World Surf League Announces Nike, NBC and NFL Execs Have Joined as CMO, CRO and SVP, Creative Insights

by | Jun 19, 2019

World Surf League (WSL) announced the appointment of Pri Shumate, Cherie Cohen and Sarah Swanson to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and SVP, Strategic Insights and Consumer Growth roles, respectively.

“There’s never been a more exciting time in surfing, and to be able to round out our executive team with world class-talent is hugely positive for the future of the organization,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said. “We have a fantastic global staff and Pri, Cherie and Sarah will help enable us to take surfing to the next level.”

Shumate (WSL CMO) is coming off her previous position as VP of Brand Marketing for Global Running for Nike. During her 17-year tenure at the global footwear and apparel leader, Shumate’s brand responsibilities included leadership of the Rio16 Olympic Strategy, as well as CMO duties for the Nike-owned Hurley in the surfing space.

“I’m honored and super excited to take on this role with the WSL. There’s never been a better moment or opportunity to share what makes surfing so special with the world,” Shumate said. “I’ve approached every role I’ve ever had from the perspective of the consumer, in this case, the athletes, fans and people who love surfing, both the sport and culture. I can’t wait to dive in and get to know them better so that, as a team and a brand, we can continue to serve them well into the future and build further equity in the portfolio of WSL brands”.

Cohen (WSL CRO) joins the World Surf League from her previous post as Senior Vice President Portfolio Sales and Client Partnerships at NBCUniversal, where she led West Coast Sales for the full NBCUniversal portfolio, with a focus on Enterprise Business Development. As CRO, Cohen will oversee the global Partnerships and Licensing functions and report directly to the CEO.

“The opportunity to connect brands to this influential and passionate fan base was one I simply couldn’t refuse,” Cohen said. “The momentum that professional surfing has is undeniable and the world is responding. I am thrilled to join this world-class team and help marketers innovate and breakthrough the sports landscape in ways that will impact their business”

Swanson (SVP, Strategic Insights and Consumer Growth) comes to the WSL from her previous role as Head of Marketing for NFL UK, where she oversaw an insight-led fan growth and media strategy – encompassing content, digital and player and influencer marketing. Swanson will lead the Talent Marketing as well as the Data, Insights & Analytics teams and will report to Shumate.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the WSL and help the team create the very best assets and experiences for the world of surfing,” Swanson said. “There is so much we can learn about what our fans, and our potential fans, want from us and look to us to deliver. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to learn, strategize and create opportunities to bring surfing and some of the world’s most talented and aspirational athletes to an even broader audience.”

The next stop on the 2019 WSL Championship Tour will be the Oi Rio Pro from June 20 – 28.

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