TOLENTINO, Italy, April 2. ARENAâ€™S roster of super-elite athletes added a major name today, when Olympic and world champion Yannick Agnel signed a deal with the swimsuit maker through the 2016 Olympics.
Agnel is very familiar with Arena, having raced in the companyâ€™s suits when he won two gold medals at the 2013 world championships. This agreement makes the relationship official as Agnel makes a push for more glory in the road to the Rio Olympics. Heâ€™s currently training in North Baltimore with coach Bob Bowman and will race next week at the French nationals to qualify for the European championships.
Full Arena press release:
Arena, one of the worldâ€™s leading brands in aquatic sports, is proud to announce it has signed a new sponsorship agreement with the current Olympic and World 200m freestyle champion, Yannick Agnel. According to the deal, the collaboration will extend through the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Known as â€śsqualeâ€ť (shark) in his home country, Agnel left France in 2013 for Baltimore and new coach Bob Bowman, to continue pursuing the success he has earned from a sport he regards as a pleasure, and to prepare for the 2016 Olympics. His latest decision to join the arena Elite Team steps up his focus on Rio, and reflects a choice based on both team and technology.
Despite wearing briefs at the 2009 French Championships in Montpellier while all his opponents wore full body hi-tech suits, Agnel has a great appreciation for the application of technology in aquatic sports. Consequently when he was released from his contract with his equipment supplier, he conducted extensive tests on all the different technologies on the market before opting for arena as his partner, citing his comfort in the Carbon Pro and Carbon Flex jammers as one of the main factors in his decision. As one of the worldâ€™s fastest swimmers, he is also acutely aware of the resources invested in the development of aquatic equipment, and was drawn to the effort arena puts into R&D and sports promotion, travelling far and wide to understand swimmer expectations in order to factor them into the innovations aimed at fulfilling swimmer needs and their quest for optimum performance.
A smiling Agnel considers the new partnership a unique opportunity to build a complete structure around him in preparation for Rio: â€śIâ€™m thrilled to be joining Team Arena, I have a very good feeling about swimming in arenaâ€™s racing suits. I also know that I can count on them on the pool deck, itâ€™s both comforting and encouraging! I hope weâ€™ll accomplish great things together.â€ť
For its part, arena is honoured to welcome the â€śsharkâ€ť to its team: â€śYannick Agnel embodies the values we hold dear at arena,â€ť said Nicolas PrĂ©ault, General manager Arena France. â€śHe is an unbelievable swimmer, and a fulfilled and perfectly balanced individual. His choice to pursue his studies and his thirst for personal enrichment show his maturity and intelligence. Here at arena, we share his pleasure in performing in the water, his quest for excellence and the ultimate performance, his competitive spirit and determination to win. With this agreement, Yannick also adds yet another bridge between France and the USA, supporting the partnerships that we signed with USA Swimming in 2013 and FINA this past January. His move to Baltimore to work with Bob Bowman is an asset for arenaâ€™s credibility and visibility across the Atlantic. Like the other members of the arena Elite Team, Yannick will also be integral to the research and communication related to the technological products designed for swimming, his true playing field.â€ť
Agnel joins numerous other illustrious names in the arena Elite Team, which currently includes 23 Olympic and/or World Champions, with countryman JĂ©rĂ©my Stravius among them.
Over the past eight months, arena has been riding a crest of success â€“ boasting 49% of all medalists at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, the brand now stands at the forefront of the sport. Earlier this year, arena became FINAâ€™s official partner for the next five years, positioning the company as the global swimming bodyâ€™s primary partner at events such as the World LC and SC Championships, the World Junior Championships, and the World Masters Championships. The three diamond brand also became FINAâ€™s exclusive supplier of event equipment for the Steering Committee, staff, and volunteers, including swimsuits, accessories, and sportswear.
Since its inception over forty years ago, arenaâ€™s character has developed and established itself around the world by listening to athletes and their relatives in and around the pool. Most recently, the companyâ€™s R&D team launched another breakthrough range with the Powerskin Carbon Family (Carbon Pro and Carbon Flex), offering swimmers the unique benefit of intelligent compression. It is no coincidence that these investments at the technological level go hand-in-hand with the revitalization of the brandâ€™s international development strategy.
In parallel, arena also renewed its commitment to triathlon, launching a new trisuit collection in 2013, and signing a partnership agreement with Frenchwoman Jeanne Collonge (two-time winner and record holder of the Embrunman long distance triathlon) and her coach, Yves Cordier. In addition, arena is also a partner of the legendary Ironman France in Nice for the next three years, with the 2014 edition scheduled for June 29th.