Caption: South African Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker – reigning ASP BWWT Champion. Photo: Richard Hallman
In the latest hot piece of industry news, the ASP have just announced their acquisition of the Billabong XXL® Big Wave Awards. Following this year’s ceremony which is due to take place May 2nd, the XXL Big Wave Awards will enter into a fresh ownership with ASP who hope to expand its reach and co-sponsorship opportunities well into the future. For now, Billabong will however maintain a key naming rights position.
The acquisition follows the ASP’s acquisition of the Big Wave World Tour earlier this year, and the surfing association’s goal to try and generate more mainstream interest in the sport.
“This is a night to celebrate big wave surfing and we’re very pleased on the partnership between Billabong XXL and the BWWT Awards and the acquisition of the XXL Property,” Paul Speaker, ASP CEO, said. “This is a platform to honor the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to the art of big wave surfing and we are honored to continue this tradition in future years.”
Now in its 15th year of existence, the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards has in that time turned into a truly global event, gaining many historic XXl entries mainstream coverage round the world every year.
“When I created the XXL concept in the 1990s, big wave surfing did not seem to get the respect it deserved,” said founder and event director Bill Sharp. “That was when action sports on TV was the new big thing. But I feel like the XXL Big Wave Awards, working so closely with the surfers and the photographers for the last 15 years, have helped to show the world how incredible the sport truly is and now a huge swell hitting anywhere in the world will routinely make global headlines. We have achieved a lot so far, but I think there is more work to do and I look forward to pushing hard to expand the opportunities for the sport and for all the top surfers and photographers involved.”
To Usher in this new acquisition, the ASP is stoked to partner with this week’s Billabong XXL Awards on Friday, May 2, and will be broadcasting the ceremony live on www.aspworldtour.com. With over $1.5 million of prize money to be handed out on the night, this year’s XXL Awards will also incorporate the official crowning of last season’s ASP BWWT Champion – South African Grant “Twiggy” Baker – along with all the usual big wave awards it bestows.
In the meantime, if you’ve not yet watched a round-up of this year’s Billabong XXL Nominees you can view them all here.