Surfest organizers have until end of September to find sponsor
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 August, 2014 - While a six-star men's event is assured for the event's 30th year thanks to ongoing support from long term sponsor Burton Family Toyota, Surfest chief Warren Smith says the search for a sponsor for an equivalent women's event is yet to prove fruitful.
"We have to advise the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) by the end of September whether we are locking in because the surfers are planning their schedules for 2015," Mr Smith said.
"As of yet we have no sponsor locked in. To run a six-star women's contest needs $US40,000 just in prize money but there's unavoidable organisational fees that push the overall cost to around AUD$55,000.
The last four years saw Hunter Sports Group back a six-star women’s competition, resulting in the majority of the world's top 17 female professionals donning the coloured singlets at Merewether Beach. That sponsorship deal concluded in 2014.
Significant changes to the professional surfing tour through privatisation - and subsequent increases in prize money at the elite level of the sport - mean offering less than a six-star contest may struggle to attract the stellar female talent that has been the staple at Surfest over the past four years.
The ASP Australasia General Manager Dane Jordan said that Surfest is one of the world’s most respected surfing events and that it had hosted some incredible women surfers through its 29-year history.
"Women’s surfing is one of the fasting growing sports in the world in regards to skill progression, level of participation and the amount of attention received from world-wide media and fans, " he said.
"Women’s surfing promotes healthy living and lifestyle that no other sport or sponsorship opportunity can compare to and Surfest and is a fantastic way to align a brand with the marketing and momentum that is women’s surfing," Mr Jordan said.
For more information contact: Warren Smith 0412127525.