International Water Ski Federation
World Cup Commission Report to the EB Meeting 1998
September 17, 1998
R. Corson, Chairman
1998 proved to be a very hard year for the World Cup. In the end, everything worked out and the problems we encountered have caused us to strengthen our programs so that we will be stronger in the future.
The basic issue we have to deal with is that the IWSF, through IMG is committed to provide a certain number of tournaments and TV shows through our contract with Café de Colombia. On the other side, we had no effective site contracts with the organizers. Thus when the tournament at Divonne was canceled, we had no choice but to find a substitute with little time. Ultimately, we were able to replace it with a stop at Twin Lakes, New York, but only Women’s slalom and jump. The British Masters was canceled due to a change in scheduling by the BBC beyond the control of the organizer. Through great efforts of the BWSF and IMG, it was re-established. The basic problem here is that the organizers are relying on the commercial (government) TV to provide them with a signal. They have not contracted them because they are getting it free for the National rights. The Extreme World Cup tournament was in conflict with the National Federation in Canada for a lot of reasons and canceled. They were persuaded to run the event after all, but we lost Women’s slalom. We expended a great amount of time and effort just making the basic World Cup series happen rather than more effectively using the time to promote the series or develop new sponsorship.
To prevent these things from happening in 1999, we are attempting to have a more formal arrangement with the organizers including a bid fee and a performance bond. At this point it remains to be seen if we can get 16 organizers who can meet our requirements.
On the positive side, we have had great support for the World Cup. It has produced a credible, world-wide circuit that can be recognized as the pre-eminent series event for our sport. It has gained recognition outside our sport as a recognizable series competition as other sports have. The idea of World Cup makes the events more marketable.
The continuing issues we have are as follows:
The basic operation now is that the IWSF is in a weak position in that we are happy to get enough organizers and do not have too much control of them except through moral authority and federation hierarchy. We need to be in a position where the organizer benefits greatly by being in the World Cup so that we can impose our standards. This is happening, but very slowly. We are working with IMG to try to increase the revenues and the strength of the IWSF.