What kind of value can you place on an event like this? Millions? Billions?
Not sure how your memory gets stuck, but I had to switch between some old files and bing/yahoo some old stories to remind you From what probs is the biggest failure in the history of sports marketing.
To wit, Quiksilver lost the naming rights to what is now known as the Eddie Invitational but used to be Quiksilver: In Memory of Eddie Aikau.
What you may not know is that the Eddie Invitational, sponsored by Quiksilver, didn’t start out as a big wave competition.
The first event was held in six to eight foot waves at Sunset Beach in 1984, And it only went on a big wave when the admins of Quiksilver along with Fast Eddie Rothman turned it into a special event we all know, love, etc., in Waimea Bay.
When the fifty thousand prize was announced, it also became the richest surfing competition in the world.
In 2016, the event felt like it couldn’t get any better when world surfing champion John John Florence cemented his claim to being the best in the business when he won the still-sponsored Quiksilver Prize, although barely, Eddie in conditions. Wilderness 25 feet tall.
What kind of value can you place on an event like this?
So how did this fruitful relationship, which included the lucrative sale of Eddie Aikau-Quicksilver merchandise, end up in the gravel, for worms?
Here’s the background: The previous 10-year contract expired in the spring of 2016 and Quiksilver and the ICAO family began negotiating a new deal.
The Aikau family is advised there could potentially be a better deal if they shop around a bit. Red Bull was in the mix, at first, but apparently, Red Bull and the WSL couldn’t find a way to play well so they pulled out at the last minute, leaving Aikaus without a deal.
A source told BeachGrit that multiple offers have been made to Aikaus by Quiksilver, all with increased revenue sharing opportunities but have all been rejected.
But here’s the thing.
Quiksilver held the clearances for the 2015-16 contest and even floated the idea of naming it a different name to circumvent the need to field the famous Hawaiian family.
Quiksilver Play with Quiksilver: In Memory of Jose Angel, The Quiksilver: In Memory of Todd Chesser, The Quiksilver: In Memory of Brock Little.
Anyway, it was worked on for 2016 but terminated shortly after.
Did Quiksilver decide that the odds of Eddie being as good as 2016 were so slim any subsequent money spent on it would be wasted?
The question I asked at the time was, would you still run with Eddie if you gifted the keys to the clothing giant who was famously six hundred million dollars in debt?
Or are you going to pour the spare cash on top team rider Matt Banting?
Choose Quiksilver Banting.
Remorse, do you think?