Response to new U.S. Open sponsor Vans
The sponsor of a big event like the U.S. Open of Surfing can have everything to do with its success.
There have been the past years where sponsors that have nothing to do with the surf or action sports industry have come in, and the event looks more like a circus – disjointed and confusing, pieced together with little cohesion. There's been some wacky stuff in past years, like a herd of cattle on the sand and poker tournaments in the middle of the festival.
But with Vans announcing this week that it will be the sponsor for the U.S. Open for at least the next three years, readers seem excited about having a core Orange County sponsor that is respected when it comes to surf, skate and music. The U.S. Open – considered the world's largest surf contest and festival – runs July 20 – 28.
Vans has a rich history in Orange County, with the first store opening along Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa in the mid-'60s, where a shop still exists today. Today, Vans is headquartered in Cypress and produces about $30 million in shoes each year, and sells in 170 countries worldwide with a strong following in the surf, skate and BMX cultures. The brand was one of the first to really adapt the lifestyle brand concept – focusing on everything from skate, surf and snow to art, apparel and music in the early days.
Vice president of marketing Doug Palladini said the response after this week's announcement has been incredible.
"I'm humbled by the response we got. The most humbling thing for me is telling people we are going to invite the whole industry back to the event, and then the response from all my friends in the business, people who have been around a long time," he said. "It's just too important to the surfing, skate, and action sports industry – it's just too important not to have it all together. It's such the Vans way – we lead by bringing everyone in. That's what makes our industry different."
Steve Van Doren, son of co-founder Paul, said he received texts all day saying "congratulations." He said he's excited about telling his dad's story, and how he moved from Boston here 50 years ago and built the brand.
"We just want to keep the tradition and add a little Vans touch to it," he said. "It's a great event, and we're proud to be the sponsor."
Here are a few more responses from readers who commented on the Register story this week announcing the news:
Duke Edukas, Costa Mesa:
I'm stoked that they stepped up to the plate. The U.S. Open communicates our industry's message to the world. Jack's and HSS do a great job representing. I also like the fact that they are open to other company' participation. It will be interesting to see if they can accomplish the "local Family-friendly" part of it, though. It has a tendency to get kind of wild and crazy, but, maybe that is also a part of it. Thanks Van's!
Tom Spalsbury, Huntington Beach:
To bad Huntington Beach doesn't turn back to its roots and kick all the rich yuppies out and bring surfers back to so-called Surf City. It's more like yuppie land now...
Bernie Romej, Huntington Beach:
Stoked to have the OG(original gangster) OC original company making it happen.
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