Time To Hang Ten: Vans Signs On As Title Sponsor For U.S. Open Of Surfing
Vans has signed a three-year deal to replace Nike as the title sponsor of the U.S. Open of Surfing. The event, which is owned and operated by IMG, takes place in late July in Huntington Beach, Calif. Financial terms of the Vans deal were not available. Sources valued Nike's title sponsorship, which ran from '09-12, at $2-3M a year. This summer's event will take place July 20-28 and will be called the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing. In a statement, Vans VP/Marketing Doug Palladini said, "We are really looking forward to bringing the entire surf and skate industry back to the U.S. Open, leading by working with all of our peers, and inspiring a whole new generation of action sports fans. As we continue to grow our role in surfing, the U.S. Open and the City of Huntington Beach afford us one of youth culture's most powerful events to share our spirit of Off the Wall with millions of people" (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer). In California, Laylan Connelly notes the event "in the past few years has drawn crowds nearing 1 million through its nine-day run." When Nike announced in September that it was "not renewing its contract with the US Open of Surfing, it sent shockwaves into the surfing community with many wondering who could fill such big shoes." Vans has spent the past decade "beefing up its presence in the surf world by adding big names to its surf team." The brand also is "no stranger to putting on surfing events, sponsoring the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing since the mid '90s, and the East Coast Surfing Championships in Virginia." While it is still "early to give detailed specifics of the event, Vans will no doubt have a strong presence of skateboarding at the event" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 2/7).