Split Signs Matt Bennett And Nick Merlino To Skate Team

After recently being acquired by Life Distribution, LLC in May, 2010 by its original founder David Patri,  Split is kicking off 2011 by adding several members to its skate team. Corona, California-based Matt Bennett and New Jersey native Nick Merlino are the newest addition to the brand. Details follow:

Nick Merlino and Matt Bennett
Nick Merlino and Matt Bennett

"We are thrilled to have both Matt and Nick join the Split family," said Brian Young, marketing director from Split Brand. "Matt brings a very unique style and flavor to Split with his nonchalant mannerisms and subtle laid back attitude. With Nick, all I expect to see are hammers falling from the sky like popcorn in a movie theater. I can't think of anyone that better represents the raw and authentic feel of the newly re-launched Split Brand."

Matt Bennett, a native Californian from Corona grew up skating with Billy Marks and The Grimes. Currently riding for Toy Machine, Bennett is one of the brightest amateurs-turned pro releasing his biggest video part to-date in the Toy Machine video "Brain Wash." He is best known for his Toy Machine video parts in “Good & Evil" and “Suffer the Joy.” Bennett has been touring the globe for the past few years and has been featured in TransWorld SKATEboarding and Thrasher numerous times.

“So psyched to ride for Split, I could split in two," said Nick Merlino of his recent signing with Split Brand.  Originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, he now calls Long Beach, California home.  He jumped on the scene back in 2009 when he switch-heel-flipped Wallenberg for Thrasher's "Back to the Berg" contest. He is Foundation's hottest amateur and next in line to turn pro. Merlino is known to be rambunctious, on-point and seems to be a favorite with all the major skate magazines. Stay tuned for more amazing stuff to come from Merlino.

Bennett is also sponsored by Toy Machine, Dekline, PIG Wheels Furnace Skateshop, Mob Grip and Merlino is sponsored by Foundation Skateboards, Dekline Shoes, Pig Wheels, Krux Trucks and Neef Hats.

About Split Clothing Brand

Split Clothing Brand was acquired by Life Distribution, LLC in May, 2010 by its original founder David Patri. The brand was started in 1988 by design students in San Luis Obispo, California. The original idea was to create something unique. A common bond was built between friends around this premise. Graphics found their way to surfboards, skateboards, ramps and T-shirts. In 1990, still a garage business, the motto was “don’t label me." Not wanting to be pigeon-holed as a "surf" or "skate" company, Split became the first "cross board sport" company.

The Split brand grew with global distribution and became a major label for consumers in the mid 2000's. The brand identity was updated at this time to establish a strong global brand message that revolved around their skate, surf and musical influences. The brand stayed focused on their skate and surf teams supporting the lifestyle that made the brand potent from the beginning. Known for always changing and staying on top of innovation and creative expression, Split will continue to push the boundaries of board-sport style. Split is currently licensed in Brazil and Europe.

About Life Distribution LLC

Established in 2009 when it acquired the Ambiguous brand label, Life Distribution LLC is a creative-driven distribution company with roots in music, art, fashion, sports and culture. The company's mission is to get back to the roots of apparel and design. Additionally, with strong relationships to quality manufacturers in China, the company offers valuable strength in wovens, walk shorts, jackets and denim. Keeping the company small and focused, Life Distribution LLC's staff has years of experience, and can take ownership of their specialization – making for a tight knit, cubicle-free, family.

Based in the heart of Orange County, CA, in Santa Ana, Life Distribution LLC designs houses a skate facility, art studio and mural space.  Offering an artist collective organization called 4A "Ambiguous Addicted Artists Association," Life Distribution LLC supports and works closely with a variety of artists and photographers for various projects and limited edition releases.