Red Bull signs with WSL, surfing at ‘powerful inflection point’ – Goldschmidt

The World Surf League (WSL) has signed a three-year, multi-tour deal with energy drink giant Red Bull.

The global partnership includes title sponsorship of the Red Bull Airborne Series – a new, three-event series specialising in aerial surfing.

WSL will launch the series in three locations this year: Gold Coast in Australia (April), Keramas in Bali (May), and Soorts-Hossegor in France (October).

The partnership will also see Red Bull serve as the Official Energy Drink of the Championship Tour, Big Wave Tour and Big Wave Awards through 2021.

Sophie Goldschmidt, chief executive of WSL, told SportBusiness Sponsorship: “In this global partnership, Red Bull will activate around three of our surfing tours, in addition to producing original content with WSL.

“All these aspects of the deal will continue to build Red Bull’s footprint in surfing globally.

“Red Bull are incredible storytellers, and with the brand activating across its platforms, more fans will see this content and engage with our athletes and events.”

Goldschmidt, formerly group managing director at CSM Sport & Entertainment and chief commercial and marketing officer at the Rugby Football Union, said WSL is increasingly attracting major brands and industry talent to the sport.

“Surfing is at a powerful inflection point now, especially with the incredible WSL WaveCo technology available to us, and as surfing makes its debut in the 2020 Olympics.

“There is also the world’s growing concern with ocean conservation, which sits at the heart of what we stand for.

“Surfing transcends into lifestyle probably better than any other sport, and as those two sectors collide, it’s a fantastic opportunity for the WSL.

“We are very proud of the milestones we have hit in the past year, including introducing equal prize money for all WSL-controlled events, running two brand-new, ticketed events at the Surf Ranch [artificial wave pool] and growing the profiles of our athletes.”

In the last two years, WSL sponsors have included brands such as Quiksilver/Roxy, Rip Curl, Billabong, Hurley, Vans, Outerknown, Oi, Moche, Jeep, Michelob Ultra, Corona, AirBnB, Hydroflask and Swat.