DynoComm Sports announced today that it has acquired the ProfessionalSurfing Tour of America (PSTA). Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, butDynoComm President Alan Gibby says it’s been in the works for more thantwo years.
“Jeff Grell, current executive director for the Tour started talkingto me two and half years ago and said ‘Here’s what I want to do,'” saysGibby. “During that time I helped him with TV, and I’ve helped himproduce the shows. He had a nice stair-step plan that he wanted to dothat would have bridged the gap between amateur and professionalsurfing, but the same time he was facing the struggles of not being ableto get WQS sanctioning. We knew that was one of the things the PSTAneeded to explode in prominence.”
Because of the deal, starting in 2001, all PSTA events will beAssociation of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned, giving U.S.surfers increased opportunities for World Qualify Series (WQS) points.Gibby says the recent administration changes at ASP North America andthe launch of the SIMA-led Surfing America program made a big differencewhen it came time to obtain those sanctioning rights.
“I think in the long run Surfing America will help surfingtremendously,” he says. “Surfing is now under the SIMA umbrella, andthat makes it more of the surf-industry instead of just one individualwho kind of controls who gets sanctions and who doesn’t. That’s good forsurfing.”
“With so much unrecognized domestic talent, we will drive an organizedeffort to showcase surfing across the U.S., giving surfers a steppingstone to go from the amateur to the World Tour level,” continues Gibby,who says he’s received incredible industry support for the program.
“In the last 72 hours I’ve been in virtually all the key CEO’s officesand I’ve laid out the entire plan and said ‘Here’s what we’re going todo and we want you involved.’ So far, I’m batting 1000. It reallyappears that we’re going to have complete industry support on thisthing.”
Next year Gibby hopes the PSTA tour will include at least six WQSevents. “We really want to increase it to eight events — with hopefullyone event in Florida. We would really love to have one at SebastianInlet.”
“Because DynoComm has more than two decades of focusing on this industry– working closely with the companies and covering hundreds of events –we are the perfect group to raise domestic pro surfing back to aprominent position,” he continues.
Events on the PSTA have not been WQS rated, therefore surfers who wantedto advance their careers mostly had to travel around the world in searchof qualifying points for the ASP Tour. Starting in 2001, the PSTA willoffer more prize money and a one-star rating, with some individualevents possibly upgrading.
This gives PSTA events ASP sanctioning and WQS points, giving surfersthe choice to surf at home. The PSTA will also provide a viablestand-alone domestic tour with its own points system and regionalchampions.
According to Meg Bernardo, administrative director of Surfing America,”I’m very excited that DynoComm has gotten behind the PSTA. They haveyears of experience in the sport, and have continually supportedsurfing. This opportunity has been lacking, and DynoComm’s efforts withthe Tour will help boost surfing in the U.S., and enables kids to stayhere and surf competitively, whether they are focused domestically or ona spot on the ASP World Tour.”
The PSTA will finish its 2000 Tour and second successful season onNovember 18 and 19 with the PSTA Championships in Morro Bay, CA. The2001 season will start in June. Said Gibby, “The tour has beenconsistent, and has provided a good opportunity to showcase local andemerging talent, however, we have big plans to take it to anotherlevel.”
Backed by twenty years of television connections with worldwide TVnetworks, DynoComm will expand television coverage in the U.S., andplans to syndicate programs worldwide to networks that collectivelyreach more than 250-million homes in 110 countries. Gibby also envisionsincreased coverage across the board from media.
“We’d like the tour to have an open and inclusive feel, which willinvite strong coverage from surf magazines, video producers, lifestyleTV programs, web sites and other electronic media outlets,” heexplained.
Grell will become events director, running most event logistics. “I’mreally excited about these new developments,” said Grell. “The timing isgreat — all the right pieces are coming together at a similar point intime for surfing in the U.S. It will allow the tour to grow and besuccessful, creating a lot of opportunities for the athletes, the eventsponsors and staff.
Dori Payne, former general manager of the ASP from 1984 through 1998,will play a key role in tour administration. Said Payne, “This isexactly what we needed for surfing in America — it’s the perfect arenafor surfers in the U.S. to advance their careers.”
DynoComm has produced over 1,200 extreme sports related TV programssince 1982. The Emmy Award winning company has covered ASP Tour Eventsfor over 17 years, are owners of ESPN’s X Surf Series and helped bringthe Bud Surf Tour (PSAA) into prominence by producing the TV programmingfor Prime Network.