ASP Rebrands As WSL
Today marks a new chapter for the Associaton of Surfing Professionals. CEO Paul Speaker has announced that the ASP will become the World Surf League in 2015. In the above video, Kelly Slater, Steph Gilmore, and Gabriel Medina, along with Shaun Tomson and Wayne Bartholemew, share the story behind why ASP is rebranding at the start of next year.
The impetus for the change is based on making the organization more recognizable on a global level, elevating the sport and placing it on the world stage. The ASP has been building its executive team and structure over the past several years since it was acquired by ZoSea Media, and has since been making some big moves including the acquisition of The Big Wave World Tour and the license for the Vans Triple Crown.
Here’s the official letter from ASP CEO Paul Speaker announcing the big news. To get a better idea of Speaker’s goals for the organization, take a look at what he had to say about the future of surfing and how the community can continue to bulild the sport.
To the ASP community,
At the start of the 2015 season, we will change our name to the World Surf League (WSL). We're making this change because we believe the new name is easier to understand, and gets us on a better track to serve our fans, athletes and partners, and to grow the great sport of professional surfing worldwide.
There's been a lot of change in the last two years. Part of it you can see, such as new venues and enhanced live broadcasts. Some of it is behind the scenes. All of it is driven by the twin goals of preserving the heritage and culture of surfing while, at the same time, creating an even better foundation to grow our sport in the future.
We want you to know that changing our name was a carefully considered decision for us. We felt it was important to share this idea with as many people in the ASP community as we could, from athletes to past world champions to event partners. In the end, we were greatly comforted by the fact that not a single person we spoke with opposed changing names to the World Surf League. Not one.
This is a decision we've made with our community and you can see their reactions for yourself.
We understand that for many of you reading this, the letters "ASP" have significant meaning and that this news might be unsettling. We hope you will give us the benefit of the doubt and that, over time, you will come to see this change as positive for the sport we all love. At the end of the day, professional surfing's DNA remains intact: we're about the world's best surfers in the world's best waves. That will never change.
From day one, our commitment to you has been that we will do everything in our power to improve the overall experience for fans, athletes, and partners. Of course, we still have a lot of work to do, but we are confident that we are heading in the right direction.
We want to salute everyone upon whose shoulders we stand, from the creators of the ASP to their forefathers at what was originally known as the International Professional Surfers (IPS). It was the hard work of all of these people that provided the platform that we all share today and it is with them, and with you, that we look forward to ushering in the new era of the World Surf League.
Chief Executive Officer