Fastskin, the ultimate performance swimsuit designed by Speedo, scooped the coveted ‘Best Designed Sport Kit’ award at the inaugural Sport Industry Awards at the Park Lane Hilton in London on Tuesday 16 April.
Speedo International, the world’s leading aquatic sports brand, revolutionised the swimming world when it first introduced Fastskin at the Fina World Swimming Championships in March 2000. The company’s objectives were to develop the world’s leading competition swimsuit through the use of the most scientific and technical expertise. The success of the innovative design would be measured through its acceptance by the world’s leading swimmers.
Following its introduction, the Fastskin suit quickly generated the interest of swimmers and the media with over £10m of PR coverage building mass awareness both in and outside the sports world. The results far exceeded Speedo’s initial expectations with swimmers, clubs, coaches, teams and federations all adopting the suit. Swimmers from over one hundred and thirty countries worldwide sported the suit at The Sydney Games and, as a result, thirteen out of the fifteen world records were won in Fastskin.
To date over forty world records have been broken by swimmers wearing Fastskin and earlier this month at the VI Fina World Swimming Championships in Moscow, a further seven world records were broken by swimmers wearing Speedo. Top international swimmers will be competing once again in the innovative suit at the Commonwealth Games this summer.
Key to the creation of the award-winning suit was Speedo’s move to outside the traditional boundries of conventional swimwear development, focusing on biomimetics, the extraction of good design from nature. The researchers and designers involved studied the shark, a creature naturally fast in water. Fastskin mimics a shark’s skin ridges to fit and work like a second skin, built to coordinate the swimmer’s muscles with the seams providing a tendon-like tension. Speedo worked closely with ten of the world’s elite swimmers to ensure Fastskin was launched as the fastest swimsuit ever made.
Commenting on Speedo’s success at last night’s award ceremony, Associate Director of Marketing, Paul Phedon said, “We were delighted to pick up the award for Best Designed Sport Kit. It is a great honour to be recognised for the hard work by the dedicated team of experts at Speedo who fully deserve this superb achievement.”
The Sport Industry Awards were established to recognise and reward commercial excellence in sport. The judging panel is headed up by Chairman John Inverdale and includes Karren Brady, MD of Birmingham City FC and Tony Banks MP. The 2002 Awards covered a range of disciplines from advertising to sponsorship, publishing and kit design.
Stephen Rubin, Chairman of Speedo International and the Pentland Group was also honoured at last nights award ceremony, accepting a ‘Lifetime Achievement in Sport Award’ in recognition of his contribution to the sports industry as President of the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry and President of the World Sports Forum.