Photo: Massive crowds turned out for a concert during the US Open in 2011, which was sponsored by Nike, Hurley and Converse.
Why does Vans want to do this?
Doug Palladini: Vans was born in Orange County, California, just miles from the HB Pier, and we have been here ever since, so the opportunity to take part in such a meaningful event in our own backyard was simply too great to pass up.
The Vans brand is built upon the cultural pillars of art, music, action sports and street culture, all of which can be brought to life on the beach at the Vans US Open. In addition, we have been partners with event owners IMG for the better part of the past 15 years and believe in their ability to execute world-class events. It just feels right.
How will it help Vans surfing program?
Doug: This is just another step in our surfing progression at Vans. We have been building a team that we feel really represents our place in surf, our surf-specific footwear is a category leader, and our apparel and accessory efforts are resonating as we see our brand in several ActionWatch category Top 10 brand lists from 2012.
This also rounds out our surf activation platforms of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii, the East Coast Surfing Championships in Virginia Beach, and the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitationals taking place globally. I would also add that we have such a deep skateboarding heritage in So Cal that the Vans US Open will remind local fans of our place in surf as well.
After all, Vans' founder Paul Van Doren first met Duke Kahanamoku at the HB Pier in 1965 and made him and his crew sneakers to match their aloha shirts, and the Dogtown crew were all surfing in Venice before they started skateboarding. We have some great stories to share.
Will it be open to other brands like the ECSC is?
Doug: Absolutely. Our motto for the US Open is "bringing the industry back" and that's exactly what we plan on doing. The Vans way of leading is to welcome everyone into our tent. The Vans US Open is too important to the surf and skate industries to keep everyone at an arm's length. Beyond that, there are also B2B opportunities for all the brands and even more reasons for every skate and surf fan, brand, athlete, and retailer on the planet to be in HB from July 20-28.