I asked Evan why the brand would make such a big investment on two surf events both on the West Coast only a few months and a few miles away from each other. Evan said the Hurley Pro cost about $2 million in total to put on.
“We like the idea of owning summer on the West Coast,” said Evan, noting that summer starts and ends with Hurley/Nike brand contests.
Nike 6.0 sponsored a Trestles contest in late spring (May), the Hurley US Open was held in the middle of summer (beginning of August) and the Hurley Pro was held last week.
Evan said the summer to fall period is also Hurley’s biggest selling season.
On site at the Hurley Pro, there was a small pop-up retail store, showcasing event apparel and Hurley denim, which Evan said accounted for as much sales as any Hurley store would do.
Besides the efforts put towards athletes and VIPs, the multimedia production for the Hurley Pro was extensive.
Evan said there was a team of about 50 people who produced live video feeds and digital media updates and videos.
In one room at the contest there were dozens of Hurley staff creating graphics, blogging, and posting live updates to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all day.
On Facebook, Evan said they were holding daily contests to win Hurley jeans and Converse shoes for guessing the scores of each heat. Evan said thousands of people entered each day, and that they were guessing the scores to a tenth of a point.
On the contest website there were also videos of athletes and the equipment they ride, as well as video montages of the day’s best performances and a panel discussions of the new ASP format.
The Hurley Pro was the first stop for the ASP’s new format, a move made to boost the sport’s viewership and ramp up the excitement for spectators and athletes.
The format changed from having 44 guys compete on the tour to a 36-man competitive format. There are now three-man heats in Round 1 and Round 4 and man-on-man heats for the other three rounds as well as the quarters, semis, and finals.
Paul Gomez, SVP of Hurley, said he was excited that Hurley got to be the first to hold the contest with the new format.
“Change always has contention,” he said. “But the new format is so much more exciting and gives spectators an opportunity to watch surfing at a more elevated level. We’re glad to be a part of to and to help the ASP elevate surfing.”