LOS ANGELES/USA (Thursday, August 16, 2018) - The World Surf League (WSL) today announced the appointment of Nick Franklin as president of Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC). Key areas of focus for Franklin in this role will be driving the growth and development of the business globally, pursuing strategic and operational integration with the WSL and leading the continued innovation and evolution of the product, including the wave, the venues and the customer experience.

Nick Franklin joins WSL as President of KSWC Nick Franklin appointed as President of KSWC - WSL

Franklin brings a wealth of strategic insight, global operations expertise and business acumen, joining the WSL following a long and distinguished career at The Walt Disney Company. During his 18 years with Disney, Franklin worked in corporate strategy and in the Theme Park and Resort business unit where he led teams across a wide range of functions including global strategy, business development, real estate development, and brand and operations. He eventually held the position of EVP of Next Generation Experience, where he led the transformation of the guest experience at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Following his time at Disney Franklin served as EVP, Strategic Operations for KB Home.

"Nick is a visionary leader and we're very fortunate to have him join the organization," said Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO. "It's a time of unprecedented opportunity for the company with so many exciting aspects to develop, so Nick's incredible experience, stellar reputation and proven track record will make him vital to the successful future of KSWC and the WSL. Surf Ranch is transformational to surfing and for all those that have experienced its unique stoke, and Nick will push the boundaries of exceptional customer experience even further."

Franklin, an outdoor enthusiast, is based in Santa Monica and earned both an A.B. in Politics from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He leads a team that has substantial global real estate development, event and commercial experience, including David Likins, formerly of Mammoth Resorts, Jay Leopold, formerly of DPR Construction and George Ivezaj, formerly of The Gores Group.

"What drew me to this role is incredible appeal of surfing, its talented athletes and the opportunity to connect people to this inspirational sport, to create unique, memorable moments," said Franklin. "But having got my feet under me in the past few weeks and having a chance to see the capabilities of this superb team, I can see all of the enormous potential and am looking forward to building on the amazing foundation of work that's been done so far by both the KSWC team and partners at the WSL. With the wave technology, Surf Ranch in Lemoore and the connection to the WSL, we have an incredible platform to engage with passionate surfers and also connect with those new to sport to expand the business."

Surf Ranch, located one hundred miles inland in Lemoore, California, is home to the longest and finest open-barrel man-made wave in the world. As a prototype testing facility, Surf Ranch and KSWC engineers, scientists and visionaries continue refining, improving and adding versatility to a huge combination of waves available at the push of a button.

About WSL Surf Ranch One hundred miles inland in Lemoore, Calif., Surf Ranch has captured the world's attention as the best man-made wave in history: a 700-yard, high-performance, bi-directional wave featuring barrel, maneuver and air sections. In 2016, the World Surf League (WSL) purchased Surf Ranch and the Kelly Slater Wave System as it realized the potential for transforming competitive surfing events. Built primarily as a prototype testing facility, WSL Surf Ranch Lemoore continues to refine the wave's versatility to challenge both the world's best surfers during elite WSL events and in high performance training sessions, as well as igniting the stoke and soul with passionate amateur surfers.

About WSL The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world's best surfing on the world's best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, annually running in excess of 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men's, Women's across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

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