2005 SIMA Image Awards Winners Announced

Surf Industry Companies and Retailers Honor Their Peers in Third Annual Ceremony

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (May 18, 2005) -The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is proud to announce the winners for the third annual SIMA Image Awards, a program designed to recognize surf industry companies for their outstanding achievements in seven categories: Ad Campaign of the Year, Product Innovation of the Year, Buzz Brand of the Year, Women’s Brand of the Year, Retailer of the Year, Board Builder of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year. Winners were honored in a ceremony on May 14 at SIMA Surf Summit 8 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The winner in the preeminent category of Manufacturer of the Year is Volcom. Volcom previously won this award at the inaugural Image Awards ceremony in 2003. The nominees for Manufacturer of the Year were: Billabong, O’Neill Clothing, Quiksilver, Reef and Volcom. This award was given to the manufacturer that successfully pursued an ambitious business strategy to grow its current business; exemplified industry leadership through areas such as market growth, product development and/or economic impact on the industry, and contributed to the growth of the industry as a whole in 2004.

“Each company nominated was selected by their peers, an honor of which they can be extremely proud, said Dick Baker, SIMA president and CEO of Op. “The Image Awards are designed to enable surf industry companies and retailers to recognize one another through a legitimate, SIMA sanctioned program. As the SIMA Image Awards return for the third year, it’s great to see the excitement around the awards grow with the addition of new categories and more companies being recognized. The reaction to the improved awards ceremony that truly honored and featured each nominee was unbelievable. SIMA aims to continue to raise 2005 SIMA IMAGE AWARDS WINNERSANNOUNCED the prestige of the Image Awards and strives to recognize more companies as they reach new heights and accomplishments.

Volcom also emerged victorious in this year’s new category, Women’s Brand of the Year. The Women’s Brand of the Year category was introduced to recognize the growing and influential women’s brands in the surf industry. The nominees for Women’s Brand of the Year were: Billabong Girls, Nikita Clothing, Roxy, Split Girls and Volcom Girls. The award criteria for Women’s Brand of the Year specified the honor was to be awarded to the women’s brand that grew its business and exhibited category leadership in design, brand appeal and recognition most in 2004.

The award for Buzz Brand of the Year was awarded to the new or established small-to midsize brand that created the most buzz in the surf industry in 2004, through product development and/or increased brand recognition and appeal. The winner of the 2005 SIMA Image Award for Buzz Brand of the Year is RVCA. This award was formerly known as Breakthrough Brand of the Year. The criteria and name were modified to reflect the eligibility of established small to mid-size brands in the nomination process, not only brands new to the market in 2004. The nominees for Buzz Brand were: Amerikan Project, Analog, Electric, MADA and RVCA.

Receiving top honors in the category of Product Innovation of the Year is the Reef “Mick Fanning Sandal. The nominees for Product Innovation of the Year were: Body Glove “Vapor Wetsuit, INT Softboards EPX/Polyethylene Technology, Matix “Gusto Military Party Trunks, Oakley “Thump and the Reef “Mick Fanning Sandal. The winner and nominees for Product Innovation of the Year were selected as the companies that developed/created the most innovative surf or surf-related product in 2004.

Quiksilver emerged on top, winning the award for Ad Campaign of the Year. With this award, Quiksilver was selected for the second year in a row as the company that demonstrated the most creative advertising campaign to convey a cohesive and consistent brand message in print, digital and point-of-purcchase formats throughout 2004. The nominees in the category of Ad Campaign of the Year were: Op, Quiksilver, Reef Clothing, Rusty Surfboards and Volcom.

Channel Islands took the award for Board Builder of the Year for the second year in a row. The nominees for Board Builder of the Year were: Channel Islands, JS Surfboards, Lost, Rusty and Surftech. The award for Board Builder of the Year recognizes the surfboard manufacturer that exhibited industry leadership and grew its current business in the surfboard category through market growth and/or innovation in 2004.

The award for Retailer of the Year, honoring the specialty surf retailer that showed exemplary service to its customers through staff, store and product offerings as well as significant involvement in and commitment to surfing in 2004, went to Sun Diego. The nominees in the category of Retailer of the Year were: 17th Street Surf Shop in Virginia Beach, Virginia; K-5 in Encinitas, California; Ron Jon located in Florida and California; Sun Diego in San Diego, California, and Surf Ride in Oceanside, California.

The SIMA Image Awards give surf industry manufacturers and retailers the opportunity to identify candidates and vote for the industry’s most influential companies in each category. A call for nominations for the seven award categories was sent to SIMA member companies in February and the five companies that received the most nominations were named as the nominees in each category. SIMA members and surf industry retailers selected the winners in each category through a confidential voting process conducted by mailed ballot.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony during SIMA Surf Summit 8 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, May 12-15, 2005. The 2005 ceremony built the excitement and anticipation of the crowd with an MTV awards-style video montage of each nominee in the seven award categories, produced by Vipe Desai and Mike Ensch of Propaganda HQ.

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 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 oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the

SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 15 years, SIMA’s Environmental Fund has raised more than $2.5 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves.