INDUSTRY NEWS: NCAA Swimmers of the Year, Tara Kirk and Ian Crocker, Sign with Speedo

LOS ANGELES, June 18. SPEEDO, a top-selling swimwear brand in the world, announced endorsement deals with 2004 NCAA Swimmers of the Year, world record holders Ian Crocker and Tara Kirk. Both Olympic medal threats will compete in Speedo Fastskin FSII, the world¹s fastest swimsuit.

Texas Longhorn Crocker is expected to meet Michael Phelps in the 100m fly in one of the most anticipated events of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Crocker handed Phelps his only loss, in the 100m butterfly, at the 2003 World Championships, setting the world record in the process. The possible rematch is scheduled for August 20. Crocker also holds the world record in the 50m butterfly and the short course 100 fly and 100 free.

Meanwhile, breaststroke specialist Kirk will square off with Amanda Beard, co-world record-holder in the 200m breaststroke, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Megan Quann, 2000 Olympians Stacianna Stitts and Krissty Kowal, and high school sensation Jessica Hardy for a spot on the US team during the USA Olympic Team Trials, July 7-14, in Long Beach, Ca.

Kirk comes into the summer on a roll, having completed her swimming career at Stanford with a perfect 35-0 record in the 100 distance. Kirk is also the world record holder in the 100m breaststroke (sc), American record holder in the 200m breaststroke (sc) and an eight-time NCAA All-American.

"Ian and Tara add an exciting dimension to Team Speedo," said Roger Williams, President, Warnaco Swimwear, Inc., authorized licensee of the Speedo trademark in North America and the Caribbean. "Combine their ability for speed with the Speedo Fastskin FSII and both have a chance to accomplish incredible feats every time they are in the pool."

Speedo¹s relationship with both will include personal appearances, advertising, swim clinics, and, most importantly, research and development.

"No other brand understands swimming like Speedo does because no one else uses as many resources to create innovative technology," said Crocker. "When I¹m up on the blocks, it¹s important to be confident that you are wearing the best swimwear and equipment from the true water experts. That¹s Speedo."

"I have worked hard for the things that I¹ve achieved at the collegiate level," said Kirk. "Being a part of Team Speedo will give me the ability to compete on the world stage. I wanted a partner that values my contribution and Speedo¹s been listening to swimmers for 76 years."

Crocker is represented by Octagon. Kirk is represented by Premier Management Group

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