Following a two-day meeting in Hossegor, France with the key stakeholders of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) and the sport at large, news broke today that the organization had signed a term sheet with ZoSea Media to chart the organization’s future. The exact ownership details are still being organized. ZoSea was founded by Paul Speaker, president of Time Inc. Studios and a board member at Quiksilver, and Terry Hardy, Kelly Slater’s manager and a backer of 2009’s failed “rebel tour,” which launched numerous changes at the ASP.
We caught up with ASP International Media Director Dave Prodan via email from France to learn more:
What does this mean for the ASP in the short term? How about further down the road?
ASP will continue to operate as it has in the short term. The formal closing of this transaction between ZoSea Media and ASP International is anticipated to be achieved by year's end. Both parties are focused on executing a smooth transition towards the continued enhancement of professional surfing. ZoeSea Media and ASP International will collaborate with the current ASP organization on structure, sponsorship and media rights. Details regarding financial specifics, governance structures and media rights will be finalized in the interim before the formal closing of the transaction. Information will be made available when appropriate.
Will ZoSea own the ASP outright following the deal’s closing?
Structural details and the like won’t be finalized until December so to comment now would be premature.
The ASP Board Meeting in France was very productive and brought about a significant, positive change for the sport of surfing in the agreement with ZoSea Media. All Board Members were present and the vibe was one of excitement and solidarity. The ASP Board of Directors is extremely supportive of this new direction for the sport and believes it will be successful in its charge of evolving professional surfing to the next stage.
What does ZoSea bring to the table and what are you most excited about for the ASP in this deal?
In addition to Paul Speaker and Terry Hardy (who are both incredibly experienced and talented individuals in their own right), the ZoSea team will provide an invaluable complement to the current ASP staff in terms of respective field expertise and planning for the future of the sport. Personally, I’m very excited about ASP being able to tap this new resource and use it to evolve professional surfing to the next level. I’m also excited about the addition support from the ZoSea team and the personal and professional growth opportunities that can arise from working with such an experienced and respective collective of individuals.
Here’s the release:
HOSSEGOR, France (Friday, October 5, 2012) – Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) International has entered into a Term Sheet with ZoSea Media (founded by Paul Speaker and Terry Hardy) designed to enhance the organizational structure of the sport as well as the direction of professional surfing in the coming years. This measure enjoys the comprehensive support of surfers, events, staff and ASP Board Members.
"It's an important time for surfing," Kieren Perrow, ASP Surfer Representative, said. "The supporters of the sport have sacrificed a lot of time and energy into professional surfing, and it has brought us to our current position where we're attractive to a larger market with the ability to take surfing to a whole new level. Everyone, from the surfers to the fans to the events to the sport, will benefit and it's an exciting time for the ASP."
The formal closing of this transaction between ZoSea Media and ASP International is anticipated to be achieved by year's end. Both parties are focused on executing a smooth transition towards the continued enhancement of professional surfing.
"When we embarked on the experiment that is professional surfing, our goal was to create a dynamic, genuine sporting product while retaining the authenticity of the culture," Rod Brooks, Quiksilver Event Director, said. "The progress made, not only by the organization, but in its ability to consistently push the high-performance boundaries of the sport is something we're all very proud of. Surfing, as an act, is constantly evolving and the governing body must evolve and adapt to maintain relevance. We're all very excited about where this next step will take us and extremely supportive."
The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Rip Curl Pro Portugal in Peniche from October 10 - 21, 2012.