Burton Snowboards, market leader in snowboarding, is proud to announce an European-wide cooperation with Suzuki, independent manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and outboard motors. Suzuki has supported snowboarding continuously over the last years which now culminated in the partnership with Burton. Suzuki is a main sponsor of the Burton European Open 2008 (January 11-18, 2008), Europe’s biggest snowboard competition with up to 500 riders competing in Slopestyle and Halfpipe. The Burton European Open is a 6-Star TTR event and part of the Burton Global Open Series. Thanks to Suzuki’s partnership, the BEO will award its first ever male and female Overall Winner title based on riders’ overall performance in both the slopestyle and halfpipe finals. Both the male and female BEO Overall Winners will become the proud owners of a Suzuki Grand Vitara Freeride Edition. Suzuki also supports grassroots events and the stars of tomorrow. It is shown by their commitment to act as main sponsor for the Burton AM Tour as well. It is a grassroots events series across Europe, which Burton hosts for the third year in a row. Suzuki will throw in prizes for the AM Tour overall winners as well. The highlight of the partnership between Suzuki and Burton will be a design contest: Consumers will be able to design their own Series13 board. Burton Series13 is a program that enables consumers to create their own board graphics. All contest submissions will be judged at the end of the season by a panel consisting of Burton team riders, product managers and Suzuki representatives. The best Series 13 design will not only receive his personal Series 13 board, but also a Suzuki Grand Vitara Freeride Edition in the design of the winning board-graphics! A dedicated website for the design-contest – www.series13.com/freeride will be launched by mid-November latest. More details about the design-contest can be found on the website as soon as it is live. Check it out and be part of it! Ivar Fougstedt, European Marketing Director for Burton, has the following to say: “Suzuki is the perfect partner for us, as they really believe in the sport of snowboarding. Together we created a package which benefits both the competitive professional side of snowboarding – the BEO – and the grassroots level with the Burton AM Tour. And hey, who can resist the chance to win a car of your own design with a matching snowboard on the roof rack? “ Guido Hannich, Director European Marketing of Suzuki, states the following: "Sports like Snowboarding fit very well to our new Way of Life strategy and underline the sporty and emotional values of the Suzuki brand. The partnership with market leader Burton Snowboards will give a big boost to our brand awareness among the huge audience of snowboarding fans throughout Europe. It's an effective way of reaching a younger target group and it helps rejuvenating our brand".