Monday, 7 February 2005
New York, NY, February 7th, 2005 – ITOCHU International, Inc., is pleased to announce a licensing agreement with Tom Sims for the worldwide distribution rights of Sims Snowboards, including all snowboard, boots, bindings and outerwear products. "We are excited to have gained this opportunity to represent one of the premier lifestyle brands in the active sports arena," says Hiroshi Kitamura, CEO of ITOCHU International Inc.
"I am very pleased to have ITOCHU International as my new worldwide licensee for all Sims snowboarding equipment and outerwear," adds Sims. ITOCHU brings the kind of expertise, management, and professionalism to our industry that will help Sims grow through new innovations and solid brand building."
Sims will continue to provide high-presence marketing, award winning product and core/specialty dealer distribution. Sims' product, sales, marketing and customer service will remain in Canada. Mark Brasier and Gareth Knocker will lead the sales force. "We are pleased that this agreement has allowed us to retain most of our sales team and we are confident that with ITOCHU as a partner, Sims Snowboards will continue to play an important role in our dealers' snowboard programs," says Brasier.
Michael Tadgell, GM of Sims Snowboards will head up the Toronto group with the product, marketing and creative design firm, Apparatus Inc. "Sims has a 40-year history and we are excited about taking the brand to the next level," says Tadgell.
Sims Snowboards founder Tom Sims, a snowboard world champion, innovator, and spokesperson, has continued to advance snowboarding ever since he made the world's first snowboard out of wood and aluminum in 1963 for a junior high school wood shop project. (The original board is now in the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum in Vail.) Today, Sims Snowboards manufactures snowboards, boots, outerwear, and bindings for the popular winter sports pastime.
ITOCHU International Inc. (www.itochu.com) is the North American flagship company of ITOCHU Corporation (www.itochu.co.jp), one of Japan's leading companies. ITOCHU International consists of over 21 companies who lead their markets across a diverse industry base and business model investment. One of ITOCHU International's core competencies focuses on Brand Management and Marketing, which has involved the company in the negotiation of licensing distribution agreements with J. Crew, Tumi luggage, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Armani, Guess, Converse, and others.