Ford Sponsors 2000-2001 Vans Triple Crown

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 10, 1999–Vans, Inc. (Nasdaq: VANS) The Ford Ranger pickup truck will reinforce its commitment to young buyers by sponsoring the 2000 and 2001 Vans Triple Crown Series. The contract was officially signed today in Santa Fe Springs, California, at the Vans corporate headquarters.

The Vans Triple Crown Series is comprised of the three top championship events in the sports of skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, freestyle motocross, supercross and BMX. The Vans Triple Crown Series are among the most respected events in the Core Sports(TM) industry today and will be held at a variety of venues throughout the United States and Canada during 2000 and 2001. The Vans Triple Crown Series offers over 1.9 million dollars in prize purses – the largest in the history of these sports.

Ford Ranger will sponsor eighteen events, including title sponsorships of selected snowboarding and wakeboarding events. The snowboarding event, the Ford Ranger North American Championships will be held in Lake Tahoe, California February 24-27, and the wakeboarding event, the Ford Ranger Pro, will be held in Pensacola, Florida with date TBA.

“Being the title sponsor of the snowboarding and wakeboarding events provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the capabilities of the Ford Ranger,” said Drew Cook, Ford Ranger Brand Manager. “In addition, we will have the Ford Ranger integrated into the various sporting activities at the Vans Triple Crown events.”

Ford Ranger will be part of the street course during the skateboarding events, allowing riders the opportunity to skate over the truck while the “Ford Ranger Biggest Triple Crown Wave Photo Contest” will be held during the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. The winner will receive a $10,000 prize for the best photo of the biggest wave. Another photo contest awards $5,000 to the photographer with the best picture of a pro male snowboarder jumping over the Ford Ranger as part of the Big Air jump at the Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding.

Internet links from www.vans.com and www.ford.com will provide Internet users with special opportunities to get involved in the Vans Triple Crown Series and win Ford Ranger prizes.

“Ford Ranger is a great match for young men and women who are into Core Sports(TM),” said Cook. “These people need a truck that can get them and their gear to the most remote regions, handling the toughest of terrain.”

Ford Ranger, America’s best selling compact pickup for the past twelve years, offers many configurations to satisfy the demands of the active consumers lifestyle. With 4X2, 4X4, Regular Cab and SuperCab options, standard power brakes, 1,589-lb maximum payload, speed sensitive wipers and stylish good looks, the Ford Ranger is ready to take on any adventure. In addition, a protective safety structure helped Ranger achieve the highest overall government crash test ratings among compact pickups in 1999.

“We are excited to have Ford Ranger as a sponsor of the Vans Triple Crown Series,” said Jay Wilson, Vans’ Vice President of Global Marketing. “Ford Ranger represents quality, innovation and performance–exactly the characteristics of Vans and the people engaged in Core Sports(TM).”

Ford Division, the largest automotive marketing sales division in the world, has been the top-selling U.S. car and truck brand for the past thirteen consecutive years. In November of 1999, Ford sold its three-millionth vehicle, reaching that milestone earlier than ever before. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Ford Division is home to thirteen product lines, including: the Ford F-Series pickup, the number one selling pickup in the world; the Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, the top selling SUV; and the Ford Mustang, which will be celebrated on a U.S. postage stamp this year as an American icon.

Vans has been a leader in Core Sports(TM) and lifestyle footwear for over 30 years, long before surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and other board sports made it to television. Vans has quickly become a leader in the expanding snowboard boot market and has acquired Switch(TM) step-in snowboard bindings in July of 1998. Additionally, Vans has added a line of apparel for both street and snowboarding. Vans collections are sold in the United States through a network of independent retail stores including skate, surf and snow shops, specialty athletic and lifestyle retailers as well as through 125 company-owned stores and factory outlets. Vans also sells to 80 countries internationally through distributors, sales agents and its subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Uraguay and Argentina.

Ford news releases and high-resolution photographs are available on the Ford Motor Company media web site (http://media.ford.com). Photographs are provided to the news media at no charge. The company holds the copyright for this material which is provided for editorial use only. Personal or commercial use is prohibited. Call the Media Information Center at 800-665-1515 for immediate assistance from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday and to 6:00 p.m. on Fridays.

The Vans Triple Crown logo is available for use on www.vans.com, or by calling Schneider/Newman Public Relations at 310-996-0239.