In following competitive surfing both at the CT and QS level I have noticed that marketing developement of an individual surfer can and does have an effect on how that person is scored in events. At first I viewed this as an unpleasant fact of life. It did not seem fair. Why should one person who is more heavily sponsored and promoted have an edge over his or her fellow competitor. It seemed unethical. But as I myself spend more time seeking out video parts on the net for surfers who are mentioned in articles and other media that function as cogs in the promotion machine I realized that the situation is a bit more complex than it looks at first gloss.
The judgement of a surf contest can seem quite arbitrary. Each surfer is stringing together moves in an effort to paint a line. At the end of the day it is about the preference of the judge as to what aestetic they think is more valuable. But in all fairness some lines are harder to understand than others.
Take art for example. Abstraction can look ugly at first glance. And personally I believe it is the perrogative of the viewer to dismiss what he or she chooses. But if the onlooker has a bit of education on the subject it may further ones ability to appreciate what at first glance is not immediately apparent.
So when a surfer is being promoted through publicity and the use of video sections yes on the one hand its just plain and simple spot lighting but on the other hand it can help judges enhance there sensibilities, advancing the mechanics of scoring by fostering a more complex understanding of the art they are viewing so to speak.