Industry News 3/14/2006

SIMA Announces Image Award Nominees

SIMA Announces Image Award Nominees
 
The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association unveiled the list of nominees for the fourth annual SIMA Image Awards, a program designed to recognize surf industry companies for their outstanding achievements in eight categories: Manufacturer of the Year, Men’s Brand of the Year, Women’s Brand of the Year, Breakthrough Brand of the Year, Product Innovation of the Year, Ad Campaign of the Year, Board Builder of the Year and Retailer of the Year.

The nominees in the main category of Manufacturer of the Year are: Billabong, Quiksilver, Sole Technology, Surftech and Volcom. The honor of Manufacturer of the Year will be given to the manufacturer that exhibited the industry’s best business strategy and exemplified industry leadership in 2005. The criteria urges voters that instead of design and brand appeal, to consider surf companies that grew their current business and contributed to the growth of the industry as a whole and those that exemplified industry leadership through areas such as market growth, product development and/or economic impact on the industry most in 2005.

“SIMA is excited to see the buzz surrounding the Image Awards continue to grow in its fourth year,” said Dick Baker, SIMA president and president of Op. “The nominees and winners are selected by their peers, so all of the companies nominated should be stoked that their friends and competitors in the industry hold them in such high regard. The awards ceremony itself took a big step last year with the addition of a video component highlighting and introducing each nominee, and we plan to make this element even bigger and better this year to increase the visibility of the nominees in each category.”

A new category, Men’s Brand of the Year, was introduced this year to recognize the men’s apparel, footwear, wetsuit or accessory brand that best grew its business in 2005 and featured the category’s most exciting designs, as well as having increased its brand appeal in the past year. The nominees for Men’s Brand of the Year are: Billabong, Quiksilver, RVCA, Vans and Volcom.

Billabong Girls, Nikita Clothing, O’Neill Girls, Roxy and Volcom Girls are all nominated for Women’s Brand of the Year. The award for Women’s Brand of the Year will be awarded to the women’s apparel, footwear, wetsuit or accessory brand that best grew its business in 2005 and featured the category’s most exciting designs and increased its brand appeal.

The award for Breakthrough Brand of the Year will be awarded to the small- to mid-size brand that experienced explosive growth in 2005. Voters were asked to consider surfboard, apparel, footwear, wetsuit and accessory brands that had a breakthrough year through product development and/or increased brand recognition and appeal. Companies eligible for nomination could be new or established brands, but must have annual revenues of at least $1 million and no more than $25 million. The nominees for 2006 Breakthrough Brand of the Year are: Electric Visual, Insight, Mada, Matix and Vestal Watch.

The nominees for Product Innovation of the Year are: the Aviso Carbon Fiber Hollow Surfboard, the Freestyle Audio Waterproof MP3 Player, the LokBox “Turbo Speed Dialer” Fin System, the FIREWIRE (nev) “Superflex” Surfboard, and the Quiksilver “Deep” Tide Watch. The award for Product Innovation of the Year will be given to the company that developed/created the most innovative surf or surf-related product that improves the surfing experience or advanced the profile of surf products in 2005.

The nominees in the category of Ad Campaign are: Billabong, Hurley, Reef, Vans and Volcom. The award for Ad Campaign of the Year will be awarded to the apparel, footwear, wetsuit or accessory brand that produced the most creative advertising campaign in 2005 that displayed a cohesive and consistent brand message in print, digital and point-of-purchase materials.

The nominees for Board Builder of the Year are: Channel Islands, Lost, FIREWIRE (nev), Rusty and Surftech. The award for Board Builder of the Year will be presented to the surfboard manufacturer that exhibited industry leadership and grew its current business in the surfboard category through market growth and/or innovation in 2005, as well as featured the most exciting design and brand appeal.

The nominees in the category of Retailer of the Year are: 17th Street Surf Shop, Virginia Beach, Va.; Hansen Surfboards, Encinitas, Calif.; Jack’s Surfboards, Orange County, Calif.; Town & Country, Hawaii, and Whalebone Surf Shop, Nags Head, N.C. The honor will go to the specialty surf retailer that showed exemplary service to its customers through staff, store and product offerings in 2005 and best represented surf culture and vibe through merchandising.

The SIMA Image Awards give surf industry manufacturers and retailers the opportunity to identify candidates and vote for the industry’s most influential companies in each category. A call for nominations for the eight award categories was sent to SIMA member companies in February and the five companies that received the most nominations are the nominees in each category. The winner in each category will be selected by retailers and SIMA member manufacturers through a confidential voting process conducted by mailed ballot. Ballots will be mailed the last week of March and must be returned to the SIMA office before Friday, April 21, to be counted. The results will be kept under lock and key until the winners are announced at an awards ceremony during SIMA Surf Summit 9 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, May 18-21, 2006.