National Surf League Season Set To Debut This Spring

The National Surf League, home of Brad Gerlach’s revolutionary surf format, The Game, has partnered with IMG, ESPN and ASG’s Surfer Magazine to launch their new professional surfing series, the California Cup. Spring of 2004 will mark the debut of the National Surf League’s West Coast Division, and will take place between April 30th and June 5th, at 4 of California’s top surf spots.

In the NSL’s inaugural season, 4 regional teams each consisting of the county’s hottest 8 pro surfers from Santa Cruz, Ventura County, Orange County and San Diego will battle it out for the California Cup. Some of the best surfers in the world will be representing their home turf. “I can’t wait to represent San Diego, surfing is such an important part of SD culture and until now there has never been a reason, locally to get behind the surfers” exclaims Pipe Master and San Diegan Rob Machado. With targeted stars like Machado in San Diego, Daryl “Flea” Virostko representing Santa Cruz, rising star Dane Reynolds surfing for Ventura and anti-hero Chris Ward representing Orange County, the Games will be filled with star-studded talent and unparalleled action.

To ensure the league’s success, The National Surf League has focused on building the strongest group of strategic alliances possible. First entering into a multi-year representation agreement with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing and entertainment firm for the development, sales and marketing of the League and the new California Cup Series. This is the first step in a global strategy designed to further the development of the “Game” format and promote the new League as IMG has done with so many other pro sports leagues and properties.

From that broad relationship between IMG and the NSL, the California Cup has been developed and packaged. Media partners ESPN and ASG have been brought on-board to promote and showcase the California Cup through an unprecedented broadcast package and a vertical marketing print strategy like no other in the sport of surfing.

The California Cup will be televised in 3 original hours on ESPN, the World Wide Leader in Sports programming. ESPN will also showcase the Game format for a second time at the X-Games X in Los Angeles. Surfer will support the inaugural season through advertising, editorial coverage and on-line coverage.

“Surder Magazine is excited to work with Brad and the crew at NSL/THE GAME as the series will help build excitement for competitive surfing in America” said Rick Irons, Publisher of Surfer. “Last year was a huge success. The spectators got a great show at HB during X Games with the unique format. The surfers had a really fun new event to compete in and the sport of surfing is in better shape because of it. We’re stoked to help take it to a new level and support our local surfers who make it happen.”

“We are thrilled with the alliances we have developed.” said legendary surfer and NSL President Brad Gerlach, “last year The Game season was just a concept and to now have these three incredible companies helping to build our league is beyond my wildest dreams.”

The NSL’s mission is to build a unique professional surfing league dedicated to the pursuit of surfing excellence, generating consumer awareness for the sport of surfing while creating a fun, competitive format for all types of professional surfers.

For more information go to or contact Jeff Cutler at