Brodie ‘BJ’ Carr… Western Australian man, surfer, lover, businessman.
Some people call him names, but not us. We call him and ask what he’s doing later! I sat down at BJ’s rented Capbreton accommodation to find out more about the world of top tier pro surfing in 2011.
SE: What’s new at the ASP, BJ Carr?
The focus has moved away from the WT in terms of what we need to improve or tweak right now. We’re spending time looking at the Primes and the Women’s world tour.
Why’s that then?
The importance of the Prime for one world ranking makes it really important, with the number of WT guys doing Primes, the webcast numbers are increasing significantly, and we need to make sure the media product delivered meets the expectations of fans. On the women’s side it’s only tour struggling in terms of event numbers, it’s something we’re working on. Other than that, for the first time since I’ve been at the ASP, we’re in position to chase a global sponsor.
When you say webcast numbers are increasing significantly, what are the numbers exactly?
ASP gets around 2.2 million uniques a month, there were around 1.5 million uniques to the Quik Pro event site over course of event. 80% of that traffic comes via the ASP world tour site.
What kind of companies are interested in sponsoring the tour? Could we see the ASP Facebook World Tour?
We’re talking to non-endemic brands, soft drinks, cars, financial services, We can’t sell to a surf brands or apparel companies.
Why would a non endemic brand want to sponsor the ASP?
The pitch we have is two-fold. There’s the media value via the webcast, photos, TV, all the media outlets and value. Then there is the placement of brand in to surf beach lifestyle, which is harder to quantify.
BJ offered me a brewski (one of those 20ml Kanterbrau stubbies, 24 pack for 5 euros at Lidl) but had a Perrier himself. He is off the sauce for a while and trying not to eat too much bread, either.
How did you feel Snapper went?
Snapper was awesome. From the surfing side, I was really impressed with younger guys in Rd4, the level was amazing. On the girl’s front, seeing every heat being competitive was awesome. Steph’s not gonna be able to walk it this year. The webcast was sensational. It was free to air in Oz, for the first time ever on national network. What was awesome was seeing the quality turned straight on to TV, it was as good as AFL football, our webcast can be as good as other sports’ TV.
What about the Slater’s performance? Do you expect to see him at Bells?
He was on a tear, wasn’t he? As far as this year, he’s surfing Margarets and Bells, but he’s always mysterious, every year it’s this way.
Would you bet your house on him doing the rest of tour?
Yes. I rent, but yeah.
Are the surfers happier this year? I remember seeing Mick, Ace and KP having a meeting with you in Puerto Rico, they looked serious.
I think we talking about potential new tour events, there were 5 world tour applications, and the number of prime events. They were fine. Those guys are always level-headed, professional.
So the knives weren’t out for Brodie?
The WPS were a bit disgruntled, but I don’t think the surfers were. We’d just told them we’d got them a million dollar event.
There were rumours about adding an event in Morocco to start the year but the surfer’s didnt want to cut their break short…
The surfers wanted to keep a certain period of downtime, so that they don’t get burnt out from all the travelling. They like to surf the first event on the Gold Coast and finish in Hawaii.
Are they being more naughty than usual? It seems the ASP has been dishing out a few fines already this year…
There have been some surfers at the sticky end of the rules and discipline, I’m not going like to share who they are, but we’re taking a firm approach. They expect us to run organization professionally, and we expect the same in return.