Ultimate SUP Showdown 2014

Calling All SUP Enthusiasts – We Want Your Eyeballs TODAY

The day is here. Catch the Ultimate SUP Showdown as it beams to a screen near you 3pm EST, 12pm PST, 9am EST

This weekend marks a milestone in history of SUP. For the first time, the sport will be showcased to a nation of sports mad armchair fanatics beaming into living rooms across the US.

What was a vision in 2013 is about to become a televised reality in 2014. The best in the world were invited and the best showed up. It was a who’s who party of the elite few of global SUP world.


It’s action like this that convinced the pundits to give SUP a shot at the prime time.

The allure of Waikiki, a swell rolling in on key, white sand, tropical water, golden sunsets and ocean athletes. It ticked enough boxes to convince the higher powers of the CBS Sports Network to give it a shot.

Handheld through the process by one of the visionaries of televised golf armed with an the A team of filming and post production, the expectations and anticipations of exactly how the sport will be showcased to the masses are high.

This raises the moot point of just exactly how will ‘we’ the participant stakeholders perceive the final edit versus the product that the sports television execs know ‘sells’ and engages the average armchair sports nut whose most likely association with the sport to date is of a middle aged man getting in the way of a surf line up or some one floating across some calm flat water that they saw in an advertisement in an inflight airline magazine.

Connor Baxter Ultimate Sup Showdown

Network television coverage is as much about telling the stories of the athletes as much as showcasing the sport

But if they can make ratings television out of ironman triathlon (a relatively boring eight hour plus affair for those not competing), the evolution of drone and POV filming combined with a ‘beach’ life backdrop, there is something seriously wrong if this does not engage a new audience. Telling the story behind the athletes as much out of creating sheer intrigue and entertainment as much as admiration for the actual level of skill required to compete at this level.

A uniform clause may have been in place but some did and did not choose to follow it.

Being produced specifically with a TV audience in mind and factoring in that certain athletes that have been utilized in an ambassadorship capacity don’t be shocked if you see a lot of bikini action and focus on certain individuals as this is now all about ratings, regardless of the uniform clause that was specifically targeted at female athletes.

Regardless of the motives of the industry, athletes or promoters, YOU – the SUP enthusiast has a key role to play this weekend. While you may not have been present in Waikiki, your eyeballs are wanted (at the very least your HD recorder).

Why? This is a game of numbers. A game of eyeballs and viewership.

The end game? It’s a ratings game, clean and simple, which will assist in elevating the sport to a level of credibility and acceptance that it is desperately seeking.

With television and main stream media coverage comes the out-of-industry advertising and sponsorship dollars. The purists amongst you may question if this is necessary, but it’s a little spoken fact that while the SUP industry is experiencing phenomenal growth, it is undercapitalized and can barely afford to keep pace with the growth.

Ultimate SUP Showdown

It’s the next generation that will be inspired by these pioneers from what they see on screen this weekend

As we look to the next generation of athletes and participants, seeing their sporting heroes on tv is something that will inspire them to work harder knowing that there is a pathway to something greater.

It’s not the Olympics, it’s not trying to be. It’s the US of A, where reality tv is king, sex sells and ratings are what modern era sports live and die by.

While Olympic athletes have to wait a total of 1460 days to have their moment in the media spotlight every four years, televised and live streamed coverage of a sport on a regular basis is what sustains them in the era of modern professional sports.

To get excited for the 60 minutes of action to come, check out the trailer here

SHOWDOWN Open: CBS Sports Network from Rick Schwartz on Vimeo.

To watch or record:

Tune in to CBS Sports Network HD this Sunday, Sept. 21,

9am HST

12pm PST

3pm EST