This weekend hundreds of thousands of fans will converge on Oceanside, California to celebrate and advocate for female empowerment in sports and entertainment at the largest female surfing event in the world. Surfing won’t be the only feature at Supergirl Pro this year with concerts, skateboard competitions, speakers, vendors, art, and more showcased throughout the weekend.
For the second year in a row, the event held by ASA Entertainment and Paul Mitchell will also hold Supergirl Gamer Pro featuring a multi-title female-only esports tournament. Supergirl Gamer Pro was created to empower and inspire women and girls to take larger roles in esports where women are heavily underrepresented.
The gaming side of the event will feature tournaments in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros. 4, and Fortnite. There will also be an educational panel discussion and gaming demo hosted by CLG Red, with hands on pro tips for the female fans. Last but not least, Team Dignitas will have player representation and meet and greets with world champion CS:GO team leader Emmalee ’emuhleet’ Garrido.
Ultimate Media Ventures was brought in to handle the tournament broadcasting and for Co-Founders Nate Eckman and Jon Bukosky getting involved in women’s outreach in esports has been a passion of theirs and, frankly, a no-brainer. The Co-Founders talked to Esports Insider about their push for women’s inclusion in esports, how they’re contributing at Supergirl Gamer Pro and beyond.
“Supergirl Gamer Pro is this really awesome opportunity for us to flex our full company muscles because on top of the content side of the company we have our apparel brand – ULT,” said Eckman. “We’re dedicated to this event as a flag in the sand saying this is super important to us and we’re going to apply a lot of our resources to making it as awesome as we can because it’s important to us.
“They need rad events and rad products and we’re going to bust our ass to do that”
“Being a part of this event is all about celebrating the incredible women in gaming from youth to pro gamers to streamers. It’s as simple as acknowledging that women are half the community, half the customer and this is important to us as humans, as business owners, as community members. They need rad events and rad products and we’re going to bust our ass to do that.”
For Bukosky, the issue hits close to home:
“I’ve got six kids and they’re all in their 20s. I’ve got daughters that do cheer and gymnastics and one of my middle daughters is a gamer that’s been playing semi-pro for over 10 years.
“I’m all in. I don’t care if we lose money because if we’re gonna talk it, we’re gonna walk it”
“I’ve watched her for over a decade be bullied and not taken seriously because she was considered a ‘girl gamer’. She never had a role model to abide by so what we’re trying to do as a company is finding those next-generation role models and inspire them. I was honoured when ASA approached us and I told them I’m all in. I don’t care if we lose money because if we’re gonna talk it, we’re gonna walk it. We’re proud to be a part of this and we’re very humbled as well. We’ve been pitching something like this for over a decade and now I’m finally seeing it.”
Both Nate and Jon have built UMV around the philosophy of embracing the esports community as a whole and ignoring what the brands think.
“We’ve built this company based on what we’re seeing in the culture as a whole,” said Bukosky. “I don’t operate based on kissing the ass of any brand I care about how I can let the community’s voice be heard and how can I make them culturally significant.”
“We’re going to make sure we address women and girls in gaming and give them something that they can be proud of”
Not only with UMV be handling broadcasting at Supergirl Gamer Pro, but they’ll be releasing a new product line of apparel and accessories for female gamers.
“We’re the only endemic apparel company at retail at mass and now we’re going to make sure we address women and girls in gaming and give them something that they can be proud of,” said Bukosky. “We’re going to make sure it speaks to them and that they realize we are a company that believes in them, and their lifestyle.”
Eckman tells us the philosophy behind creating a women’s line was easy but bringing it to fruition was not:
“It’s not enough for me to just want to make women’s products just because I look around the arena and I see a blend of men and women. I have to go and get data to support it to present to the brand and marketers, publishers, buyers to prove that women are 54% of our recurring customer base. We have to have the numbers to back us up.
“We cared enough to listen to everyone and make products for them and not just be another dude that says this is what you’ve got to wear”
We’re making garments cut and sew just for women’s bodies because we cared enough to listen to everyone and make products for them and not just be another dude that says this is what you’ve got to wear.”
Supergirl Gamer Pro is also supported by the U.S. Air Force, Vertagear, MSI, N3rd Street and ViewSonic and will be held in Oceanside, California July 27th – 29th.