CHICAGO May 20, 2009 — The Gatorade Company announced yesterday sponsorship agreements with both the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) and the Western Surfing Association (WSA). As part of the new agreement, Gatorade will support surf events held by ESA and WSA, including championship events.
“Both the ESA and the WSA are incredibly dedicated to providing a platform from which amateur surfers can advance, and they are also committed to supporting the surf communities they’re involved with,” said Kenny Mitchell, action sports team manager with Gatorade. “This sense of community is important when working at a grassroots level, and Gatorade is happy to be a part of what each association has worked hard to establish.”
The sponsorship reflects the brand’s focus to provide support to amateur and up-and-coming athletes, as well as grassroots and local-level events and properties. Gatorade’s support of surfing also fits with the product’s essential purpose – providing optimal sports drink hydration so athletes can feel and perform at their best.
“To see Gatorade support surfing is great,” said Greg Cruse, Director of the Western Surfing Association. “Our competitors are under the hot sun for hours during a contest, and when they paddle out for their heat the last thing they want is to be fatigued because they didn’t hydrate – hydration really is a critical part of surfing.”
“Surfers don’t have immediate access to fluids while they’re on the water,” said Debbie Hodges, Executive Director of the Eastern Surfing Association. “Factor in hot temperatures, the sun, saltwater, and the physical exertion that comes when you’re on the water and it’s easy to see why it makes sense for Gatorade to be involved with surfing.”
The ESA hosts more than 150 competitions each year from Maine down to the Caribbean making it the largest amateur surfing competition series in the world. Established in 1961, the WSA is the oldest amateur surfing association in the United States and the largest on the West Coast. Both organizations are highly respected for their solid support of amateur surfing.