Making water sports more media-friendly

December 10, 2010 | Windsurfing
Robby Naish: this is what a TV wants

There's a big buzz in the sailing community about the role of water sports in the Summer Olympic Games and how to put them in the media spotlight. What should be done to increase the interest and TV coverage? Shall we drop a few sailing classes?

SurferToday would like to share a few ideas with the athletes, the governing bodies, and with all that feel that our sports deserve more camera lenses and public attention.

There are a few questions we need to solve:

1. Being media-friendly does not necessarily mean being spectator-friendly.

If we want to broadcast surfing contests and windsurfing races, we simply cannot have 30-minute heats with ten good waves and long open sea races with 8-knot winds and separated sailors.

Let's shrink the heats and get more surfers; let's reduce the regatta area and increase the number of sailors in top wind conditions.

2. There are no "better" sports for TV broadcast. There are better ways of selling one sport and worse ways of selling another sport for TV coverage. Always remember chess, darts, and pool. They are broadcasted for consecutive hours.

3. Design a complete Communication Plan. From January to December, with detailed time schedules, objectives, and targets. If necessary, manage a two-year outlook of opportunities.

4. Measure the number of participants. We still don't know precisely how many surfers, kitesurfers, windsurfers, and bodyboarders are there in the world.

5. Develop indoor surfing (surf and bodyboard) and sailing (windsurfing and kitesurfing) competitions and pool technology. It will be easier to broadcast and to sell tickets.

6. Stop dividing useless uniquenesses. Surfers and bodyboarders should unite efforts in one big governing body. And you could go further: don't surfers, kitesurfers, windsurfers, and bodyboarders all belong to the same sailing family?

Send your ideas and opinions. We'll add it here.

"Windsurfing should be an indoor event in the Olympics. Slalom, jump, a show! London already did an indoor event! Cheers."
Steeve / nord_roi[at]hotmail.com