Volcom SVP of Marketing Ryan Immegart answered some questions for us from Fiji about the in-progress Volcom Fiji Pro, including about new innovations Volcom is bringing to the contest and more.
Why is this contest important for Volcom?
It’s important to surfing culture and inherently important to us. When the opportunity came up, we just felt like it was the right thing to do all things considered, especially the fact that it was Fiji, which has always held a special place our hearts.
Any new innovations Volcom is bringing to the contest arena?Ryan Immegart. Shop-eat-surf file photo.
We are rolling out a string of initiatives that will make the Volcom Fiji Pro one of the most sustainable surf events in recent memory. By partnering with Tavarua Island Resort and select non-profit organizations, we have set a number of objectives we plan to accomplish during the event. They include:
• Running a carbon neutral event by offsetting the carbon footprint of the surf contest with Carbonfund.org.
• Promoting sustainable surf tourism in partnership with San Diego State University’s Center for Surf Research to collaboratively launch Surf Credits, a program where surf travelers can give back socially and environmentally to places they travel.
• Raising funds and awareness for the medical/dental focused Loloma Foundation who distributes medicine, clothing, school supplies and other necessities to many agencies throughout the South Pacific.
• Delivering clean water to local residents in partnership with Tavarua Island Resort and Give Clean Water. The joint effort will outfit two local villages and their schools with clean drinking water filters.
What are some of the challenges sponsoring a contest so far away from company headquarters?
Being so far away from HQ has its challenges of course, but we have a very qualified team that is well equipped to handle whatever issues come up. The main challenge is that our primary break for the contest (Cloudbreak) is in the middle of the ocean a couple miles offshore.
Running a live webcast is incredibly challenging considering all of the variables and the fact that all of the connections are wireless. There are many things that can go wrong but we are prepared with a variety of back-up systems in place.
Is Volcom bringing retailers to see the action?
We would have loved to bring retailers to see the action but because Tavarua and the surrounding islands are so small a majority of the easily accessed accommodations are all occupied by the surfers, their families / crews and media. This made it difficult to bring anyone else not directly involved with the event.
In addition, this being our first event, we needed to focus all our energy and resources into making sure it was an A+ experience across the board.
Is this something Volcom will do every year?
We have two years left on our three-year license with ASP.
Will any PPR executives be on hand to soak up the contest?
Unfortunately they couldn’t make it this year but they are all tuning in to the live webcast.