Will The Us Open Infringe On Local Marketing
James Leitz, IMG Action Sports vice president and executive producer of the annual U.S. Open of surfing in Huntington Beach made a comment regarding the use of guerrilla marketing at what has become a large and somewhat controversial event: "We can keep control of the beach, but when all of the other brands and everybody else wants to do what they got to do up in town [main street], we need to expand our permit and work with city staff on that…"
This lends the question, should promoters of an event be permitted to dominate marketing efforts on a public street near to the location of the event?
Much of the marketing Leitz is referring to is in the form of street level marketing designed to take advantage of the large summer crowd. You will often see local stores and bars handing out club cards and pamphlets on the street. Local businesses are well aware of the lure of the beach and they pay a premium in lease fees to operate in the downtown Huntington Beach area.
"This is an event that I'm very proud of. It's one of a kind, unique, across the globe. But let's be honest, it's gotten too big and we gotta find a way to fix that." ~Leitz
A lot of surfing fans want a return to the roots of the event and this means downsizing by nearly 50%. It would be interesting to justify this reduction while at the same time expanding marketing authority further up away from the beach, and away from the surfing event.