Mick Fanning, also known as “White Lightning,” has signed a ten-year contract with Rip Curl. The idea, said Neil Ridgway, Rip Curl's group marketing chairman, is to “lock the deal down for life.” The Australian surfing champion has been sponsored by the brand for the past 20 years. Fanning made the news in 2015 when he encountered a shark during the J-Bay Open in South Africa. One of his competitors, Julian Wilson, gallantly paddled over to help Fanning fight the shark off. Both escaped unharmed. Rip Curl, based in Torquay, Australia, is currently in its 50th anniversary year.