ABC spent the summer prepping for the two-night premiere of its new reality series, The Ultimate Surfer, on Monday, Aug. 23 and Tuesday, Aug. 24.
In The Ultimate Surfer, contestants train and live at Kelly Slater’s state-of-the-art Surf Ranch in Lemoore, Calif., with the hope of ultimately competing against the world’s best surfers. Former NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer hosts with sports anchor Erin Coscarelli and professional surfing announcer Joe Turpel serving as commentators. Eleven-time world surfing champion Slater is the show’s lead consultant and also serves as a special correspondent.
In June, ABC started to get the word out, inviting guests to the World Surf League’s Surf Ranch Pro event where they also took part in an exclusive VIP lounge experience. Guests were treated to authentic Hawaiian shave ice in a space featuring props from the set and an oversized art installation. They received environmentally friendly Baggu gift bags featuring Ultimate Surfer branded towels and Outerknown (owned by Slater) surf wax. Series stars Slater, Turpel and Malia Ward made appearances throughout the weekend.
Later this summer, ABC hosted invited guests to an event at Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows where they celebrated both the premieres of The Ultimate Surfer and Bachelor in Paradise with live entertainment, themed food, drinks and tropical fun with stars from each series attending the events. Bachelor in Paradise, hosted by a series of guest hosts including David Spade and Lil Jon, airs new episodes right after The Ultimate Surfer on Aug. 24.
Over the weekend, Heineken sponsored a three-day Ultimate Surfer pop-up experience on the Santa Monica Pier featuring cast appearances, live music, surf lessons, a professional surfboard shaper, a silkscreen printing station, custom Airstream photo experience, talent appearances, themed interactive games and more.
ABC also is sponsoring The World Surf League’s Ultimate Surf Ranch Experience Sweepstakes, offering the opportunity for four to win an experience at Surf Ranch with a one-night stay in an Airstream, Outerknown gear and surf session. Other prizes include a Firewire surfboard and Outerknown shopping sprees. (The sweepstakes, sponsored by the World Surf League, is open to legal U.S. residents, 18 and older. No purchase is necessary to enter; visit the website for official rules and full details.)
Finally, ABC has teamed up with surf shops in Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif.; Miami and Orlando, Fla.; and New Jersey to distribute free Ultimate Surfer branded sunglasses, board stickers and sunscreen to shoppers starting Monday, Aug. 9 through Tuesday, Aug. 24. Additionally, brand ambassadors are hitting beaches on the East and West Coasts to hand out such swag as branded lip balm, sunscreen, board stickers and more.
The Ultimate Surfer is produced by Lionsgate’s Pilgrim Media Group and WSL Studios. President of Lionsgate Nonfiction Television and Pilgrim CEO and Chair Craig Piligian, WSL CEO Erik Logan, UFC President Dana White and Faye Stapleton serve as executive producers.