Vans, Inc. Announces Three-year Agreement to License Snowboard Binding Technology to Nike

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 10, 1999–Vans, Inc. (Nasdaq: VANS) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Switch Manufacturing, has entered into a three-year Agreement to sell and license its Autolock(TM) snowboard step-in binding technology to Nike. Nike has agreed to utilize the Switch system as its exclusive step-in binding system for its new line of snowboard boots which it plans to introduce next year through its ACG division for the winter 2000/2001 season.

Gary H. Schoenfeld, Vans’ President and Chief Executive Officer commented from the Snow Industry of America Tradeshow in Las Vegas, “We welcome Nike as our latest licensed partner for the Switch Autolock(TM) step-in binding technology. Four years ago when Vans introduced its first line of snowboard boots, we believed that Switch had the best step-in system world-wide. As we furthered our relationship and recognized the migration of the sport to step-in technology, we decided it would be a prudent strategic move to align ourselves more closely, which led to our acquisition of Switch last July.”

Mr. Schoenfeld continued, “We are extremely gratified that Nike has selected our Switch step-in system as the most dependable and best riding system in the market. We believe that our acquisition of Switch, coupled with this transaction, has further strengthened our position in snowboarding, which continues to be a rapidly growing sport and a strong influence on the lifestyles of our target consumers.”

Mr. Schoenfeld concluded, “While orders are being finalized at this show through Saturday and over the next 30 days, we are very encouraged by the reaction to next year’s line of boots, step-in bindings and technical apparel. We look forward to a healthy increase in our snow division next season in the U.S., Japan and Europe.”(a) Vans, Inc. is a leading lifestyle, retail and entertainment-based company. Vans reaches its 10 to 24 year-old target consumers through the sponsorship of core sports,(TM) 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, and the world’s largest VANS Skate Park. The Company operates 106 retail stores and designs, markets and distributes active-casual footwear, clothing and accessories, performance footwear for enthusiast sports, snowboard boots, Switch(TM) step-in bindings, and outerwear worldwide. Vans’ internet address is

(a) This is a forward-looking statement regarding sales through Vans’ snow division for the 1999/2000 season. The Company’s actual

results could vary significantly due to a number of important

factors, including but not limited to (i) the continuing

popularity of snowboarding, (ii) weather conditions which could

affect orders, and (iii) increasing competition from companies

with significant brand recognition and greater financial

resources than the Company. For further information regarding

such factors, please see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K

for the year ended May 31, 1998.


Gary H. Schoenfeld

President and

Chief Executive Officer

Vans, Inc.

Investor Relations:

Chad A. Jacobs/Thomas M. Ryan

Integrated Corporate Relations