International Sports Leader, Sophie Goldschmidt Appointed CEO Of World Surf League

20 Jul 2017 0

Sally Mac

Coastalwatch Digital Editor

COASTALWATCH | LATEST NEWS

It's been a monumental 24 hours for the World Surf League, with one of the most exhilarating surf events in history going down at the Corona Open J-Bay and now the appointment of Sophie Goldschmidt as the next CEO of the organisation.

The WSL announced that Goldschmidt will officially take over from interim CEO (and owner / financial backer) Dirk Ziff in August. As the first female to take the helm of the doomed  league, it feels refreshing that a someone with such an incredible track record in sport will be calling the shots. Will she prove to be the Gail Kelly of surfing? 

Here's a little compilation of her history:

- Group Managing Director of CSM Sport and Entertainment 
- Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer of Rugby Football Union
- Marketing Director & Senior Vice President of EMEA - NBA
- Vice President, Marketing Partnerships and Business Development of NBA UK
- Vice President, Sports & Marketing of Women's Tennis Association
- Sports Marketing Manager of Adidas
- Non-Executive Board Member of PGA European Tour

Aside from having a dream executive CV, she's excelled in each role and is internationally renowned for her "unmatched innovation, passion, and vision to the role.” As supported by Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner. 

Not only will Goldschmidt be challenged by a league that is awash with rumours of its financial demise but also, a league that has been extensively dominated by male rule in all areas since its inception in 1983. It has only been since the transition from the former ASP to WSL under the new ownership of Dirk Ziff, that the WCT athletes were moved to a pay parity model allowing female athletes to be paid in equal measure to the males.

There is no question that a woman with such respect and experience can continue to instigate change.

The new CEO has outlined her commitment to athletes and fans through advancements in development programs and live media. Further, she will be part of evolving competitive surfing around the world with the KS Wave Company. Goldschmidt commented that she was honoured to lead the WSL. "The League has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and has pioneered incredible innovations to transform surfing into a remarkable, digital-first and world-class sport that naturally also transcends into the lifestyle sector so well. I am confident the future holds incredible potential and I am excited to lead WSL into its next phase of growth.”

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