PORTLAND, Oregon, October 28. ARENA USA is proud to announce two more Americans signed to its Elite Team as Tom Shields and Matt McLean both inked long-term deals with the apparel company. Terms of the contracts are currently unavailable.
McLean is an Olympic gold medalist and World champion by way of his participation on the United States’ men’s 800-meter freestyle relay in both London and Barcelona. McLean, who recently made the move to train at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club with head coach Bob Bowman following his personal coach Mark Bernardino retiring from the University of Virginia, has the potential to be a revelation individually in the 200 and 400 freestyle events with full-time professional funding. The past few years, he’s been surviving on partial funding from the Athlete Partnership Agreement with USA Swimming, but has continued to put up strong performances to help Team USA’s National Team.
Most of the swimming community had already assumed McLean had signed a long-term deal with Arena, especially after he already appeared in a worldwide advertising campaign with Swimming World Magazine on behalf of Arena in the September 2013 issue. But, terms of the deal have finally been locked down and McLean is definitely to have the support from the Three Diamonds.
“I’ve been swimming in Arena for a very long time, and truly believe that Arena makes the best racing and training suits in the market,” McLean said. “The company stands for excellence, commitment to its athletes and growing the sport of swimming, and those are all things I can get behind. I’m proud to represent Arena and hope to be an Arena athlete for a long time.”
Shields, meanwhile, has been dubbed the Steve McQueen of swimming by his legions of swimming fans on Twitter since appearing on the cover of Swimming World Magazine in March 2013. Combine Shields’ dashing looks and model qualities along with his superb underwaters, and Arena just scored themselves a potential dynamo as an endorsing athlete.
After a season of trying out what it would feel like as a professional swimmer last fall while bypassing money as an NCAA senior for the California Golden Bears on the 2012 FINA World Cup, Shields is making some noise as one of the top short course swimmers in the world this year on the 2013 FINA World Cup circuit by finishing in the serious money during the Middle East cluster.
Additionally, Shields has claimed all three American records in short course meters since changing his focus to the distance last summer. He also is a world champion, helping Team USA to gold in the 400 medley relay at the 2012 World Short Course Championships, where he also took silver in the 100 fly and bronze in the 50 fly.
“I’ve been wearing Arena suits all summer and have found great success in the pool,” Shields said. “I’m so happy to officially be aligned with Arena. The technology is the best in the industry, and I am proud to represent a company that is true leader in the swimming community.”