The ASP has just announced Samsung as the title sponsor for the 2014 World Tour. However, it was underwhelming, failing to detail how such a marriage will benefit the surfers and all of us.

“Following a transitional year in 2013 where the organization built up its departments and programs, this season will see the sport reborn with all of professional surfing’s initiatives from production to athlete servicing to media, marketing, sponsorship, broadcast, falling under the purview of the ASP for the first time in the sport’s storied 38-year history,” read a press release.

What does, “… under the purview of the ASP ...” really mean? New rules regarding copyright and ownership of images taken in and around an ASP event have been announced following an incident at last year’s Gold Coast Quiksilver Pro. According to one photographer, who asked to remain nameless, an image shot by Tom Carey of Joel Parkinson ‘flipping the bird’ at Kelly Slater in the final, was the catalyst for change.

The image was run on the ASP website but was requested to be taken down by the photographer. The ASP wanted to use the image since it was shot during their sanctioned event. It became a bone of contention as to who owned the shot and had the rights to distribution. Since the image was shot during an event, the ASP believed it was theirs.

Samsung sells more smartphones than Nokia, Apple, and LG combined. How many will be streaming the ASP World Tour? Samsung sells more smartphones than Nokia, Apple, and LG combined. How many will be streaming the ASP World Tour?

Now any photographer who shoots taken at an ASP event with a media pass will forgo their images, if requested by the organisation. Below is an extract from the lengthy terms and conditions you can read here.

“In exchange for being able to attend or obtain benefit from ASP and as a condition of receiving a media pass for an ASP World Championship Tour event (the “Event”), I agree: I hereby assign in full the rights to all audio, visual, still image or moving content I generate at the Event (“the Content”). I agree to deliver the Content to the ASP promptly if requested and in a format indicated by the ASP.”

With less than two weeks out to the first event, the Quiksilver Pro, it’s unlikely the sport will be reborn. This looks more like a transitional year for the new owners; ZoSea and we can expect many hiccups along the way, demonstrated by the dropping of Lewis Samuel’s Power Rankings from the ASP’s website. You get the feeling that the ASP are flying by the seam of their pants, don’t forget the Bali Pro and Fiji Pro are still without naming sponsors.

Forget about the ASP getting J-Bay back on the Dream Tour any time soon, they’ll be worrying more about delivering the sport to a mass audience and hoping to absorb any faux pas along the way.