Earlier this year, the Richmond, B.C., Canada-based manufacturer of waterpark attractions acquired WaveLoch’s FlowRider products. Then the firm went on to purchase the LatiTube line of simulated surfing attractions. Recently, WhiteWater unveiled Slideboarding, its new waterslide/video game hybrid that sold out for the 2015 season during IAAPA this past November.
And now, the company has inked the industry’s first licensing deal with one of the most recognizable brands in America: NASCAR.
“We love the idea of being associated with NASCAR, and they think we bring credibility to their name, so it’s truly a win-win situation,” said WhiteWater West founder and CEO Geoff Chutter. “Both companies are excited by the opportunity.”
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is the sanctioning body of motorsports in the United States and with more than 1,200 races in over 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe.
“As one of the most thrilling and exciting sports in the world, we look forward to working with the premier waterpark company in the business to explore this unique integration with the NASCAR brand,” said Blake Davidson, vice president of licensing and consumer products at NASCAR, according to a press release. “We select our licensees very carefully, and WhiteWater, with its global reach and emphasis on innovation, proved to be a great fit for our company.”
This is not the first time a waterpark would be built based on a particular brand. Legoland is one such instance. In fact, WhiteWater worked on and developed rides for all three of the parks with their owner, Merlin Entertainments. But like Legoland, the concept for these parks was initiated by the individual intellectual property owners themselves, Chutter explained.
But this deal marks the first time in the industry where an IP owner has licensed to a manufacturer.
“The difference with this is that our customer base can approach us and say they are interested in a particular ride or park and that they would like to theme it to NASCAR,” he said.
While currently there are no sales signed, Chutter anticipates the idea to take off quickly because of the obvious connection between racing and his company's wet and dry product lines.
NASCAR first approached the firm last year at IAPPA, and Chutter was intrigued by the idea. After reflecting on the rides the firm manufactures and sells into the marketplace, he thought it would be an ideal fit.
“We think it’s a natural marriage,” he said. “This goes the extra mile, and rather than just attaching decoration onto a ride, they are in the racing game, and we’ve got rides particularly designed for racing so it lends itself to that rather well.”
One such ride, the company’s multilane slide which features up to 10 parallel lanes where riders go down an incline using a headfirst mat. Others, such as its multilevel, interactive AquaPlay structures, also work well, he added.
Of course, also on the table is designing an entire park around the NASCAR brand.
Alternatively, under the agreement NASCAR also can work directly with WhiteWater to develop a park using the brand.