World Surf League announces new female CEO

Steph Gilmore and Sophie Goldschmidt

The World Surf League, the governing body for professional surfers, has announced UK native Sophie Goldschmidt as their new CEO.

Sophie, who’s from London, will take over from CEO Paul Speaker and will pick up the reins from interim CEO Dirk Ziff in August.

A keen surfer herself, she has an extensive background in sports marketing. She will become one of the few women to head up a sports league in the world.

With a seriously impressive CV, Sophie’s really made her mark in women’s sports including Rugby Union, Tennis and Basketball. Whilst working for the National Basketball Association (NBA), she oversaw its expansion into Europe and Turkey.

Plus, during her time with the Women’s Tennis Association, Sophie helped land a whopping $88 million sponsorship deal with Sony Ericsson.

Her LinkedIn profile reveals some pretty interesting facts about her ability to increase mobile traffic. And with the WSL’s focus on increasing interaction with fans on a global scale we reckon it’s in good hands with Sophie! One of her aims is to reach fans “through new formats, live content and other media.”

She also aims to “evolve the landscape of competitive surfing around the world with the Kelly Slater Wave Company and its groundbreaking technology.”

With the evolution of women’s surfing in recent years, including increased prize money and more demanding stops on the WSL tour like Fiji, we anticipate some key changes ahead for women’s surfing.

And with the introduction of surfing in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the potential to reach even more people globally, surfing it seems is in for some interesting times ahead!

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