World Surf League Extends Partnership with IMG for the Southern California Event
The World Surf League (WSL) is pleased to announce that the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach – which includes the sixth stop on the Women's Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, as well as a Men's QS10000 event and a combined Pro Junior event – has been confirmed through the 2018 season.
The partnership between WSL and IMG for the Vans US Open of Surfing ensures the event is contested by the world's best surfers in the historic "Surf City," USA.
"Huntington Beach is home to a tremendous heritage in professional surfing and we're thrilled that IMG and Vans, whose roots in surfing date back to the US Surfing Championships, are partnering with us to sustain that legacy for years to come," said Paul Speaker, chief executive officer of the World Surf League. "The Vans US Open is a fantastic forum to showcase professional surfing in Southern California and we're eager to see the world's best back in the water this summer."
Carrying on the tradition of major competitive surfing at Huntington Beach since 1959, the Vans US Open of Surfing has evolved into one of the largest action sports festivals in the country, showcasing some of the world's best surfing alongside an unparalleled entertainment experience that includes curated retail spaces, world-class BMX competitions, and the return of the Van Doren Village featuring art exhibitions and hands-on creative workshops for attendees.
"We're pleased to continue our partnership with the WSL and Vans on an amazing event that brings the best athletes in the world together to celebrate surfing, action sports and the California lifestyle," said James Leitz, senior vice president, global head of action sports at IMG. "The event will provide surfing fans around the world with access to some of the most incredible lifestyle and fan experiences possible."
Adding to the excitement for the 2016 event, Vans will introduce the Pro Skate Park Series, skateboarding's first-ever international championship series in park terrain competition, bringing in an elite roster of pro and amateur skateboarders to the Vans US Open of Surfing. Attracting upwards of 700,000 fans from July 23–31, the Vans US Open of Surfing will also be webcast LIVE around the world on July 25 on VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.
"As Vans celebrates 50 'Off The Wall' years of enabling creative expression, it's important for our brand to continue to support the next generation of talented individuals through progressive platforms like the Vans US Open," said Doug Palladini, Vans' vice president/general manager for North America. "Vans is honored to carry on the legacy of the world-class events alongside IMG and WSL, while introducing the latest innovations in action sports, art and product design.
About The World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world's best surfing on the world's best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.
The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.
Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in more than 75 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates nearly 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans' cultural hub and international music venue, the House of Vans.
Vans, "Off The Wall" Since '66
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world's greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.