Rick Bratman talks about Supergirl Surf Pro and the Expansion of the eSports Tournament in the Supergirl Gamer Pro

The Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Surf Pro celebrates its 10th year anniversary at the Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, CA, July 28-30, 2017. As always, the event will be free to the public.

In addition to the Supergirl Surf Pro competition, ASA Entertainment has added to the festivities with the Supergirl Gamer Pro, the only female-driven multi-title eSports tournament in the U.S. The Supergirl Surf Pro event features the largest female surf competition in the world and a festival centered around female empowerment, providing opportunities for women in areas of sports, entertainment, education and culture where women are traditionally underrepresented.

The inaugural event will host the top female qualifiers in popular eSports titles, Hearthstone and League of Legends and will live-stream the final three-rounds.

Astonishingly, 46 percent of all gamers are female, yet hold less than 1 percent hold a spot in eSports tournament play.

We we spoke to Rick Bratman CEO ASA Entertainment:

Q: Why do you think women have been so under represented if they are 46% of all gamers?

A: Some of it just comes down to it maybe to jealousy. We experienced it with skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding, it’s really just somebody taking a fan and creating a platform for women. They really didn’t feel safe because they really get dumped on for going out there. It was a really important positions that we get to use the power of the Supergirl Pro brand which stands for empowerment showing people that women could be just as good as the man. They’re smarter then men in most cases and certainly to wiser.

Q: Why did you change the logo from the pink Supergirl emblem to the traditional House of El look?

A: We started thinking about it. The girls don’t need to see pink to feel feminine and incredibly empowered. We want of all walks of life, in all activities to know that we are involved with them and are just as powerful in fuller colors. Just like Melissa (Benoist) does in the TV show and we wanted that same representation here around the event.

Q: There doesn’t seem to be a connection between Surfing and Gaming, where is the connection between the two?

A: The connection is about female empowerment. The Supergirl Pro is about

Carissa Moore at the 2016 Supergirl Surf Pro. Credit Steinmetz for ASA Entertainment

creating opportunity for women in sports, popular culture, entertainment, media, business, education where women are traditionally under represented and treated as second class citizens. When we came up with this 11 years ago,we met with leaders of the surfing industry and I was literally kicked out of the room with people telling me no one wanted to see women surf and no one wanted to pay money to see that. My feeling was well, you know what, no one else sees all these incredibly strong and powerful women as athletes who are graceful and beautiful. They are human beings out of the water. That’s really the connecting point here, it’s not necissarily about the consumer who is a gamer to surf.

It’s about subscribing to the opportunity for the female empowerment. That’s one of the reasons why we ended up doing gaming at Pro because we wanted the women gamers to be in an environment where there was a lot of people around, feeling strongly about female empowerment and I got to be in a situation where they’re going to be supportive of the women in that crowds are going to show up and be supportive in this environment.

Q: What kind of licensing deal did you strike with DC Entertainment? Have you made souvenir surfboards with the Supergirl logo on them?

Sage Erickson and fans at the 2014 Supergirl Surf Pro. Credit Steinmetz for ASA Entertainment

A: We have had a partnership with Warner Bros. and DC Entertinment  for 11 years. Part of that relationship is that we want to build a platform around the Supergirl mark and Warner Bro.s and DC Entertinment have been incredibly supportive of the entire Supergirl Pro venture where as we are thrilled to see how it’s grown every year since we started.

The first year we had 300 people watching with 16 girls surfing and it was a one day event. On top of the competition we have dance classes, fitness classes, you classes, a live concert and DJs.

We do not exploit the mark for consumer merchandise. We don’t sell anything on the event sight that has the mark on it, we do promotional items, but this is not about that. They (DC) did promote it at Comic-Con because the events are back-to-back.

Q: What is the one big take away from someone who isn’t familiar with the surfing and skating world that would get women into wanting to participate in these sports?

A: I think a lot of it is an inspirational element, when you have a lot of young girls out here who’re watching these women whether they are surfing, skating or gaming and you know, they might have a modest level of passion of it, when they see how incredibly strong the women that are out here doing these things, it’s an incredibly aspiring environment.

Q: Any big surprises you have going on this weekend?

A: We did a deal with Vive for a whole VR (Virtual Reality) situation with Surfers vs. Gamers competition which is going on right now and it’s crazy because we started talking at and I wanted to know what’s more important when you’re gaming. There is some level of hand-eye cordination, but is there a physicality to it besides pressing buttons? So we’re doing Surfers vs. Gamers to find out.

The event activities for the Supergirl Surf Pro and Gaming Pro are listed below:

Day 1: Friday, July 28, 8:00a – 6:00p

* 8:00am – 12:00pm: Surfing Round 1 (Round of 120)

* 10:00am – 6:00pm: Festival Village Open

* 10:00am – 6:00pm: Beer & Wine Garden Open

Coco Ho Finals. Credit Steinmetz for ASA Entertainment

* 11:00am – 12:00pm: Zumba

* 12:00pm – 4:00pm: Surfing Round 2 (Round of 96)

* 12:00pm – 12:30pm: Zander in Concert

* 12:45pm – 1:15pm: Emily Zeck in Concert

* 1:30pm – 2:00pm: Raelee Nikole in Concert

* 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Gamers vs Surfers Vive VR Challenge (Gamers vs. Surfers face off playing Sprint Vector. It’s a 1v1 game so the surfers vs Gamers will be scored based on individual results compiled into a team score.)

* 2:15pm – 2:45pm: Mittens in Concert

* 3:00pm – 3:45pm: Charlie Rae in Concert

* 4:00pm – 6:00pm: Surfing Round 3 (Round of 72)

* 4:00pm – 4:45pm: Alec Joseph in Concert

* 5:00pm – 5:45pm: Elise Trouw in Concert

Day 2: Saturday, July 29, 8:00a – 6:30 PM

* 8:00am – 10:00am: Surfing Round 3 (Round of 72 continued)

* 9:00am – 6:00pm: Festival Village Open

* 10:00am – 2:00pm: Surfing Round 4 (Round of 48)

Jordyn Barratt. Credit Steinmetz for ASA Entertainment

* 10:00am – 7:00pm: Beer & Wine Garden Open

* 11:00am – 11:30am: Zumba

* 11:30am – 12:00pm: Vive “Women in VR” Panel

* 12:00pm – 7:00pm: League of Legends e-sports Tournament

* 12:00pm – 12:30pm: Tiffany Alvord in Concert

* 12:30pm – 1:00pm: Women’s Skateboarding Performance

* 12:45pm – 1:15pm: Andie Case in Concert

* 1:30pm – 3:15pm: Sound Sessions Female DJ Competition

* 2:00pm – 6:00pm: Surfing Round 5 (Round of 24)

* 2:00pm – 2:30pm: Women’s Skateboarding Performance

* 3:25pm – 3:45pm: Skylar Stecker in Concert

* 3:30pm – 4:00pm: Women’s Skateboarding Performance

* 4:00pm – 4:30pm: Katelyn Tarver in Concert

* 4:45pm – 5:30pm: Chord Overstreet in Concert

* 5:45pm – 6:30pm: Bea Miller in Concert

Day 3: Sunday, July 30, 8:15a – 6:00p

* 8:15am – 11:35am: Surfing Round 6 (Round of 16)

* 9:00am – 5:00pm: Festival Village Open

* 10:00am – 6:00pm: Beer & Wine Garden Open

* 11:00am – 11:55am: Zumba

* 11:00am – 1:00pm: Women’s Skateboarding Clinics

* 11:00am – 6:30pm: Hearthstone e-sports Tournament

* 11:35am – 1:15pm: Surfing Quarterfinals

* 12:00pm – 12:20pm: Izar in Concert

* 12:30pm – 12:50pm:  Eva in Concert

* 1:00pm – 1:30pm: Vive “Women in VR” Panel

* 1:15pm – 2:05pm: Surfing Semi-finals

* 1:30pm – 2:00pm: Pro Skateboarding and BMX Exhibitions

* 1:45pm – 2:15pm: Joel Adams in Concert

* 2:05pm – 2:45pm: Celebrity Surf Competition 

* 2:30pm – 2:50pm: Jordyn Jones in Concert

* 2:45pm – 3:15pm: Surfing Finals

* 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Pro Skateboarding and BMX Exhibitions

* 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Spencer Sutherland in Concert

* 3:35pm – 4:00pm:  Surf Awards Ceremony

* 4:00pm – 4:45pm: Drake Bell in Concert

* 5:00pm – 5:45pm: Aaron Carter in Concert

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