Sony Australia has just announced a strategic partnership with surf company Billabong, to help connect fans, enhance the brand image for both companies and ultimately increase sales.

The new strategic alliance between the two companies will entail certain things like sponsorship of events, product demonstrations, store appearances, content development, retail integration, co-branding opportunities and promotional campaigns.

One of the main drawcards of this new deal is the addition of world number four surfer and current 2009 world tour ratings leader, Joel Parkinson, as a Sony Brand ambassador.

In his new role Parkinson will represent and endorse the Sony brand, Sony sub-brands and products with media, consumers and retail partners.

“2009 is shaping up as a big year for me and it’s pretty cool that the partnership with Sony allows me to keep my fans up to date with what’s going on both on and off the world tour. Family, friends and supporters are important to me so documenting my year with products such as Sony’s Cyber-shot cameras, Handycam camcorders and VAIO notebooks will help me share my experiences and, hopefully, triumphs,” said Parkinson.

As well as this Parkinson will also feature in Sony’s upcoming campaign for its Handycam flash-based camcorder range, ‘Talk is Cheap, Show Me the Video’.

The campaign will bring together Billabong athletes and content to demonstrate the benefits of the new camcorder range. The campaigns focus is on highlighting the unbelievable moments that you can only prove happened because they were captured on video.

Carl Rose, Sony Australia’s managing director, is very enthusiastic about the new agreement, “We see this union with Billabong as a fantastic opportunity for both well-known, global brands to really excite and engage Australian consumers”.

“It’s exhilarating just thinking about the opportunities that will be possible by bringing our two brands together.”

Billabong International CEO, Derek O’Neil, expressed how it will help enhance both brands, “Billabong continues to build its digital media presence so the partnership with Sony greatly enhances the brand’s ability to capture and deliver the rich imagery that defines Billabong”.

The Sony Hanycam ‘Talk is Cheap, Show Me the Video’ campaign will be launched in mid April, and will contain elements of print advertising, an online video site and a consumer competition to win a Handycam flash camcorder every day for 30 days.