All of Nike’s surf athletes including Kolohe Andino, Carissa Moore, and Julian Wilson will be swapping their swooshes for Hurley logos beginning in the new year. According to sources at Nike and Hurley, which Nike purchased in 2002, the Nike surf team will begin a month long transition to the Hurley squad as Nike limits its involvement in surf to footwear sponsorships and targets its action sports initiatives on skate and snowboarding.
Hurley has historically focused its sponsorship efforts on surf ambassadors and not top level pros in the traditional sense, but as of January 1, 2013 it will be the top sponsor of eight of the world tour’s 34 surfers.
According to a Hurley insider, the brand’s main focus through the transition will be supporting the new members of its team by leveraging its proven strategies and products to elevate their performance and opportunities, adding that overall Nike plans to double its investment in surfing but will do so by channeling all resources and efforts through the Hurley brand going forward.
As part of the move, Nike Surfing is pulling the plug on its support of the ASP Prime Nike Lowers Pro as well as its endemic advertising and conducting all marketing through Hurley. When asked if Hurley would step in as the title sponsor for the Lowers event, we were told that there have been no real decisions made at this point, but that more information would be available in the next month.
Nike’s recent announcement that it was pulling out as the title sponsor of the US Open of Surfing definitely makes more sense in the context of this announcement as well.
Speculation has already been swirling that this new focus on Hurley’s team and sponsorship of some of the tour’s best will also include the addition of another marquee athlete, rumored to be John John Florence. However, our source at Hurley said nothing is final and any news is on this front is TBD.