Wave Sports: brand communication is everything

Sending press releases in Chinese? Attaching low-resolution photos? Communicating broken links? Caps Lock abuse? Hashtag madness? Check out the do's and don'ts in wave sports brand communication.


Wave sports are changing every three months. New gear, new trends, new technologies, new shapes, new design, new colors and new communications.

How does your action sports brand reach media and costumers? Interestingly, the biggest boardsport companies are not the ones making the best decisions and practices in the corporate communications field.

If you're sending a press release written in Spanish to international surf media, you might not get satisfactory annual results.

Brands are going crazy about social networks. They think that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest will boost their wetsuit, gear and clothing sales. The truth is that it won't happen if you don't kick off communications on a ground level basis.

First website, then social networks. That's the way. For example, many boardsports companies send their Press Releases in complicated .pdf formats that cannot be copied and pasted into Word. Wrong.

There are also wave sports brands that don't answer emails, requests, doubts and questions. Couldn't be worse. So, what are the basic requirements of the corporate communications professional in the wave sports world?

1. Press Releases. Written in simple, clear English. One idea per paragraph. Avoid the commercial-only approach.
2. Feedback. Answering emails, questions, doubts and requests, as quickly as possible.
3. Universality of Communication Formats. Sometimes a .txt file is better than a .pdf file. Forget .tiff and alternative video formats.
4. Managing Social Networks. Good sense works. Be active and coherent with all posts and messages.
5. Photo and Video Feeds. Providing raw, unedited video is great. Photos with huge watermarks go straight to the recycle bin.
6. Exclusive Content Proposals. If you've established a good relation with a news media, offer unique content.
7. Website News Updated. Get your official website a focus of interest. Make sure you earn returning visitors.
8. RSS Feeds. Get everyone connected if anything happens.

The best brand communication in wave sports for 2013 are:

ASP World Tour
Big Wave World Tour
Billabong XXL
Bodyboard Depot
IBA Australasia
International Kiteboarding Organization
International Surfing Association
JP Australia
Kiteracing Oceanic Championships
Kitesurf Tour Europe
KSP World Tour
Limited Edition Surf Hardware
Maui Sails
Neil Pryde
NSW Wavesailing Association
PKRA World Tour
Point-7
Porto Surf Film Festival
PWA World Tour
Red Bull Storm Chase
RS:X Class
Seventhwave Wetsuits
Surfaid
Surfers Against Sewage
Surfing Australia
Surfing New Zealand
Surfrider Foundation
Triple Crown of Surfing
Windsurfing New Zealand
World Wakeboard Association