Ministry of Sport

World Surf League Hire Nike, NFL and NBC Executives

The World Surf League (WSL) has hired former Nike executive Pri Shumate, NFL’s former head of marketing UK Sarah Swanson, and Cherie Cohen former Senior Vice President Portfolio Sales and Client Partnerships at NBC Universal.

The WSL is continuing to appoint key personnel within the organisation – eager to capitalise on brand interest as the sport prepares to make its debut at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“There’s never been a more exciting time in surfing, and to be able to round out our executive team with world class-talent is hugely positive for the future of the organization,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said.

“We have a fantastic global staff and Pri, Cherie and Sarah will help enable us to take surfing to the next level.”

Shumate, who had a successful 17-year tenure at the global footwear and apparel leader, will become the organisation’s new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

“I’m honoured and super excited to take on this role with the WSL.

“There’s never been a better moment or opportunity to share what makes surfing so special with the world,” Shumate said.

Cohen joins the World Surf League as the new Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and will oversee the global Partnerships and Licensing functions and report directly to the CEO.

“The opportunity to connect brands to this influential and passionate fan base was one I simply couldn’t refuse,” Cohen said.

“The momentum that professional surfing has is undeniable and the world is responding.

Swanson, who will take on the role of SVP, Strategic Insights and Consumer Growth, comes to the WSL from her previous role as Head of Marketing for NFL UK, where she oversaw an insight-led fan growth and media strategy – encompassing content, digital and player and influencer marketing.

Swanson will lead the Talent Marketing as well as the Data, Insights & Analytics teams and will report to Shumate.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the WSL and help the team create the very best assets and experiences for the world of surfing,” Swanson said.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to learn, strategize and create opportunities to bring surfing and some of the world’s most talented and aspirational athletes to an even broader audience.”

The next stop on the 2019 WSL Championship Tour will be the Oi Rio Pro from June 20 – 28.

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney