San Clemente, Calif. – A new landmark agreement between the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) and VNU Expositions, owners and operators of the Action Sports Retailer Trade Expos (ASR), has been unanimously approved in principle by the SIMA Board of Directors. Announced today, the 10-year agreement spells out a stronger, more strategic partnership between the two organizations in support of surf industry growth and is highlighted by SIMA1s endorsement of the March ASR Fall Show (formerly named the ASR BACK2SKOOL Show).
SIMA, the official trade association of surf industry manufacturers, has endorsed the ASR Long Beach and San Diego trade shows since the formation of the association in 1989. The new expanded agreement, which becomes effective in January 2003, is designed to create more of a strategic partnership between SIMA and ASR with the best interests of the industry in mind. The agreement calls for SIMA to continue to exclusively endorse ASR shows in the Western United States, including the ASR Long Beach and San Diego shows as well as the new ASR Fall Show. Under the new terms, SIMA will now actively and aggressively promote the endorsed ASR shows to its members and surf retailers. In return, ASR will support SIMA and its efforts to grow the industry through expanded funding, including a revenue-sharing plan.
“Over the past 21 years, the ASR shows on the West Coast have become even more vital for surf manufacturers bringing their products to the market,” said Dick Baker, president of SIMA and CEO of Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. “In addition, ASR has been dedicated to the health and growth of the surf industry. A good example of that is the ASR Fall Show, which SIMA will now endorse wholeheartedly. This new agreement reflects ASR1s total commitment to this industry and SIMA1s desire to better serve its members.
“SIMA has worked hard over the past year to put together a member benefits package in order to help members grow their company and operate more efficiently. SIMA now offers discounts for everything from FedEx to freight shipping discounts to business liability insurance and more. With the expanded support of ASR, SIMA will now be able to tackle necessary special projects that will help the industry grow, such as conducting and producing annual market research reports. That1s what makes the agreement so exciting.”
The new strategic direction of the SIMA/ASR agreement was a natural progression for ASR as well, according to David Loechner, group president for VNU Sports. “The surf market is a core element to the overall action sports industry. SIMA has obviously made some big changes in the past year in how it serves the industry, and ASR is committed to seeing that mission succeed.
“It is our belief that, working together with vested interest for both parties, ASR and SIMA can better serve the interests of all surf companies and offer an incomparable trade-show experience,” Loechner said.
In order to strengthen its role as a provider of educational programming, SIMA will now assist in the creation of seminars and conferences offered at all endorsed ASR shows and will receive co-branding. In addition, paid members of SIMA will receive a number of key benefits as a part of the agreement. ASR will continue to provide meeting space for the SIMA hospitality suite at all SIMA-endorsed shows where members can send faxes, make copies, get coffee or hold meetings – all free of charge. Other benefits being offered to paid SIMA members include a discount on the purchase of the ASR retail attendance disk for each show and one free badge credential for SIMA board builders per company not exhibiting at the show.
Plus, along with key factors such as tenure, product, category and exhibit size requirements, paid membership in SIMA will be considered into final show layout within the surf category for each member company.
“Our main goal in negotiating this new agreement was to be sure that it not only served the interests of the industry, but offered real benefits to individual companies,” said Joel Cooper, chairman of the SIMA Trade Show Committee and CEO of Lost International. “ASR has truly stepped up to meet that challenge, and the SIMA Trade Show Committee is proud of what it has accomplished on behalf of SIMA and its member companies.”
For ASR, the expanded partnership with SIMA means increased and more aggressive marketing of its SIMA-endorsed shows – especially the new ASR Fall Show – to key industry exhibitors through SIMA1s communication channels. As part of the agreement, SIMA will work more aggressively toward growing retailer attendance – an objective that ultimately benefits exhibitors by increasing show traffic and buyers on the floor. In addition, ASR has expanded its role as a prime contributor in the surf industry with the new agreement. For the next 10 years, ASR is financially committed to the top sponsorship level of support for SIMA1s annual industry conference, Surf Summit, and SIMA1s annual environmental fund-raiser, Watermans Weekend.
“ASR applauds SIMA’s firm commitment to both the natural environment, which it seeks to protect for the enjoyment of future generations, and the business environment, which it seeks to better for the sake of the U.S. surf and action sports industry,” remarked Kevin Flanagan, group trade show director for ASR.
ADDING GLOBAL STRENGTH
In other related news, EuroSIMA announced today that it will exclusively endorse ASR Europe, a new European surf trade show in France beginning in July 2003. The five-year agreement comes after it was determined that a trade show better representing the board-sports market in Europe was needed. ASR Europe will extend a number of benefits and discounts to EuroSIMA members participating in the show. In addition, U.S.-based SIMA members can benefit from a 2 percent discount on one ASR show held in the United States if they purchase equivalent space for the ASR Europe show. Although separate entities, EuroSIMA and SIMA are like organizations, with EuroSIMA serving the interests of European surf manufacturers. The two organizations often work together to grow the surf industry on a global level, and SIMA assisted in EuroSIMA1s search for a trade show producer.
“Trade shows in Europe have become more important to the surf and action sports industry,” said Harry Hodge, president of EuroSIMA and CEO of Quiksilver Europe. “The ASR/EuroSIMA partnership is an important step in evolving a dedicated trade show that truly represents our industry. ASR will, in my opinion, be invaluable in promoting the industry to the benefit of our members. The 2003 ASR show in Anglet, France, will be the industry show in Europe.”
The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 700 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports ocean environment efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 13 years, the SIMA Environmental Fund has raised more than $2 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world1s oceans, beaches and waves.
Established in 1981, ASR Trade Expos, ASR Europe and the ASR Official Show Guide are the world’s leading properties devoted to the business of retailers, manufacturers, associations, sales reps, media and marketers of surf, skate, swim, footwear, streetwear, fashion and youth lifestyle products. ASR Trade Expos have over 40,000 attendees and serve over 700 brands each year.
ASR Trade Expo produced 4 internationally attended shows per year: ASR Long Beach (January 23-25, 2003), ASR Fall (March 11-12, 2003 – Huntington Beach, Calif.) ASR Europe (July 2003 – Biarritz,
France), ASR San Diego (September 5-7, 2003). ASR also produces the ASR Official Show Guide twice annually (January/September), the ASR Industry Calendar and the Official ASR website at www.asrbiz.com