O’Neill Announces Multi-Year Deal For US Open Of Surfing

May 15, 2008: – – Irvine, Ca – O’Neill announced today the signing of a comprehensive multi-year agreement with International Management Group (IMG) to continue its sponsorship of the prestigious U.S. Open of Surfing.

The Honda U.S. Open of Surfing Presented by O’Neill is North America’s highest-rated qualifying event and the world’s largest and most heavily attended professional surfing competition with some 400,000 spectators annually. The event runs July 18 to 27 at the Huntington Beach Pier.  All of the action will be accessible live on Go211.com

“The U.S. Open of Surfing is the biggest stage for surfing in North America and showcases the sports top competitors,” said O’Neill Clothing Vice President of Marketing, Steve Ward. “The U.S. Open has a rich history and draws more spectators than any other surf event in the world. We are stoked be a part of the event for the sixth year and are looking forward to witnessing the best surfers in the world vie for the US Open title.”

The Honda U.S. Open of Surfing Presented by O’Neill draws the sport’s major stars along with nearly 500 contestants from across the globe – America, Australia, Brazil, France, Japan and South Africa – to compete for $200,000 in total prizes. The six-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) rated men’s division boasts a $135,000 total prize package and offers competitors the largest point allocation of any Mainland event this year.

The $35,000 women’s division, also a six-star WQS, is the Mainland’s highest rated qualifying event. The O’Neill U.S. Open Pro Junior and O’Neill U.S. Open of Longboarding each offer $10,000 in prizes. Featured O’Neill’s athletes include Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach), Cory Lopez (Florida), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Pat Gudauskas (San Clemente), Sage Erickson (Santa Barbara), Caroline Sarran (France) and Lauren Sweeney (Carlsbad).

“IMG is pleased to be working once again with O’Neill,” says James Leitz, VP of IMG Action Sports. “O’Neill’s commitment and core sensibility bring added authenticity and credibility to the Open.” Celebrating its sixth anniversary of sponsoring the U.S. Open, O’Neill’s package includes “presenting” billing of the men’s and women’s divisions, and title to the U.S. Open of Longboarding and men’s Pro Junior.

O’Neill receives national television exposure on Fusion TV on Versus, national print advertising in core publications such as Transworld Media‘s teen bundle (SURF, SKATEboarding and BMX), regional print and broadcast advertising, extensive on-site signage, branding and a deluxe VIP skybox.

O’Neill, the original Californian surf, snow and lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the world¹s first neoprene wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop in Santa Cruz soon after.