WSL’s newest recruit could change the way we watch pro surfing in 2019.
He was the president of the Oprah Network and proudly rides a SUP. Introducing Erik Logan, the WSL's new president of Content, Media and WSL Studios.
So, what exactly is the role of president of Content, Media and WSL Studios?
Well, according to the Wozzle:
"Logan's role at the WSL will include the delivery of all live and non-live content and media, in addition to global distribution across all the WSL's owned and operated channels, as well as its partners. Logan will also oversee the creation of WSL Studios, which will deliver a broad range of high quality scripted and unscripted surf and lifestyle content. He will also lead a new direct-to-consumer membership offering, which will in the future become a key aspect of the WSL's world class content portfolio."
Today, I’m announcing that I will be stepping down as President of OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network. Working for one of the greatest leaders in the world has truly been the most incredible opportunity in my career. I have learned and grown more over the past 10 years professionally than I did in the prior 20. The accomplishments over the last decade have been many - from ending the Oprah Winfrey Show, transitioning the company to a studio, moving to LA, and making OWN the most high-profile turnarounds in cable network history. What has made these many years of work so memorable and enjoyable are the people who I had the opportunity to work and partner with. My “Next Chapter” (as Oprah would say) is truly an opportunity of a lifetime. To marry my passion of surfing with my career is something that I never thought was possible or even imagageable 5 years ago. SUP, surfing, loving the ocean, were all things I’d never thought would be a part of my life. Now, it’s my life, my daily passion, and something that propels me into my next professional journey. Joining the World Surf League is something I never thought this kid from landlocked Oklahoma would say, but it’s happening. I’m beyond grateful tothe WSL for the chance to join the already exceptional team for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If I have learned one thing from Oprah over the past decade, it's this: there is a “divine order” to the universe and our job is to get into that flow. We must LISTEN to what the universe is saying. So here I am. Marrying my passion with my career in this way is something only a higher power could forge for me. I’m humbled by this moment and still in a state of “I can’t believe this is happening!” But it is…. You’ll hear me say this a lot, but it’s true: #followyourpassion #liveyourpassion
There’s no doubt Erik will bring a level of professionalism pro surfing has never seen. Having built the Oprah Winfrey Network over the past decade and adding to the depth of programming from Harpo Productions, he is now looking to combine his passions for surfing and media.
But the last line in the presser alludes to big changes ahead.
"He will also lead a new direct-to-consumer membership offering, which will in the future become a key aspect of the WSL's world class content portfolio."
Pay-per-view subscriptions feel imminent as the WSL works to capitalise on the “untapped” number of surfers, casual or otherwise, “out there”.
But staying up last night to watch the Quiksilver Pro France, all I could see on my Facebook stream were the measly three or four thousand viewers tuning in.
Late last year the WSL surveyed its subscribers asking, “Would you pay per event? Per event? Per year?”
For a year pass the lowest price option was $25 or under, moving up in $25 increments, topping out at $100+ for those with deeper pockets.
Then nothing. It appeared the response was crickets.
But with the WSL’s business model forging ahead, the deep pockets of Dirk Ziff, and new appointments from all corners of business and the entertainment industry perhaps the WSL are willing to stake they can bring an offering too good to resist.
Whether that’s with premium scripted programming, pay-per-view events, a wave pool world tour or by manufacturing man-on-man heats at the equivalent spectacle of a UFC title fight (just imagine Kelly and John John at macking Chopes). In the eyes of the WSL, the future is looking bright and path to new audiences potentially paved in gold.