O’Neill and Active Brands are proud to announce their exclusive, long-term licensing and distribution partnership in Brazil. As one of the world’s leading surf and snow lifestyle brands, O’Neill is excited about its new relationship with Active Brands, which has put together a strong operations team of Brazilian surf industry experts that will lead O’Neill’s brand progression in the region.

“Active Brands is the ideal company to align with. They have the perfect business mixture—a successful company accommodating a team of surf influencers with in-depth knowledge and skill sets that are perfectly suited to expand O’Neill through endemic channels, and to ensure O’Neill’s growth across the region,” said Michael Neil, O’Neill’s Global Head of Licensing and Brand Development. “I am confident that Active Brands will take the original brand message and core values that founder Jack O’Neill built the O’Neill brand upon, and turn it into an aspirational brand in which consumers in the Brazilian market can relate and depend upon in years to come.”

Onofrio Laselva, President of Active Brands, is equally excited about the prospect of what lies ahead. Laselva commented, “The O’Neill brand comes to Brazil at a very good time—the economy is growing, sports in general are on top of the page in Brazil, and a whole new generation of talented surfers are getting ready to take on the World Tour. When you consider that Brazil has more than 8,000 km of beautiful coastline, and that most of the 190 million population live in cities right in front of the ocean or very close to it—it’s obvious there is an enormous potential to grow the brand into one of the most significant in the country.”

Active Brands will manufacture full lines of Men’s and Women’s swimwear and apparel, and will distribute both categories along with O’Neill wetsuits and lycra collections throughout Brazil’s main key retailers. Design direction for the Men’s category will come from O’Neill USA and Australia inspirations, while the Women’s collection will be designed in-house with a more Brazilian design influence. The first collection is set to launch in stores August 2010, with products focusing on the story of the O’Neill brand, and will include Men’s boardshorts, T-shirts, wetsuits, and lycras.

O’Neill will be available in cities across Brazil, from world-class surfing communities like Rio de Janeiro, Florianópolis, Fortaleza and Santos; to the larger cities near the ocean like São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Curitiba. Active Brands also plans to launch O’Neill products in inland cities, like Brasilia, that have prevailing wakeboarding communities.

Adrian Kojin has taken on the position of Operations and Marketing Director, and will be leading the launch and growth of the O’Neill brand throughout the region. A surfer, adventurer and entrepreneur, Kojin has strong expertise and an influential hand in building the surfing world for the past 30 years. His lengthy resume includes Editor-in-Chief of FLUIR surfing magazine for 13 years, publisher of numerous surfing books, and freelance surf photographer and journalist.

“My involvement with O’Neill dates back to when I bought my first wetsuit more than 30 years ago. Since then it’s been my favorite surf brand, the one I admired and trusted the most. I don’t know any other brand in surfing that combines so much authenticity and tradition with the most advanced technology,” said Kojin. “So I couldn’t be happier about joining O’Neill in the role of Operations and Marketing Director. Being welcomed into one of the most relevant surfing brands in the world is a great honor and responsibility.”

Joining Adrian on the O’Neill Brazil operations team, are Alexandre Laganaro as Sales Director, and Paolo Costa as Marketing Manager. Costa is also a former Editor at FLUIR magazine, and recently returned from Australia where he received his Masters Degree in Sports Marketing. Laganaro, who was the former Head of Sales for Surf Co., has more than 20 years experience in the surf industry, and is widely recognized as one of the most respected figures in the surf market. Both will be key players in the future expansion of the O’Neill brand in Brazil.

For O’Neill Brazil Sales inquiries please contact Alexandre Laganaro at [email protected]

For O’Neill Brazil Marketing inquiries, please contact Paolo Costa at [email protected]