SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. and FOSTER CITY, Calif.–Vans, Inc. (Nasdaq: VANS) and Sony Computer Entertainment America today announced a joint sponsorship and licensing agreement that includes a collaboration between PlayStation(R) and various leading Vans properties and brands. Under the terms of this agreement, Sony Computer Entertainment America obtains a three-year license for Vans properties including the VANS Triple Crown(TM) Series for use in upcoming PlayStation-exclusive videogame titles currently in development. As part of the licensing arrangement, Sony Computer Entertainment America acquires the rights to use leading athletes associated with the VANS Triple Crown Series events and other programs for game development purposes.
The VANS Triple Crown Series encompasses the following extreme-sports disciplines: skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, freestyle motocross and BMX racing. Current VANS Triple Crown Series sponsors includes Rolling Stone magazine, G-Shock and Mountain Dew.
In addition to the licensing agreement, the companies are collaborating on a number of cross-promotional opportunities. Sony Computer Entertainment America and its PlayStation brand become a primary sponsor of the VANS Triple Crown Series events for two years with an option to extend the agreement for a third year. In-game branding opportunities covering all current and future Vans properties and products will be made available to Sony Computer Entertainment America for use in the PlayStation videogame titles.
“Consistent with several of our other recent strategic initiatives, we view this partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment America as an ideal opportunity to further establish VANS as a leading lifestyle brand in the youth market, while simultaneously generating incremental income,” said Gary H. Schoenfeld, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vans, Inc. “The growth of the interactive gaming market — which this year is projected to surpass the $6 billion level of the motion picture industry — is being fueled by the same demographic as the VANS core consumer. Additionally, Sony Computer Entertainment America’s leadership position in this category is unparalleled, having sold more than 22 million PlayStat ions in North America, or one in more than every five U.S. homes. Promoting the VANS brands and our entertainment properties via in-game branding offers a profitable and highly effective means of reaching our target audience which continues to spend less and less time in front of traditional media.”(1) “We are pleased to be teaming up with Vans and are confident that through this partnership, we will be able to strengthen the overall market presence for PlayStation due to Vans’ unique ability to talk to the elusive youth consumer,” said Andrew House, vice president, marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “The Vans relationship further demonstrates our commitment to providing the PlayStation user with the widest array of innovative entertainment products, as the extreme sports category is one of the fastest-growing sports/lifestyle areas within our key demographic audience. In addition to the benefits of being able to create and develop authentic PlayStation videogame titles based upon the Vans properties, this agreement allows for an integrated approach to brand extension between the videogame titles and a host of incremental promotional programs to maximize exposure.”
Sony Computer Entertainment America, a division of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., markets the PlayStation game console for distribution in North America, develops and publishes software for the PlayStation game console, and manages the U.S. third party licensing program. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Visit us on the Web at www.playstation.com.
Vans, Inc. is a leading branded lifesttyle company for the youth market. Vans reaches its 10 to 24 year-old target consumers through the sponsorship of Core Sports, such as skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and wakeboarding, and through major entertainment events and venues, such as the VANS Triple Crown Series, the VANS Warped Tour, the VANS World Amateur Skateboarding Championships, the world’s largest VANS skateparks, and the High Cascade Snowboard Camp. The Company operates 126 retail stores in the U.S. and Europe, and designs, markets and distributes worldwide active-lifestyle footwear, clothing and accessories, performance footwear for Core Sports, snowboard boots, step-in bindings, and snowboarding outerwear. Vans’ Internet address is www.vans.com.