Enquanto lia os inúmeros e maioritariamente típicos reports, resumos, análises e outras resenhas sobre a primeira ronda da primeira competição da nova organização do surf mundial (round 1, Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Gold Coast, World Surf League), cruzei-me com algumas ideias, pensamentos, reflexões, informações, que acredito merecerem interesse e que convém manter em mente. Ora vejamos...
"The biggest change we noticed come from this new acronym was numbers. Each surfer now has a number on his or her back. A big, noticeable, white number, which in Dusty Payne’s words, “kinda makes it feel like a golf tournament”. In the near future this bikini and boardshort clad crowd might be parading the beach in jerseys with Kelly Slater #11." retirado deste texto da Surfing Life Australia.
Isto parece dizer-nos que a AS...WSL está seriamente a pensar em como fazer dinheiro com isto do surf (e que provavelmente está bem necessitada desses fundos). Isto é logo uma mudança em relação aos últimos quê...30 anos de circuito? Nesse tempo, a ASP obtinha a esmagadora maioria das suas divisas através da atribuição de licenças para a realização de campeonatos, patrocínios aos campeonatos e patrocínios a si mesma. Tendo em conta que há cada vez menos eventos e que o patrocínio é talvez o apoio menos original em que uma marca pode apostar, o merchandising (tão óbvio que apetece bater no Ian Cairns, Rabbit Bartholomew e Brodie Carr, etc) pode vir a tornar-se em mais uma forma de obtenção de fundos. É importante não esquecer que a janela para o pay-per-view nunca esteve tão aberta...
E já que falamos de pay-per-view, para além do controverso Beach Grit, quem mais reparou nisto?
"Considering how much attention the recent New York Times article on the WSL paid to the organization’s assocaition with YoutTube I was surprised to notice, after the feed went down during Slater’s first sound heat, that the contest was actually being streamed via something called NeuLion.
What is Neulion? It’s the web player used by the NFL, NBA, NHL and UFC. It is, “the premier solution for delivering live and on-demand sports in an unrivaled interactive digital video experience that gives fans an action packed experience anytime, anywhere.”
(…) Two minutes on Neulion’s website turns up a pretty likely answer. Monetization is the name of the game, and Neulion provides a platform that excels at locking content behind a paywall. Call it a pay-per-view, season pass, or subscription, the move to Neulion is a ZoSea dipping its toes in the water before making another grab at some cash” (…).”
Ainda do primeiro texto da SL sai-nos esta pérola:
"John John Florence got the first nine of the new year and won his heat against Micro and Jadson, which really wasn’t all that surprising. But what WAS surprising was what he told us after said win. We asked about his boards… “I think last year one of the biggest things for me was boards, and this year I’m ready. We’ve been working a lot on boards for each event, and I have a lot that are working really well for me over here,” he said. And then we asked, as you do, what exactly was under his feet. “All I know is that I’m riding a 6’0 squash, and that’s it. Jon (Pyzel) doesn’t write dimensions on my boards and I don’t mess with it – we just work out what needs to be fixed in my surfing and he makes something for it.” To us massive surf nerds, that’s one interesting tidbit of information – one of the world’s hottest surfers doesn’t even know what he’s riding?".
Agora, também da SL, destaca-se este parágrafo que nos diz que WSL e juízes reconhecem algumas das suas maiores falhas e estão a trabalhar para as contornar:
"The panel will have some extra help at all WCTs this year with the addition of a specific cameraman just for them to use in replays –the panel will be able to set the cameraman at whatever angle they feel isn’t being fully covered by replays off the broadcast.
Rich is also intending to focus on cutting down the drag time between waves and scores. This was sometimes torture in 2014 for both surfers and spectators, as the panel reviewed and re-reviewed and sometimes held off on a score for several minutes. “I’m really aware that people are getting a bit sick of the waiting…I’m not bothered if it happens at the end of a heat. But while a heat is going and the surfers need to make decisions based on the situation, that’s a different matter and we’ll be working on it. Having said that, we’re gonna make sure we get it right.”".
Por último e talvez a mudança que mais impacto imediato (já no próximo heat! Em Snapper!) cause seja esta que a SL discretamente publica numa entrevista com rookie do World Tour Matt Banting e o seu pai:
"(...) Because he didn’t surf right up at the point.
LB: Yeah but if you can do what Medina does from halfway, I’d still give it to him! Although Parko went out at the point and the one wave he did get was really good, Medina cut him off. He was middle of the lineup, he had priority and he stopped it.
MB: That’s what they’re gonna change this year, the WSL said if you’ve got priority then you can’t paddle out of the takeoff zone. So you can’t sit halfway down the point and wait for someone. (...)".
Sobre esta nova rubrica do blog, posso dizer-vos que oscila entre uma revista de imprensa e destaques pontuais sobre assuntos de interesse. Não terá uma calendarização definida pois está será orientada pela agulha do interesse (do meu, suponho). Por isso, posso apenas garantir-vos que veio para ficar.