O’Neill Clothing announced today that the company has extended their sponsorship of the world’s largest professional surfing competition for three years. The U.S. Open of Surfing Presented by O’Neill, July 24 to August 1 at the famed Huntington Beach Pier, is North America’s highest-rated qualifying event and the most heavily attended surf contest in the world.
“Last year’s U.S. Open was incredible. We had great feedback from our customers and the surf community certainly responded, said O’Neill Clothing President Kelly Gibson. “We’re looking forward to continued success at Huntington Beach.
O’Neill’s relationship with the U.S. Open last year is credited with returning a “core feel to America’s marquee surf event while driving attendance to record levels. Nearly 300,000 spectators witnessed the sport’s major stars compete in the backyard of America’s surf industry, while national and international media coverage reached an all time high. Executing a near perfect blend of sport, business and lifestyle, the 2003 U.S. Open culminated with 85,000 fans on the final day, the largest single-day crowd in the history of the sport.
“O’Neill certainly benefited by sponsoring the U.S. Open last year, but the entire industry benefited as well, said Garth Tarlow, O’Neill Clothing Director of Sports Marketing. “The U.S. Open has evolved into a consumer showcase for the sport of surfing in America. By including surf retailers, consumers, star athletes and tradition, O’Neill is creating a win-win situation.
O’Neill Clothing is driving growth for a brand now ranked among the top three surf companies globally. Since 1997 the apparel division has posted a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for sales of technical lifestyle-driven clothing.
In the past year alone, O’Neill has successfully launched women’s swim, re-launched men’s and women’s accessories, dramatically grown the junior’s category and introduced one of the top selling boardshorts of all time, the Superfreak. In addition to the U.S. Open, O’Neill sponsors events in Santa Cruz, Calif. (Cold Water Classic) and Belmar, NJ (O’Neill Pro), making it the largest supporter of pro surfing’s domestic tour among major surf companies.
O’Neill is the world’s original surf brand and manufactures the number one branded wetsuit worldwide. The family-owned and operated company distributes its products to 85 countries, including more than 2,000 specialty wetsuit and clothing retailers in the U.S. For media information and product samples, contact Mike Kingsbury or Cherie Whyte, MKM, at (714) 375-2188. Consumer information is available.