executive under 40. 

“It is an honor to lead the WSL,” said Goldschmidt in her WSL press statement. “The League has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and has pioneered incredible innovations to transform surfing into a remarkable, digital-first and world-class sport that naturally also transcends into the lifestyle sector so well. I am confident the future holds incredible potential and I am excited to lead WSL into its next phase of growth.”

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Does she surf? All available information points to no. But who cares, right? We’re living in an age of Wave Storms and lycra. This is a “rapidly changing sport,” as the WSL puts it. (Never mind the industry’s heavy reliance on nostalgia and that the J-Bay Open’s “expression session” was on Lis-style fishes.)

“In her role as CEO, Goldschmidt will focus on leveraging the once-in-a-generation opportunity to evolve the landscape of competitive surfing around the world with the Kelly Slater Wave Company and its groundbreaking technology, in addition to the inclusion of surfing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” says the WSL’s presser.

Wavepools and gold medals appear to be what the immediate future of the WSL holds. Ah whatever, I’m going surfing. 

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