USA Swimming Announces Eight-year Sponsorship Deal with Arena
USA Swimming today announced that it has secured an eight-year sponsorship agreement with global swimwear company Arena. The core feature of the new deal is Arena’s role as exclusive sponsor of the U.S. National Team, which includes the creation of new National Team uniforms. The sponsorship goes into effect in January of 2013.
In addition to its role as sponsor of the U.S. National Team, Arena will also be the exclusive title sponsor of USA Swimming’s annual Grand Prix Series, play a key supporting role in the USA Swimming Foundation and its Make a Splash water safety initiative, and enjoy worldwide merchandising rights for the USA Swimming brand.
“Based on our international success over the past decade, it was time for us to target one of the most ambitious projects in our history – to be a leading player in the U.S., the most important market in the world of swimming,” said Arena CEO Cristiano Portas. “USA Swimming is an organization that excels both in and out of the pool and is a leader worldwide in advancing the sport. Today, we are immensely proud to partner with them, because we share their vision, passion, and determination.”
The new partnership signals Arena’s growing presence and commitment to the U.S. market and comes on the heels of the recent opening of its wholly-owned North American subsidiary in Portland, Oregon. In less than two years since re-entering the U.S. market, propelled by the groundbreaking technology found in its top-performing suits and the speed of innovation that is powering its surge worldwide, Arena has now claimed a leading role in the racing category.
“It was clear from our first meeting with USA Swimming that we share the same values and devotion to making sure the sport of swimming continues to grow for generations to come,” said Vice President and General Manager of Arena North America, Tim McCool. “We are excited to work with them on multiple levels, from elite to grassroots, all to benefit and celebrate the sport year-round.”
American swimming is stronger than ever, and rapidly growing in popularity and participation. The strength of the sport in the U.S. is growing with a projected growth in membership after London 2012 of 10% or more, record attendance and TV ratings for the U.S. Olympic Trials, long-term TV and Internet partnerships, and all topped off by the highest medal production of any swimming country in the Olympic Games.
“Arena shares our vision of growing participation in the sport at the grassroots level and recognizing the top athletes in the country,” said USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer Matt Farrell. “Exciting things are in store to grow the Grand Prix Series like never before with more support than ever for the top athletes.”
Arena’s commitment to the highest level of U.S. swimming builds upon the brand’s existing involvement in the nation’s swimming community. Arena is involved at numerous levels, from individual sponsorships of athletes including Rebecca Soni, Aaron Peirsol, Eric Shanteau, and Conor Dwyer, to strategic college sponsorships (including the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Men’s champions the Cal Bears), grassroots sponsorship of Swim America (an American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) program), and charitable initiatives including the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation and Eric Shanteau’s Swim For Your Life program.
“The fact that USA Swimming and Arena are joining forces creates an extremely powerful combination. I’ve been a member of the U.S. National Team, as well as a member of the Arena family, for several years and have a tremendous amount of respect for what both organizations stand for,” said six-time Olympic medalist Rebecca Soni. “This partnership will absolutely benefit the swimming community, both here in the U.S. and on a global level.”
In addition to being known for its dedication to the sport of swimming, Arena has long been associated with the cutting edge of swimming innovation. The brand’s latest product, the breakthrough POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro swimsuit, made a resounding statement at the 2012 Summer Games with hundreds of swimmers choosing to wear Arena. Swimmers at every level are now taking advantage of the game-changing technology that stood out in London, and Arena is being worn more and more in everyday practice and competition across the U.S.
This is the first time in its history that USA Swimming will partner with multiple swimwear brands – rather than one brand, as has been the case for the past three decades – in an effort to further grow the sport of swimming.