March 25, 2008 : – – Irvine, Ca — The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association announced that O’Neill has been nominated for five SIMA Image awards including the Psycho 2 for Wetsuit of the Year, the Lopez Freak for Men’s Boardshort of the Year, the “In It For Life” Men’s Marketing Campaign of the Year, Men’s Apparel of the Year, and the Mutant Boot Series for Accessory of the Year.
The Image Awards gives the surf industry the opportunity to recognize fellow surf industry companies for their outstanding contributions to the industry. The goal of the SIMA Image Awards is to identify the surf industry’s most influential companies and recognize them for their efforts to advance and grow the industry over the past year.
As the original wetsuit brand O’Neill has been influencing the surf industry since it’s infancy but it is still rewarding for O’Neill to see the brand’s efforts recognized. “The product is at the heart of what we were about in the beginning and what we continue to be about today so it is satisfying to see the Psycho 2 and the Lopez Freak be nominated in their product divisions,” stated Bert Aramburu, O’Neill Wetsuit Director of Sales and Marketing.
“We’ve had the highest participation yet in the Image Awards this year,” said Dick Baker, president of SIMA. “We’re stoked as this speaks to the growing reputation and influence of the awards. This also means that competitiveness was at an all-time high as each category received more entries than ever. As cliché as it sounds, we hope all nominees are stoked as they were selected by their peers from a very competitive group of entries.”
For O’Neill the five separate nominations is an honor to the brands continued devotion to product design and the brand evolution that began fifty-five years ago. “We are excited to have received five category nominations. The nominations are directly attributed to our strong teams assembled over the last two years and are representative of the O’Neill brand’s momentum in the marketplace,” stated Steve Ward, Vice President Marketing of O’Neill Clothing.
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 world’s 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.
While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative boardriding products continues to lie at the core of everything the company does. O’Neill’s set of core values – innovation in style and technology – has seen the brand devote itself wholeheartedly to the evolution of action sports. From the first ever neoprene wetsuit and surf leash, to the world’s first stitchless boardshorts and range of groundbreaking wearable electronics, O’Neill’s spirit of innovation will always drive the company forwards.
Today, O’Neill can be found the world over. In touch with its rich heritage and the universal stoke of boardriding culture, O’Neill will always be committed to progressing that evolution and growing its reputation as one of the world’s leading youth lifestyle brands.