Article in the German FAZ:
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/sport/mehr-s ... 89834.html
The Lord billionaire like it like spectacular
With the entry of investors to Richard Branson of the Kite World Cup will stand out in new dimensions. In the anticipation of better marketing opportunities fear interferes with the drivers to the nature of their sport.
Two trucks with big speakers for the sound system, a truck with loading area for the judges and the speaker is a tent on the beach as the paddock and one of the organizers - this minimal equipment is part of a World Cup in some places. It never happens rarely up that lost viewers in the Western Sahara to tour start at Punta charm in Panama or after Dhakla. "We are all of us", says the best German rider, Mario Rodwald.
A moody tent city with food stalls, stalls, beach volleyball court and beach chairs as in St. Peter's is the exception on the tour. The tourists complete the colorful picture of high performance sport, which mixes with the crowd at the drift line. The riders and their jumps, tricks and trips are within reach, as there is no fear of contact. The material bearing with the kites and boards is blocked only by red and white barrier tape. If you want, just get over it.
Each year over looking world's best riders are a single advertising space for the North Frisian health resort; the contract between the municipality and the organizing agency has just been extended again. The success of the event on the wide Ording North Sea beach has awakened desires. St. Peter is to be a model of a new World Cup series, which could begin as early as next year.
That soon should flow into the professional kite sports a lot more money, suggests a name whispered in St. Peter these days more than was spoken aloud: Sir Richard Branson. The 64-year-old founder of Virgin billionaire and is an avid rider; two years ago he went through as the oldest rider in the sport's history the English Channel. As can be heard, Branson is to take the tour together with a Spanish entrepreneur fashion chain "Zara" and a Spanish kite mark (Best). The umbrella organization of the professional kiters (PKRA) lying Tour rights they have already acquired. Already the next World Cup in Tarifa in southern end of this month will take place under the direction of the new leadership.
It is known that the PKRA wants higher quality events, more media coverage and more prize money for the driver. At the enforcement is lacking, however, because in many locations the sponsors are missing. Always a World Cup is deleted as an organizer not get the budget together. Mauricio Toscano, President of the PKRA itself will not stand in the way of the market power of the new investor group: "We are always looking for ways to improve our sport. From sports terms is the most important thing that the kitesurf conditions are ideal. And nothing will change. "
Drivers feel left out
Even in St. Peter, there were discussions between representatives of the investors, the PKRA and the organizing agency, Hamburg Agt Agency. Your CEO Matthias Neumann says: "The kite needs a better traceability for the spectators and a better dramaturgy at the site. We lack, for example, a reliable, high-quality coverage via live stream. Strong partners could have a very positive impact, especially for the kiting world. "While in St. Peter is much maxed out and fully booked, Neumann sees countless opportunities for improvement in other World Cup stops. He says: "Surely something must happen in prize money. And we can not do alone. "
In the scene blends into the quiet anticipation unimagined possibilities fear kiting could lose millions employed and subsequent investors interests of originality and traction. Demands and opportunities must be weighed. Bleachers are about impossible in the sand of St. Peter. Also show performances at the beach must follow the strict rules that have to be met in the Wadden Sea National Park, where the riders are just a guest.
The investors are very self-confident and do not necessarily ask anyone for advice - which has caused some upset with the driver association. You feel left out there. Last Monday leading rider sat at least with in the negotiations. The fear of what might be called upon to revise formulated the German Mario Rodwald so: "We must be careful that our format is not changed too crass. I would imagine that soon much higher jumps may be required, ten meters and higher. This is not difficult, but dangerous. You have to turn the head and have a high risk. It is important that we represent our views. We want to sell our sport better. But not at any price. We know that the kite has become a huge industry. "An industry that even the least benefit from the many drivers.