The Curren vs. Occy bout highlights the importance of choosing a stable sponsor.
Despite being a lovably unstable personality, Occy has been steadily employed by Billabong for his entire career. Hell, they even stuck with him when he looked like Rosie O'Donnell-with-a-bad-dye-job, and smelled like Gary Busey. (Ironically, that gamble worked so well for Billabong that they're now giving it a try with AI.)
Curren, on the other hand, was cast aside by primary clothing sponsor Ocean Pacific in '91, soon after failing to place logo stickers on his magic 7'3" Haleiwa-winning Maurice Cole.
It's been a rocky road for Op since then. They've followed the Michael Jackson path: 80s icon turned into plastic caricature of itself, only to die suddenly and then be mass-marketed after it's death.
Granted, a few years ago, Op was on the verge of a retro-cool comeback, sponsoring Joel Tudor, Taylor Knox, and Greg Long. Op tried to reclaim it's roots and link current California heroes to the past generations of Team Op.
But a visit to OP.com nowadays tells a different story: Click on "Team Op" and you'll find pictures of D-list Hollywood celebutantes, and no pictures of surfers. Op now sponsors Joel Madden, the poison petifore from Good Charlotte who was stupid enough to impregnate Nicole Richie TWICE.
Last year, Op "sponsored" an impressive team that included Rumer Willis (Daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore or Mr. Potato Head and Jay Leno) and Pete Wentz. For those fortunate enough not to know, Pete Wentz is the uber-emo-douche from Fall Out Boy who was stupid enough to both marry AND impregnate Ashlee Simpson. Sensing a pattern here?
To cap things off, Op clothing is now exclusively sold at WalMart, which makes you wonder why they're bothering to advertise in Surfer or Surfing anymore.
Just to clarify - this is not OK. Sponsoring Todd Holland was bad enough. But Pete Wentz? The man flat-irons his hair and named his cash-cow celebuspawn Bronx Mowgli.
It's an impressive thing to leverage a brand that once aligned itself with Tom Curren, and re-align it with Pete Wentz. Third sign of the apocalypse, in fact.