NEW YORK, New York, March 31. EVERLAST Worldwide Inc. (Nasdaq: EVST), manufacturer, marketer and licensor of sporting goods and apparel under the Everlast brand name, today announced the signing of Olympic swimming champion Gary Hall, Jr. as an endorser. Hall is the latest athlete to join the growing ranks of Everlast endorsers, which includes Sugar Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes and Chris Byrd.
Gary Hall, Jr. is a two time Olympian, eight-time Olympic medallist (4 Gold, 3 Silver, and 1 Bronze) and the American record-holder in the 50 meter freestyle. He is currently training in Islamorada, Florida with The Race Club preparing to make his third United States Olympic Swim team in Athens 2004. His performances in the 50 and 100 freestyle put him in a position to win another four medals. Should he do so, that would give him a total of twelve, more than any other American male in any sport in Olympic history. Mark Spitz, with 11, is the current US leader.
It was also announced that the company will be seeking a swimwear licensee for the Everlast brand. As part of the agreement, the potential licensee would receive all of the swimwear endorsement rights from Gary Hall, Jr. as well. According to the company, this is the first time that a major sporting goods company has offered a trademark license that includes one of the most famous swimmers in the world. As a result, the licensee would not only benefit from consumer awareness of the Everlast brand, but would have full endorsement rights from Gary Hall, Jr., as well. This groundbreaking approach to the market will give a swimwear licensee a method to compete with the largest swimwear programs in the US.
George Q Horowitz, chairman and CEO of Everlast Worldwide Inc., said, "Gary Hall is the embodiment of the Everlast championship spirit through his dedication to the pursuit of excellence. Boxing has figured prominently in Gary's success as he uses the sport's training techniques as a primary means of reaching the fitness level required to excel in his chosen sport.
"While broadening consumer awareness of boxing as a fitness activity, our unique strategy will serve to attract a quality swimwear licensee and provide the company with a unique competitive advantage by having one of the sport's superstars as a spokesman."
Gary was introduced this morning as an Everlast spokesman at a special press conference today at Asphalt Green in New York, where he demonstrated a swimming/boxing workout. The event attracted major media coverage, including the T.V. networks and many of the nation's largest print media.
At the event he demonstrated part of his boxing regimen by the pool, swam several underwater lengths followed by sprints. Additionally, he worked with the children from the existing Asphalt Green Waterproofing Program (swim program for inner city kids). Heavyweight contender and fellow Everlast endorser, Jameel McCline (30-3-3), who uses swimming as part of his boxing training, was at the event working out with Gary.
Said, Hall, "Boxing has played an important part in my conditioning and the success I've enjoyed. Everlast has a fine heritage and I am honored to be part of it for the company has outfitted some of the greatest names in sports history."