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HB Independent

Vans looks to go big for U.S. Open

Southern California-based company is the new sponsor of national event and has a few changes in store.

By Anthony Clark Carpio

5:18 PM PST, February 11, 2013

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The new U.S. Open of Surfing sponsor is planning on shedding more light on the surf industry and bringing along some skate legends while they're at it.

After Nike pulled out of sponsoring the weeklong surf and skate event, Vans slipped its way into Huntington Beach and is looking to offer a more "inclusive" experience for others in the industry, said Chris Overholster, senior communications manager for Vans.

"It's an opportunity to showcase the others in the surf industry," Overholster said. "The focus and spotlight is going to be on Vans, but we're trying to shed some light on everyone else."

Vans signed its three-year contract along with marketing company IMG, who sponsored the event with Nike last year.

"This is a big moment for the Open," said James Leitz, senior vice president of IMG in a press release. "The event has been growing rapidly over the past several years and Vans has stepped in, harnessed all that energy and with their authentic roots and inclusive vision, will help steer this massive happening for many years to come."

The U.S. Open is scheduled for July 20-28, but Vans will be making announcements in the next couple of weeks regarding what it will offer at this year's event, Overholster said.

Along with the surfing superstars, Vans is planning on bringing a few of their skateboarding legends, like Steve Caballero and Christian Hosoi, Overholster said.

Vans has always had deep roots in Orange County, starting in 1966 with their first store located in Anaheim. Now almost half a century later with their headquarters located in Cypress, the skate brand has more than 300 stores globally with their products being sold to 170 countries, Overholster said.

anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

Twitter: @acocarpio