LAUSANNE, Switzerland, December 20. THE worldwide sensation that is the Dancing Yakult mascot will live on at FINA-sponsored events, as FINA has announced today the extension of its partnership with Yakult through 2018.
Though not as popular in the United States, the Yakult brand is very well-known in Asia, Australia, South America and parts of Europe. The chief product sold by the Tokyo-based company is their probiotic milk, a bottle of which has been coming to life recently on pool decks as the life-size mascot of the FINA World Cup and world championships. The product is made with milk powder, sugar and a probiotic strain and has gained popularity outside Asia since 1966 and is sold in more than 30 countries. The company started a headquarters in the United States earlier this year.
Though Yakult is not FINA's only marketing sponsor, the company has probably the most exposure among FINA's other partners, with the exception of touchpad maker Omega. The Yakult logo is a requirement on the caps of all athletes at the short course and long course worlds, a move that initially was protested by athletes and swimwear manufacturers but has since met with little resistance.
Take a look at the Dancing Yakult:
Yakult began its partnership with FINA in 2005, and according to FINA's announcement today, the company will be the official sponsor of all the world championships (short course and long course) through 2018. Additionally, Yakult will be the logo featured on the bib that female athletes wear during their pre-race parade and post-race awards ceremony at those world championships. Previously, that bib placement had solely belonged to camera maker Nikon, which has been a FINA sponsor since 2007.