MasterCraft Withdraws Sponsorship of the Pro Wakeboard Tour

HortonHorton Posts: 26,530 Administrator
I do not usually post wakeboard press releases but I thought this was weird. I have no idea what the undercurrents or back story is.

Vonore, TN --- MasterCraft Boat Company announced today it has chosen to withdraw its sponsorship of the 2015 Pro Wakeboard Tour season, opting out of the final year of its contract with World Sports and Marketing, the event-marketing firm that activates the PWT. MasterCraft and World Sports & Marketing have over 25 years of bringing pro watersports and its pro athletes to fans all over the country. However due to the ever changing landscape of wakeboarding, event marketing, athlete and fan expectations, MasterCraft has chosen to move forward with a new direction for the 2015 summer season.

“MasterCraft thanks the team at World Sports for over 25 years of making the Pro Tour such a highly regarded event,” said Aarne Clow, MasterCraft team and event manager. “Despite our wonderful history, there have been so many changes to the wake scene over the last few years that have resulted in the slow decline of attendance and participation, we felt it was the right time to go back to the drawing board, work with our team of world class athletes and deliver a different experience for 2015 and beyond.”

While details of MasterCraft’s forthcoming event is still under lock and key, its goal remains to bring a premium experience that progresses and exposes the sport, improves the life of the athlete and rejuvenates the fans of wake sports. More information will be coming out in the early spring of 2015.

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  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,986
    Wakesurfing has kicked wakeboarding to the curb over the last 3 years.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,323 Crazy Baller
    gee, darn
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 584 Crazy Baller
    Just a guess, but I think you may see some more combined events to draw together all of towed watersports. Also, you may see the boardsports tied to other events - X-games style. I would guess they want to expand the brand and not have the same formula year after year.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • BradyBrady Posts: 1,057 Mega Baller
    @Ed_Obermeier. I agree. Wake surfing is what you do inbetween sets! ANY water sports in decline only hurts us skiers in the long run. The little budget slalom boats gets is because of the bigger budgets being spent on "more popular" activities on the water. Anything we can do to promote ALL forms of water activities should be a priority. Well, everything except water boarding. :)
    I ski, therefore I am
  • OlssonenOlssonen Posts: 2 Baller
    Can it have something to do with the fact that more and more wakeboarders abandons the boats in favor for the cable parks?..
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,747 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    This seems really strange. I thought wakeboarding is where the money went when it left pro skiing? I admit to knowing nothing about the wakeboard scene. Is this just an issue with Mastercraft and the tour, or an issue with the entire sport?
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,478 Mega Baller
    They may be planning to take the wake board events away from a tour and more like skiing with single events.
  • E_TE_T Posts: 583 extraterrestrial trouble maker
    MC was basically funding the tour on it's own. I think 6 stops. It's hard to justify all that money if you can't tell if it even sold 1 boat. Yes it kept the name out there, but the people who went to the events where the hard core crowd. (Not very well marketed to others ).
    E.T. phone home!
    I like reese's pieces

    "Leave nothing on the dock"~AM
  • MattPMattP Posts: 5,968 Mega Baller
    edited September 2014
    By the sounds of the press release
    work with our team of world class athletes and deliver a different experience for 2015 and beyond.”
    They already have something in the works. Remember they also sponsor the Wprld Cup of Wkaeboard and Waterski.
  • DWDW Posts: 1,927 Mega Baller
    Hopefully the funds will slide over to support some slalom events... They just happen to have a new vessel to promote.
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,345 Mega Baller
    I was just commenting to a friend , "I think wake boarding is dying". Snowboarding is decreasing, too (don't quote me, but -13%, or for those of you who don't understand "off", 87%). Alpine skiing has increased approx the same. I think slalom is increasing, no data to back that up.
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • MSMS Posts: 5,026 Mega Baller
    This is the rebirth of Waterskiing.
    Shut up and ski
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    Marcus Brown has done a great job of reaching out to the non-buoy crowd which is a necessary ingredient for the rebirth of waterskiing. Growing up I skied behind a 17 ft tri hull with an outboard but I still somehow felt connected to the guys on the bud waterski tour. I don't see that with wake boarding- it seems the message there is that if you're not boarding behind a 6 figure boat big enough to sink a small fishing boat then you're not part of the "in" crowd. For any of these sports to survive on a pro level it needs to be inclusive of the guys who have never seen a course or a boat with ballast.
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,182
    People are getting too soft when Surfing becomes a bigger sport than wakeboarding or skiing. It appeals to the masses because the masses can do it far more easily than wakeboarding or skiing without getting tired or needing to stay in good shape. Its the equivalent of a watersports lounge chair, comfortable for the masses.
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • BulldogBulldog Posts: 999 Crazy Baller
    Wake boarding and all board sports for that matter have carried the boating industry for a number of years. I am sure this is the beginning of a different tour or structure for wake boarding. I LOVE slalom but any day on the water with friends or family is fantastic. Does not really matter what kind of ski/board/feet you are riding.
    Mike Loeffler - "Someone somewhere is having a real problem today...My bad skiing is NOT one of them"
  • eyepeelereyepeeler Posts: 156 Baller
    On our public lake I am seeing much less wakeboarding and a lot more jetskiing. A lot cheaper to own a jetski than a $100 k wakeboard boat.
    Matt Dillon
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,253 Mega Baller
    @Texas6‌ - bingo! You nailed it. People have been getting soft for a while now when it comes to recreational sports/activities. Tubing, PWCs, wakeboarding, and now wakesurfing are far easier to just jump into and do immediately than slalom water skiing. Please don't anyone call wakesurfing "surfing". Real "surfing" (on a real board in real waves) is way, way more difficult than wake surfing.

    The same phenomena is occurring in surfing with SUP. People that never learned to paddle and catch a wave prone are going out at breaks on SUPs because it's (f-----g) easy and it's all being hidden behind the guise of "aloha".

    I HATE the easy way out.

    I too am seeing a small, slow return to water skiing in our area and definitely seeing a strong return to snow skiing over snowboarding.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 539 Crazy Baller
    Adding to what dtm was saying above... There is a private community with lake near me that does not allow any boats with ballast tanks on the lake. Also, powered boats have to be under 21.5' in length. There are other specific rules that are specific to reducing wake size of boats on the lake with the stated goal of reducing erosion.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,317 Mega Baller
    edited September 2014
    How do they enforce the ballast rule? Can't have them or can't use them? On my boat filling the front tank is how I get rid of the wake.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • Nick SullivanNick Sullivan Posts: 676 Baller
    From what I have been told, MC is pulling back on its promo program too.
  • MattPMattP Posts: 5,968 Mega Baller
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,317 Mega Baller
    How many promos do each mfg do? I seem to remember seeing a plate in the 2013 WTT MC that we use that said #x out of something around 50
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • skinutskinut Posts: 393 Baller
    Alpine skiing made a come back, in part, due to the development of non-traditional skis, shaped, fat, etc and how they were used. Those skis encouraged younger skiers to hit the terrain parks that they saw their snowboard counterparts hitting. Fat skis made powder skiing easier which was always a strength with snowboards. Watching guys like Shane McConckey shred a huge chute on his 130mm wide powder skies gave a new meaning to extreme skiing.

    If water skiing is to ever make a come back I think it will be through the development of innovative skis and ways to use them. The Radar Satori comes to mind. Skis will have to be able to be used behind a behemoth wake board boat. The purpose of skiing will have to change as well. If you watch the extended version of Marcus Brown's lake life you will see a couple of shots of them skiing behind the Mastercraft Xstar. They weren't cutting through the wake but using it to jump and carve on. Imagine a new division in a wake board tournament, Wake Slalom.

    Just like with the changes in alpine skiing, water skiing will have to make that leap to bring in new blood. Eventually, with exposure to water skiing in it's new iteration, I think people will start to want to take their skiing to the next level which would be true slalom skiing. Just my $.02
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