SBD/August 5, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

IMG Uses Sponsor Dollars To Cover Most Expenses At U.S. Open Of Surfing

U.S. Open includes the Pacifico Nose Riding Invitational, a longboard competition
The nine-day Nike U.S. Open of Surfing is “completely free for its hundreds of thousands of spectators,” meaning event owner and operator IMG “turns to aggressive sponsorship sales to offset the long list of expenses,” according to Douglas Farmer of the L.A. TIMES. Expenses include “more than 20 days of setting up and tearing down, 12 generators, 140,000 square feet of carpet and platform, and a staff of 1,500.” IMG Senior VP & Dir of Action Sports James Leitz said, "We are already selling for 2012, so I can even say it's a 12-month process. We are using this year's event as a hospitality tour to invite people to come down and take a look at it." Farmer reports this year’s Nike U.S. Open of Surfing began Thursday and runs through Sunday, and it also “hosts the Converse Coastal Carnage (a skateboarding competition), the Nike 6.0 HB BMX Pro (a BMX freestyle competition), the Hurley Walk the Walk National Championship (a high school fashion show) and the Pacifico Nose Riding Invitational (a longboard competition).” Paying for the naming rights to those events, and the "booths and displays that come along with them, is not cheap, though sponsors wouldn't give any actual figures.” Pacifico Beer, which does not serve “a drop of alcohol” at the event, “complements its alcohol-free beach presence with deals at many local bars, including $5 taxi vouchers given on Pacifico's behalf.” Pacifico Brand Manager Steve Nichols said, "This is our largest event sponsorship in the nation" (L.A. TIMES, 8/5).
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