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 SIMA’s 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 ASR’s total commitment to this industry and SIMA’s 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. That’s 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.