Los Angeles (October 27, 2004) – Speedo and USA Swimming today announced that they have extended their 20-year partnership through 2012. This unprecedented eight-year extension, which follows a series of quadrennial renewals, will enable the two organizations to maximize the sport’s long-term marketing efforts following a surge in popularity resulting from this summer’s Athens Olympics, highlighted by the performance of Team Speedo’s Michael Phelps.
"Combining the efforts of the world’s leading swimwear brand and the world’s most successful national swimming federation is the most effective way for both of our organizations to grow over the next eight years,” said Joe Gromek, President and CEO of The Warnaco Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WRNC), Speedo North America’s parent company.
“We are pleased to continue our relationship with Speedo, a brand that has always been at the forefront of the sport’s technical and marketing advances,” said Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director of USA Swimming. “We especially look forward to developing new properties together that will connect fans with the sport of swimming, even in non-Olympic years.”
Recently, USA Swimming announced expanded television exposure for the sport (including ESPN2’s recent coverage of the 2004 FINA World Championships), the hosting of the new Golden Goggle Awards ceremony featuring Bob Costas in New York on November 15, 2004, and the continuation of the popular “Duel in the Pool” nationally televised event between the USA and Australia scheduled for August 2005.
Speedo will continue to be the official deck supplier for all national teams, including the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams, which will provide the brand with broad exposure during the Summer Olympics – the most viewed sporting event in the United States.
The contract also bolsters Speedo’s dominant competitive swimwear sales position. The brand will retain exclusive retail sales rights at all USA Swimming national events, including the Junior National Championships. Meanwhile, Speedo and USA Swimming’s joint preferred dealer network strengthens the relationship at the grassroots level.
“In the Olympic movement, there is no relationship that is as collaborative as Speedo and USA Swimming,” said Roger Williams, President, Warnaco’s Swimwear Group. “By working together, both organizations gain broad visibility while driving sales and membership.”
The continued partnership with USA Swimming is part of Speedo’s strategy to solidify its standing as the world’s leading swimwear brand in anticipation of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. In August, Speedo announced a four-year sponsorship agreement with FINA, the International Federation of Swimming. The agreement is the first ever exclusive four-year deal FINA has entered into with a swimwear brand.
Additionally, Speedo has long-term relationships with the most recognizable U.S. Olympic swimmers, including Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Amanda Beard, and Ian Crocker.
Speedo is a registered trademark of and used under license from Speedo International Ltd. Warnaco Swimwear Inc., a division of The Warnaco Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WRNC), is the authorized licensee of the Speedo trademark in North America and the Caribbean.