Today Vans signed a three-year contract in partnership with IMG to fund the U.S. Open of Surfing. Although well-prepared for the challenge, they have some big shoes to fill, considering Nike has poured massive resources into the event for the past several years.
Van’s decision represents a continued commitment to support the surf industry and surf community. In the last couple decades Vans has hosted some of surfing’s most prestigious events, most notably The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and The East Coast Surfing Championships. This event, which has been going on since 1985, is expected to attract upwards of one million fans.
“This is a big moment for the Open,” says James Leitz, SVP of IMG and Executive Producer of the Vans US Open of Surfing. “The event has been growing rapidly over the past several years and Vans has stepped in, harnessed all that energy and with their authentic roots and inclusive vision, will help steer this massive happening for many years to come.”
“Vans and IMG have been partners for the better part of two decades. Being able to continue this relationship via such an iconic platform, in our own backyard, is simply a perfect fit,” says Doug Palladini, Vans’ Vice President of Marketing. “We are really looking forward to bringing the entire surf and skate industry back to the US 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 US 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. ”
Despite Nike’s withdrawal, The U.S. Open seems to be in good hands and is expected to thrive for (at least three) years to come.