By Patrick Avenell

Stephanie Gilmore was yesterday unveiled as the new Nikon brand ambassador for the Coolpix AW100 (RRP $449) tough camera range. Gilmore, a four time world surfing champion, joins Jamie Oliver and Robbie Williams in the I AM Nikon celebrity stable.

The launch of a Nikon tough camera has been a long time coming, with Nikon senior marketing manager Nick Segger telling that the company was waiting for a product that lived up to Nikon’s reputation rather than launching an inferior model just to participate in the category.

The AW100 is a 16-megapixel camera with 5x optical zoom and Full HD video recording. Tough features include waterproof to 10 metres, freezeproof to -10° Celsius, shockproof to falls of 1.5 metres and dustpoof. The camera is available in blue, black, orange and camouflage.

As the face of the AW100, Gilmore will appear in print and television campaigns, as well as in person at media events and in competitions.

In addition to Gilmore’s role, Nikon has been named the official brand of Surfing Australia. Segger said this was a move into a big market with possibilities at the consumer and B2B levels.

“Nikon is the official brand of Surfing Australia, which is very exciting for us,” Segger said at the launch. “It’s a huge market — of consumers all the way through to professionals.

“We’re also here to announce that four time world champion Stephanie Gilmore will be representing our new stage of the brand development of the ‘I AM’ campaign here in Australia as the face of the AW100. We shot a TVC with her up at her hometown — you’ve seen Jamie Oliver and Robbie Williams on TV with Nikon — and now we have Stephanie Gilmore representing the brand, so we’re really excited about that.”

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Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark echoed Segger’s excitement, saying that this partnership was a good fit.

“We’re really excited at Surfing Australia — it’s definitely a great partnership and for us very fitting,” he said. “Obviously surfing is a sport that’s got such a really great affinity with photography, from recreational surfers through to professionals like Steph on the World Tour.

“Everyone wants their photo taken, everyone wants to capture the images of our sport. More than other sport, not only in Australia, but in the world, we’ve got a synergy and an affiliation with photography.

“So, to partner with Nikon, the world’s leading camera brand, we’re really excited, it’s a big day for us, and to have Steph on board is incredible. She’s an incredible ambassador for surfing and definitely a really good fit in terms of Steph’s interest in photography.”

Nikon's new brand ambassador Stephanie Gilmore.

The new Nikon Coolpix AW100.