There was a crowd on the beach for the first day of the Billabong Pro.
With the Billabong Pro Pipeline getting underway and a good chunk of the industry on the North Shore for the event, we checked in with Billabong's global marketing leaders to see how they are marketing it to the larger world.
What are the main marketing initiatives for the Billabong men and women?
We learned a lot from the first Billabong Pro Pipeline. It's a different window from the Pipe event we previously sponsored for more than a decade, so we've had to shift our thinking. It is our start for the new year. If we were to sum it up in one line, we would double down on the local community connection to the event.
The event poster art and the collection worn by last year's runner-up, Seth Moniz, were created with the help of local artist Kamea Hadar.
The Andy Irons FOREVER artwork has been reinvented and a new collection has been launched. The Andy Irons Foundation helps support important local organizations like Kids Hurt Too Hawaii. In Waikiki, we had our surf team teach the group to surf and hear their stories.
We collaborated with the Na Kama Kai organization from the west side to raise funds for the next generation of Hawaiian surfers. Athletes from Na Kama Kai and Billabong distributed food and gear at Makaha.
We are giving a nod to Billabong's 50th year through our ad spots and an interactive space at the Ehu Kai Beach Park event site.
The Billabong Women's key brand and product campaign is called "Dream State". When the power of surfing was etched into the core, when nothing else mattered but good times and the outfits were loud, it was time to draw inspiration from the '90s. There are a lot of prints and colors.
There is a women's window.
There has always been something special about the North Shore. It is a part of Hawaii that stays with you. Hawaii is our dream state, with its warm water, palm trees, and endless rainbows. This time of year is special for surfers in Connecticut. They are excited to surf Pipe and make their dreams a reality.
Is there any significant change from the past years?
Everything is better from last year. We can do events like the one in Waikiki without having to worry about Covid restrictions. Our Beach Park display has a living mosaic of Pipeline with thousands of fan submitted images.
As always, we invest in the community and surf culture of Hawaii. Our Dream State content is shared on our platforms as well as our grassroots events. We are proud to announce our new sponsorship of rising star Ewe Wong.
Is the marketing at the event related to what is in-store?
Yes, yes, yes, yes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,- We created a whole campaign around the event merchandise, so it has been featured in key doors around the world. In sync with the event, the Kamea and Artificial Intelligence Collections launch around the world.
The collection that is available in-store is part of the Dream State campaign.
What is happening in the water is tied to what is happening with the brand.
Athletes from Na Kama Kai and Billabong distributed food packs and gear at Makaha.
The key is to make your own luck. We make sure all of our riders are wearing the right styles. We prepare to celebrate the moment however it plays out by writing out all the possible scenarios. Being ahead of it when it actually happens is what it is all about.
It is testimony to the progress of women in surfing as well as to our commitment to inclusion that women's surfing is being showcased on the world stage at such an icon. Women's surfing and the WSL are supported by us.
Do you have a description of the social media strategy?
There is a fan and an autograph signer.
We have created a series in partnership with Inherent Bummer and WSL, as well as the real time with Billabong strategy. It's called "The Best One Ever" and celebrates a wide range of waves of a lifetime. The series will be shared on our social channels and broadcast during the waiting period. What's the goal of the series? Paying tribute to the wave itself.
The 50-year campaign and the women's Dream State campaign will be the focus of the content. When it comes to event content and things happening throughout the contest window, we are going to be quick to react. We will be covering a lot of our grassroots events on social media. Through our ambassador network, we will communicate our key messages.
What are you doing with team riders?
The trailer of the movie will be shown during the broadcast. There is a film featuring several people. The two guys will be interviewing after the trailer. The world's best big- wave rider will be able to share his insights during the live broadcast.
There are more retailer photos in our slide show.
One of the commentators for the WSL is Laura Enever, and our athletes will be included in all of our grassroots content. Local Hawaiian athletes and ambassadors will be integrated into our grassroots activations.
How many men and women are working on the site for the event?
The Men's and Women's teams are lean, but we have a crew on site to help out. Three humans are in the trenches for the men's team. We are running about eight deep, including our local teammates.
There are many resources for athlete support. There is a team of six women from both our USA and Australian offices. A number of staff visit to host retailers and participate in the grassroots event in person.
Does the brand host retailers there? Which ones do you think are true?
The two of them said yes. For the first time since the beginning of the year, we have been able to host valued retail partners from around the world, includingWRV, Sun Diego, Cinnamon Rainbows and Sport Radical in North America, Murasaki Sports in Japan and Coopers in Australia.
On the first night of the waiting period, we were able to show our appreciation to this group at a celebratory kick-off dinner. It is so gratifying to be able to support this part of the experience again.
The Billabong Women's VP of Marketing is Rikki Cooper.
Laura Enever is a professional surfer.
Mark Weber, Surf n' Sea's Eddie Crawford and Billabong Men's AMS marketing director.
All of us are in this together. Mark Weber made a toast at the dinner.
Billabong Women's Digital Specialist Amelia Gregor, Billabong Women's Digital Marketing Director Megan Easley, Women's VP Marketing, and Billabong Women's rep Nicole Andrade were winners of the Coopers Australia competition.
Billabong Men's VP Creative Brad Lancaster, Sun Diego's top sales associates, and Cinnamon Rainbows' Rachel D'abre are some of the people who work for the company.