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SBJ/April 8-14, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
Surf’s up as Lynch takes new marketing post
Published April 8, 2013, Page 6
|Michael Lynch takes his experience to the Association of Surfing Professionals.
Speaker was named CEO of the ASP, and his group will assume full control for the 2014 tour.
“Paul is someone I worked with when he was at the NFL and someone I consider very creative,” Lynch said. “And the opportunity to build a global sports property that has been recapitalized and one that is headed by someone I really respect in a really entrepreneurial environment was impossible to turn down.”
Lynch said he had spent the past 15 months on the boards of a half-dozen startup companies and consulting for another handful of organizations, including the NCAA and the ASP.
The ASP is moving its global headquarters to Venice Beach, Calif. Lynch, who would not say whether he is receiving equity as part of his package, described his job functions as running communications, marketing, sponsorship and other revenue lines, and building the profile of the ASP through top athletes, like 11-time champion Kelly Slater. Lynch said the ASP had not previously packaged and sold media and marketing rights on a global basis. It will now.
What has been a sometimes factionalized tour has been supported almost entirely by endemic sponsors, such as surfwear and equipment brand Quiksilver. Lynch will attempt to package and sell global sponsorships, which will certainly require some sort of media package.
Overall, the ASP, which has competitions from grassroots to elite levels, will have 115 events in 15 countries next year. Lynch said a recent audience segmentation study reported a base of 78 million fans, largely in five countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Portugal and the U.S.
Lynch says he may also find time to take surfing lessons. “I’ve tried to stand up on a surfboard three times in my life, and none of those were successful,” he said, laughing, “but I don’t think they hired me for my surfing ability.”