Vans recently announced a new agreement with IMG, a media company that consults, develops, and owns a portfolio of major action sports events such as the U.S. Open Of Surfing. Under the terms of the new agreement, which were not completely disclosed, the two companies will work together in order to develop and enhance the international distribution of Vans content globally across all media platforms.
“This is an exciting agreement for IMG as we look to invest in the long-term potential of action sports,” says Adam Kelly, IMG Media’s head of business development & senior VP. “Our partnership with Vans will increase the worldwide profile of their events as well as bring them a new audience, and we are very much looking forward to working with them.”
We caught up with Vans’ VP of Global Marketing Doug Palladini to learn more about why Vans is a fit under IMG’s umbrella, what Vans hopes to gain from the partnership, and what the future of Vans content and events holds.
Why did Vans decide to partner with IMG on its creative content and events?
Vans has worked with IMG in various capacities for the better part of the last 20 years and we continue to have a great partnership. This content distribution deal brings together Vans’ focus on high-quality, proprietary content with IMG’s network of 200-some-odd content distribution offices worldwide. IMG will bring massive visibility to Vans’ brand story-telling via events, webcasts, and activations across action sports, music, art and street culture.
What are the logistics behind the partnership?
We’re not at liberty to discuss these specifics.
Will IMG be working with Vans to help create and produce more custom, signature events? Do you have any in the works that you can give some details on?
Not at this time. Again, the focus is on providing global visibility to the Vans activities we already produce all over the world.
In what ways will the partnership help increase the viewership and audience of Vans exclusive content?
Vans is sold in more than 175 countries around the world and we want our brand stories told in all of them. IMG has the network to make that possible.
How does it broaden your global platform specifically? What are your current stats for audience and viewership internationally and how much do you hope to increase that with the new partnership?
Vans’ strategy for the past several years has been to produce our own proprietary content for our networks, such as Offthewall.tv, our websites, and our social media platforms—and then allow third parties access to that content—that could be a TV network, an online video platform, or a media partner platform. IMG will extend that strategy into new countries. We expect the impact to be exponential. If you look at the 2011 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which delivered just over 10 million webcast streams organically, just imagine what kind of visibility we can deliver to surfing’s biggest event with a planned, cohesive, global effort.
Will the partnership have a specific focus? Will content be going directly to Fuel TV or Adrenaline TV? What programs will we be seeing where?
We are really open to any and all possibilities as long as they connect our brand stories to existing or potential Vans consumers. IMG is aligned that working with the right partners in each country will be critical to the project’s success.
What do you think is the future of digital media platforms and how do you hope to see that evolve for Vans in particular?
Without divulging too much of our strategy, I’d say that we are focusing more and more on connecting our brand directly to our consumers through our own content via our own platforms. And while we still have a long way to go, what we have done to date is working.