Sportshows are producing eight, twenty-five minute programs

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.

Cliff Webb

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.....