It’s All Fun & Games Until You Make $20 Million

Surfing legend Kelly Slater, just one of many who come out for the Vans Triple Crown.Surfing legend Kelly Slater, just one of many who come out for the Vans Triple Crown. (Image: Cestari/ASP)

A new independent study from Brigham Young University shows that the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing brought in over $20.9 million dollars in revenue to Oahu for the 2010 event. That’s some serious revenue.

It always amazes me to see these kind of numbers for events, although I believe that sporting events are the key to nearly every economy, it is somehow still mind-boggling to see such a high dollar amount. I completely understand how an event, or sports team/attraction can make or break a city, my hometown of Sacramento is a perfect example of how not to let a the revenue slip away. The simple fact that the city has let Arco Arena serve as the only large-scale venue this long has cost the area millions in revenue, the city should have noticed when the NCAA told them Arco was no longer suitable for tournament games back in 2009.

Seeing a successful event, or series of events, like the Vans Triple Crown confirms two of my beliefs, that people doing what they love creates the greatest value in entertainment, and sporting events are the greatest way to bring revenue to an area.

Of course, you’d be a fool to not want to travel to Hawaii, as the mixture of beauty and culture is desirable even without sports. But the setting combines the world’s most beautiful surfing opportunities mixed with everything else you could want to make the event a destination worth traveling too.

Check out more on the study below from Transworld.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is the premier series of surfing events and the grand finale of the Association of Surfing Professionals world tour each year. It is held at three North Shore surf venues (Haleiwa, Sunset Beach, Pipeline) during the period of November 12 through December 20, with 12 actual days of surfing competition required.

“The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a treasure for Hawaii’s tourism industry, particularly for Oahu’s North Shore,” said Lenard Huff, Professor of Marketing, BYUH.

“Our study took a two-pronged approach: the traditional economic impact study that estimates the net spending, both direct and indirect, that is generated from participants of the Triple Crown; and the less measurable, but equally important contributions that the Triple Crown makes to Hawaii’s image and brand. Not only does the Vans Triple Crown add to Hawaii’s economy, but it also provides global exposure of the best that Hawaii has to offer.”

Randy Rarick has been involved with the Triple Crown of Surfing since it began in 1983, then under the direction of former world champion surfer Fred Hemmings. He has seen it grow from a “bullhorn and card table” operation to a world class sporting event that is quintessentially Hawaiian.

“Surfing today is a global industry and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is recognized as the showcase of the sport,” said Rarick, who directs the series today. “We’ve come a long way over the past 30 years and surfing has infiltrated every echelon of society.

“Today, Oahu’s North Shore is recognized as the Mecca of the sport, whether you’re a surf enthusiast or not. To see the world’s best surfers ride the world’s most famous big waves, in the birthplace of the sport, is a memory of Hawaii that people carry with them for life.”