“Very Hefty Bill”: Months After Cancellation of WSL’s Competition, Surfing Insider Opens Up on Downside of the Sport as Compared to Football and Tennis

Published 04/02/2023, 12:21 PM EDT

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While surfing has been around for quite some time, the sport didn’t get widespread attention until well after the Antwerp 1920 Games, when it was dominated by Duke Kahanamoku, who is also regarded as the ‘father of surfing’. The sport has been around for a while, but its debut in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, has helped boost its profile. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has also given its approval for it to be included in the 2024 Summer Olympics, to be held in Paris. Despite its immense popularity, the sport has several challenges, one of which is a lack of finance, which has already forced the postponement of major tournaments.

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Director of Barbados Surf Promotions Christopher Clarke recently appeared in a video on YouTube in which he discussed the importance of sponsors to the success of surfing competitions. He also cites one aspect that sets surfing apart financially from other sports.

The struggles of surfing

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The surfing community was taken by surprise when the World Surf League (WSL) announced in July 2022 that the 2022 Quiksilver/ROXY Pro France Challenger Series Competition would not be held. As the sixth leg of the Challenger Series, the event was scheduled for October 12–23, 2022. This is the series where up-and-coming surfers compete for a spot on the Championship Tour. The event was called off because the World Surf League and Boardriders were unable to raise enough money to keep it going. The sport has a lot of trouble in that area, as Christopher Clarke notes that competitions are held in public spaces and that anybody may get in for free. This distinguishes it from other well-known sports like tennis and football, which are played in stadiums and earn income from the spectators who physically attend the game.

Clarke highlights the importance of Barbers Tourism Marketing and Diamonds International, two companies he mentions by name in the YouTube video, as sponsors of many of the sport’s major events. He also adds, saying, “Without those two companies, we would not be able to have the event because the event does have a very hefty bill. I would say an estimated amount of half a million dollars to host this event, but it’s well worth it because the return on the investment from the surfers coming from overseas and so playing and injecting funds into the community and into Barbados is almost five times that much.”

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How much money does NFL make through ticket sales?

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Fan going wild about NFL games is no surprise. They follow it on TV, make bets, take vacations to attend games, and follow it online. The support of the viewers is also important to the bottom line for many clubs. Local income, which includes items like sponsorships, retail sales, and ticket sales, makes up the bulk of an NFL team’s national earnings. NFL clubs typically generate an operational profit from ticket sales, but this was severely impacted in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Clubs with notable players and loyal fan bases tend to do better in the retail department. Despite the fact that an NFL team’s profit is normally well over $1 million every game, the money is split among several parties, including the players, the band, the stadium management, the coaching staff, and the government in the form of taxes.

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WATCH THIS STORY – World’s Largest Surfing Pool Opens in $40,000,000 Recreation Hub Amidst Massive Water Crisis in Hawaii

The sport has many famous figures and millions of admirers, yet it still faces many challenges during competitions. Do you think this will change any time soon?

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Written by:

Rahul Goutam Hoom

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Rahul Goutam Hoom is a US Sports writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Birla Global University. Rahul does photography and gaming during his leisure hours and likes to watch anime.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh

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