Fender Records and Op Announce Op “Emerging” Albums: 
Mandalay to Produce; Rhino to Distribute and Market


for immediate release:

Contact: Morgan Ringwald, director of public relations, Fender
Phone: (480) 596-7118; E-mail: mringwald@fenderusa.com

Contact: Alain Mazer, director of public relations, Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp.
Phone: (949) 580-1888, x.274; E-mail: amazer@opcorp.com

Contact: Spencer Proffer, executive vice president, Mandalay Branded Entertainment
Phone: (323) 549-4355; E-mail: spencerp@mandalay.com

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 11, 2002)—Elevating brand marketing to a new plateau, Fender Records is teaming-up with Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. (Op), the original California lifestyle brand, to spotlight new musical talent.
"Music and action sports are so inextricably linked that it had to come to pass that Fender, the largest guitar and amplifier originator in the world, could do something really huge with Op, the original action sports brand," says Ritchie Fliegler, senior vice president of market development, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (Fender).

Fender and Op, under the creative direction of Spencer Proffer, co-founder of Fender Records and executive vice president of Mandalay Branded Entertainment, Inc., will produce a CD album tentatively titled Op "Emerging," which will feature up-and-coming, unsigned bands and music artists that exemplify the youthful lifestyle shared by both Fender and Op consumers.

“This is a watershed moment in our industry, the first time that all the elements of producing an album, from A&R and production to marketing and global distribution, are being managed by world-class players, with true ‘branding’ of all the processes and products,” says Michael Marckx, OP vice president of marketing and advertising. “Every part of this project will embody those characteristics that make Fender and Op authentic and relevant with every new generation.”
Fender, Op and Mandalay will work in concert, selecting the artists, songs and overall architecture of the CD, which will be distributed and marketed by Rhino Records. Songs will be recorded from the ground, up, and produced by Proffer and Fender Records vice president of A&R Steve Plunkett.

"Since '72, Op has connected its brand to the youth culture through the creation of products, events and entertainment properties that meet the demands of the board sports community and youth market," says Marckx. "Op 'Emerging' records will showcase a diverse selection of musicians whose personalities and music play to the tastes of today's multifaceted Op customers, and the artistic responsiveness of California youth culture will resonate loud and clear on this album."

The first CD in the Op "Emerging" series will feature ten performers, including several well-known personalities in the action sports community who are also accomplished musicians. To shore up the remaining spots on the performers list, Fender, Op and Mandalay will this year launch a major talent search to find the most exciting, viable artists whose styles will reflect the "sounds" of Op via Fender and its products.

Slated to commence Nov. 11 and conclude Dec. 15, the artist search will take place on the Web. Aspiring musicians who want to participate can upload an MP3 song file for consideration by Fender and Op, who will cull the list of contenders to a select group of 20. A panel including action sports and music industry celebrities will choose finalists, and winners will be awarded a contract with Fender Records for their single on Op "Emerging."

"Considering we're going to be linking the Op 'Emerging' contest entry Web site to Fender.com, which gets 90 million-plus hits every month, this talent contest is going to be one insane, rockin', wall-to-wall party," says Fliegler. "Every young music freak with computer access, in every garage in the world, is going to be beating up our Internet servers."
If any breakout artists emerge though the project, they will be eligible to be signed to a full-fledged, long-term recording contract with Fender Records. Op will continue to be associated with and have a sponsorship affiliation with artists throughout their entire contract with Fender Records. The CD is scheduled for release late spring 2003.

In addition to standard retail distribution, Op "Emerging" will be sold on Fender's Web site (www.Fender.com) and through Rhino’s Web site (www.rhino.com). It will also be available at Op portals, including Web sites (www.Op.com and www.OpClassic.com) and retail outlets.

Known for their philanthropic efforts in the areas of youth education, Fender and Op will donate a portion of album proceeds to a mutually agreed upon charity.

Initial album exposure will make use of the guitar manufacturing icon's and apparel icon's respective market positions: Op and Fender will each be able to utilize the CD in connection with promotions, product launches and marketing campaigns.

Among other initiatives, Fender plans to manufacture limited edition Op-branded guitars, and a nationwide tour of Op "Emerging" artists is being considered.

"This union of passionate and visionary crazies will lead to great music, innovative and new marketing strategies, as well as a lot of fun for all," says Proffer. "We are proud to be on the team to break some ground and artists."


Fender Records was recently formed as a means to highlight the best in guitar-driven music, both known and unknown. The label is a joint venture between Fender and its partner Morling Manor Music and Media, which was recently folded into Mandalay Branded Entertainment. The label is distributed and marketed by Rhino Records.
Fender Record’s initial release will be a guitar-anchored compilation of hit songs by popular artists ranging from Eric Clapton to blink-182. Another major aspect of the label will be dedicated to showcasing rising young musical talent via partnerships with major branded corporations desiring to support musicians at the grass-roots level while utilizing music to punctuate their product marketing and promotion. The Op release will be the first in this line.


Launched in 1972, Op was the first surfboard manufacturer to create an apparel line to meet the demands of surfers, in and out of the water, and it became the defining name that is the surf/beach culture. The brand was the first action-sports company, the progenitor of "West Coast living," and the originator of what is now known as the "active lifestyle industry."

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Op is the largest privately-held and most recognized action sports apparel brand in the world, and proffers a broad array of product extensions targeted at the youth culture and its attendant preoccupations—surf, skate, snow, and urban and street fashion—for both males and females, the young and young-at-heart.

Through manufacture of goods ranging from apparel and footwear to fragrances and accessories, and sponsorship of world-class sporting events and athletes, Op continues to remain true to its mission: to create quality active-lifestyle products with genuine value, authenticity and style.


Mandalay Branded Entertainment (MBE) was created through a joint venture between Mandalay Entertainment and the top-200 advertising agency, Flynn, Sabatino and Day, in early 2000. MBE is a full-service entertainment company delivering to clients the clout, expedience and reach of Hollywood, which is unparalleled in the communications industry. MBE offers corporate clients a new approach to brand reach and brand building through its myriad of entertainment and communications services. 
The formation of the Company marked the first time a major Hollywood production entity has stepped forward to lead Fortune 500 companies in the new world of entertainment content marketing. MBE has created a media platform that is a tool for managing brand messages and the hub for delivering them. The platform consists of proprietary media programming capable of harnessing the development, introduction and integration of additional consumer touch-point channels.


Morling Manor Music & Media, a Los Angeles-based music production and media firm with major film, television and record company alliances, was recently absorbed into Mandalay Branded Entertainment (MBE), and Morling Founder and CEO Proffer has been named an executive vice president for MBE.

Prior to joining MBE, Proffer produced and arranged a multitude of gold and platinum albums, working with artists including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Graham Nash, Heart, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money and Quiet Riot, amongst others. Additionally, he supervised and negotiated soundtrack albums featuring contemporary artists Creed, *NSYNC, blink-182, Bush, Brittany Spears, Sugar Ray, Rob Zombie, Smash Mouthand The Backstreet Boys.

Under the auspices of Morling, Proffer helped create productions and served as a producer on numerous acclaimed projects, including the four-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway play "It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues," VH1's "At Any Cost," and "Shake, Rattle and Roll," which aired on CBS. He additionally handled both the creative and administrative Functions for more than 50 SHOWTIME network original productions, and for MTV's dramatic series "Live Through This" and "Spyder Games," as well as MTV movies "Jailbait" and "Spring Break Lawyer."

Additionally, a well-decorated veteran of the entertainment industry, Proffer served as a co-executive producer on the Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning film "Gods and Monsters," and as executive producer on the two-time Emmy-nominated "Robbie Robertson: Goin' Home" for the Disney Channel.


Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) is the world’s foremost manufacturer of guitars, amplifiers and related equipment.

Since 1946, the name “Fender” has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n roll: from Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton to Kurt Cobain and everything in between.

Fender’s iconic instruments such as the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass guitars are known the world over as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized among today’s guitarists and collectors alike. FMIC corporate headquarters are located in Scottsdale, Ariz., with manufacturing headquarters and the world-renowned Fender Custom Shop in Corona, Calif.

FMIC markets using the brand names Fender, Squier, Guild, Benedetto, Floyd Rose, and Rodriguez. For more information, contact FMIC, 8860 East Chapparel Road, Suite 100, Scottsdale, Ariz. 85250; telephone: (480) 596-9690; or visit www.Fender.com.