Sportshows Bringing The PWA To World Wide Television!
Earlier this year, Sportshows Television, based in London, joined the PWA Tour as the International Television partners for the PWA. It’s their job to go and film the events and distribute the TV images around the world. Sportshows are producing eight, twenty-five minute programs for international distribution on the PWA 2002 world tour. Many people involved with the sport will know the man responsible for this, Cliff Webb, who was a photographer and journalist through the 1980’s. He saw the sport develop with a new world tour under the WSMA, then the WMA and eventually the PBA. He was International Media Director for the PBA World Tour for four years up to the end of ‘93, and the organizer of the Brighton World Cup from ‘93 to ‘97.
“Let’s say it hasn’t been easy. We got involved in February this year, and we were in for a shock. The status of the TV is much better now than when we joined, but it was a long road. Event organizers have gained confidence in the ability of the PWA’s TV partner to deliver, and the TV stations are excited with what they are getting, and with the sport generally.
The PWA now has a credible, professional and efficient partner, we’ve spent many hours talking to TV networks around the world, we’ve sent countless promotional tapes, and we have now proven to people that windsurfing is back, and back with a bang.
We’ve invested a lot of money into ‘on board’ mini cameras, to give that ‘Formula 1’ feel to the shows. We’ve changed the format of the shows dramatically, no more action set to music for minutes on end, but much more ‘documentary’ style, lots of interviews, more depth. It seems to be working. TV stations are looking at the shows an realizing these are not just another ‘MTV wall paper, extreme sport’ set to grunge music, these are crafted programs with personalities that are true stars, and in beautiful locations. We are making the sport more ‘professional’ in it’s representation, as well as keeping what the windsurfing board heads want to see….action. Our market is the general public, we have to appeal to those not already hooked on the sport. Why? The tour needs sponsors, the sailors need more money, the sport needs to attract new people to it. We’re working together with the PWA’s new marketing partners, Proteus Sports, and we believe that Tour sponsorship can only come from the commercial sector, not from within the windsurf industry. Commercial sponsors are tough to please, and they want to see a sport that is global, attractive, sexy, and cutting edge.
We have had fantastic support from the PWA management. The sailors, who of course ARE the PWA, have responded to this new injection of life and enthusiasm from our team wonderfully. There is definitely synergy with what we’ve done so far. We have cut music edits on site at events, and showed them on a big screen at the awards, and so far the response has been phenomenal from the competitors, organizers and sponsors. We are trying to take the Tour to a new level. The co-operation with Richard Page, the judges and the management has been tremendous, and quite frankly, it’s exciting to be involved again. It seems that the whole new structure of the Tour, finally independent and able to stand on it’s own two feet, has created an excitement I haven’t experienced in the sport since the ‘80’s. It really is extremely exciting to see the progress and the enthusiasm.
Fortunately, the new blood on the Tour with Robby Swift and Ricardo Campello in the freestyle/waves and the likes of Steve Allen, Wojtek and Micah Buzianis in the Formula Racing is the perfect vehicle for what we need. That together with the experience of the old hands like Bjorn, Nik, Antoine, the Pritchard's, Josh, Brian, Jason etc is a really classic mix that we can play on. The elements are all there, we still have to educate broadcasters and sponsors about the ‘new’ sport and the ‘new’ PWA Tour, but we are working hard on a compelling formula for the TV shows and news coverage, and we firmly believe this will work. It’ll take more time than we thought, but the signs are already promising. We’re in for the long term. Everyone at Sportshows TV is excited by the prospects, and slowly, slowly, we are turning the tide.....”
Sportshows Television Ltd
60 Parsons Green Lane
London SW6 4HU
Tel: +44 207 731 4242
Fax: +44 207 731 4204