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Tiffany Montgomery
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Rip Curl: The marketing of two champs

By Tiffany Montgomery
December 19, 2007 6:00 AM

As Kelly Gibson tries to revive Rip Curl in the U.S., he's gotten a big boost from two Rip Curl surfers who won the ASP world championships this year.


I asked Dylan Slater, Rip Curl's sports marketing director in Costa Mesa, if plans have changed now that Stephanie Gilmore and Mick Fanning took home the world titles.


Mick FanningMick Fanning, center.

Here's what he had to say:


Is it rare to have one brand with the women's and men's championship at the same time?

Yes, it's extremely rare to have simultaneous men's and women's ASP World Champions. If you think about how much the top companies in the industry have invested in not only the quality of athletes but also the quantity of athletes, to have the champions from each gender is a very rare occasion.


Will the women's market be approached differently in the way you promote Gilmore's victory?

We plan to promote the title as the pinnacle of all competitive achievements. For a competitive surfer, it doesn't get any better than winning the world title. The impact of Steph/product driven marketing will hopefully increase with her association as the World Champion.


Whether it's our latest girls' boardshort, watch, or apparel, her association with the title will hopefully impact the girls' product range across all categories. It's undetermined whether we will be producing Stephanie Gilmore-specific product.


Now that you have two world champions, does that change how you will market both? Meaning, will Rip Curl bump up the marketing even more?

Yes, we plan to definitely bump up the marketing more, as it has been 16 years since Rip Curl's last world champion. We realize this is a very special occasion, and we definitely plan on communicating that to our customer.


While the world title is fresh, we hope to push it through the Web via online banners, video clips, etc. In-store point of purchase will also be crucial because we are the only major brand that can push the message that we have the current world champs.


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