Ford Australia Pens Three-Year Deal with Rip Curl to Secure Presenting Sponsorship of Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach
BELLS BEACH, Victoria/Australia (Thursday, March 31, 2011) – Rip Curl International has today announced that planning for this year’s Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach – which runs from April 19 to 30 – has been bolstered by the agreement of a partnership extension with Ford Motor Company of Australia, which will see Ford elevated to overall presenting rights sponsor of the world’s longest running ASP World Tour event.
Easter 2011 will mark the 50-year anniversary of the Rip Curl Pro and Bells Beach Easter Rally, so it is fitting that the two iconic brands will use the Victorian Hallmark Event as a springboard to strengthen their partnership into the future.
“Ford have been an outstanding partner of the Rip Curl Pro in recent years – they know sport and the power of it, and they know the lifestyle connection surfing brings,” said Neil Ridgway, Rip Curl Global Marketing & Advertising Chairman. “We are stoked that Ford can see the same things in the Rip Curl Pro that we can and we look forward to many great moments ahead with them at Bells.”
Ford’s presenting rights sponsorship will include the men’s Rip Curl Pro presented by Ford Ranger and the Rip Curl Women’s Pro presented by Ford Fiesta.
“Ford Motor Company of Australia is delighted and proud to be the presenting rights partner for both the Men’s and Women’s 50th anniversary Rip Curl Pro events. The Rip Curl Pro over half a century has evolved into a major event on the world surfing tour and has become an iconic addition to the fantastically rich Australian sporting landscape,” said Christopher Styring, Ford Australia Group Manager – Motorsport, Sponsorship, Events. “Ford’s involvement in surfing offers us a targeted platform to connect and engage with the segment of the market that are environmentally aware as well as technologically savvy. Two key elements that are integral to our full product range.”
“Our association with Rip Curl, a true lifestyle brand, closely correlates with our current range of exciting, innovative, smart and environmentally conscious products that assist our customers to live a connected life and enjoy the best of what Australia has to offer.”
Today’s news comes less than a week after Ford’s announcement that they’d signed dual ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, to a three-year deal to be the face of Ford’s all-new-Ranger, set to hit market in August 2011. Fanning will join fellow Gold Coast surfer and four-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore as a Ford ambassador.
“I am really proud to be associated with both Ford and Rip Curl,” said Fanning, who has been riding with the Rip Curl team for 14 years.. “I think it’s great that Ford have stepped up their sponsorship of the Rip Curl Pro – it’s going to guarantee this year’s event at Bells Beach is bigger than ever.”
The Rip Curl Pro presented by Ford will run at Bells Beach, Australia, from April 19 to 30. Visit the live event website for more information: www.live.ripcurl.com