World Surf League dealt blow as Samsung ends major sponsorship

Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung has opted to withdraw as title sponsor of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour, just days before the start of the 2017 season.

Samsung has supported the event for a number of years and in May 2015 signed a new multi-year deal to continue as title sponsor of both the men’s and women’s competitions.

Terms of the agreement have never been disclosed, but it is understood that Samsung had been paying upwards of $5m (€4.8m) per year.

Neither Samsung nor the WSL have disclosed the reasons behind the move, but Dave Prodan, communications manager for the WSL, has released a statement confirming the conclusion of the deal.

“Samsung has been a great partner for the surfing community over the past three years, elevating the sport to new heights and honouring the community’s heritage,” Prodan said. “We thank them for their partnership and look forward to an exciting 2017 season.

“The WSL is excited about upcoming announcements in the commercial space. More to come when available.”