USA Swimming’s Aqua Zone to Provide Ultimate Fan Experience at Trials

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

OMAHA, Neb. – The return of the U.S. Olympic Trials – Swimming to Omaha will feature some of the fastest swimming in the world and a USA Swimming Aqua Zone fan festival that’s more fun than ever before and easier to share on social media. With 40-plus Olympian autograph sessions, 35 interactive experiences and more than 100,000 square feet of air-conditioned fun for fans of all ages, Aqua Zone is the place to be for any swimming fan.

Free and open to the public at the CenturyLink Center Omaha from Saturday, June 25 – Sunday, July 3, the Aqua Zone entrance includes a walk down the BMW Blue Carpet, where you’re treated like a superstar at an awards show with pictures taken by our “paparazzi.” A new Aqua Zone Rewards presented by BMW program awards prizes for visiting interactive experiences and, by signing up, fans can win a one-year lease for a 2017 X1 BMW vehicle, to be presented during the last night of finals on the evening of July 3.

Fans should bring swimsuits, or pick one up from the expanded retail area, to jump into the ‘SplashZone,’ where attendees can enjoy #SurfOmaha presented by Marriott Rewards to surf or bodyboard on simulated waves with 20,000 gallons of water, SwimJitsu masters will learn the sacred trait of balance by log rolling or take the Michael Phelps Swim Spa challenge presented by Master Spas

“While the top swimmers vie for spots on the U.S. Olympic Team, the Aqua Zone complements the competition by showcasing the sport for all ages through a family-friendly fan experience,” said Matt Farrell, USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer. “It blends the love of the sport with exciting promotions, fun games and giveaways while giving fans the chance to meet Olympic swimming legends for autographs and photos opportunities.”

The Grand Opening is Saturday, June 25, from Noon – 5 pm, followed by daily hours of 11 am – 7 pm from June 26 – July 3. The Aqua Zone is located in the CenturyLink Center Omaha Convention Center Exhibit Hall C, which is adjacent to the competition arena.

Aqua Zone Rewards presented BMW is the technology overlay that will enhance the fan experience in the Aqua Zone. Fans will receive their own unique key to unlock prizes, games and exciting activations. Additionally, the technology will allow fans to take photos and share their experiences on social media platforms. This technology is powered by FISH Technologies of Dallas and was first used by USA Swimming in 2012 in the Aqua Zone and won Event Marketer’s Best in Event Technology award in 2012 over Facebook and Intel.

“This technology offers a unique experience for fans of the sport of swimming. Connected fans be able to take that experience beyond Omaha though social media. We’ve added an Aqua Zone Rewards game with great prizes and giveaways,” said Jim Fox, Marketing Director for USA Swimming. “In addition to the daily prizes and giveaways, fans will have a chance to win a BMW X1 and have a blast doing it.”

USA Swimming corporate and industry partners have created interactive fan experiences in the Aqua Zone, which includes fan offerings such as:

· #SurfOmaha presented by Marriott Rewards – For travelers passionate about finding the next barrel wave on vacation, experience the fun, thrills and spills of Marriott Rewards’ portable surf-riding machine; plus see demos of one of the world’s best riders and test your skills on a flow board or boogie board. Advance registration required. Purchase tickets here:

· Mutual of Omaha Water Wall – Come “swim” up the water wall for a real thrill and some friendly competition.

· Michael Phelps Swim Spa Challenge – Bring your swim suit and jump in (literally) to put your stroke and stamina to the test against Olympian Michael Phelps in a Michael Phelps Swim Spa by Master Spas.

· AT&T Device Wall – AT&T is creating the next level of connection between Team USA athletes and you, their supporters, with a device wall displaying the AT&T & USA Swimming content such as Deck Pass Live! Presented by AT&T and U.S. Olympic Trials social media content.

· Phillips 66 Hometown Media Center – All swimmers & coaches who qualified for Omaha can sign up to send video interviews back to their hometown media to celebrate while swim fans can send video postcards home.

· Blue Diamond – Come experience the exhilaration of a race through the eyes of Olympian Matt Grevers with virtual reality and take an underwater photo!

· Arena Water Instinct Experience – Find your Water Instinct! Insert yourself into a virtual world of various iconic images – from Rio’s most famous landmarks to Arena’s legendary aquatic campaigns. At the Arena Water Instinct Experience, you are the star!

· USA Swimming Virtual Reality ­- With our virtual reality experience technology you can feel what it’s like to walk onto the pool deck for swimmer introductions in front of NBC cameras, 14,000 fans and the world’s media.

· Speedo Experience – Come play Speedo “Plinko” for a chance to win prizes, hang with the Team and see aquatic fitness differently with SpeedoFIT!

· USA Swimming Safe Sport Experience – In this interactive gameshow, you can share your positive swimming experiences with your team culture to show a healthy team environment that keeps kids safe from abuse.

· TYR: We’ve got games and giveaways galore! Head to the TYR Avictor “Omaha Nights” Arcade for family fun and an old school photo booth experience!

· USA Swimming SwimToday Photo Mosiac – Feature your photo at the Trials in our mosaic by using the #SwimUnited hashtag to show the diversity and togetherness of the sport of swimming and how we all #SwimUnited!

· CeraVe What Is Your Wingspan? Photo-op – Visit this exclusive photo opportunity to find out!

· SwimJitsu Log Rolling – Learn the sacred trait of balance and test your SwimJa skills in this log rolling activity from the best log rollers in the world at Key Log Rolling – unless you have already mastered the sacred traits bring a swimsuit as you will get wet!

· USA Swimming Foundation Foam Pit – “Make a Splash” into our foam pit with your best pose and get digital pictures for social sharing.

· WOWT NBC Omaha Media Experience – Your home for an interactive photo booth, and an opportunity to do an interview that could land you on the nightly newscasts or in a commercial.

· USA Swimming Store – 12,500 sq. feet offering the latest in Arena, Speedo and TYR swimwear and apparel. Complete with the largest offering of official U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming merchandise and event gear.

· John Wayne Cancer Foundation – Learn about what the foundation does and take part in a bean bag toss and sunscreen giveaways.

· College Swimming (CSCAA) – Participants will get to strike their best championship pose with the NCAA trophy and celebrate their own college swimming experiences.

· ASCA Experience – Complete a swimming “race” against your friends in this dryland training bench and swimming simulator.

· ISHOF/The Last Gold Documentary – Check out the tribute to 1976 Olympic Team featured in The Last Gold documentary and take your picture with Olympic Trials medals and learn how you can bring the film to your city on July 11. Purchase tickets here:

· Fitter & Faster Cornhole Extravaganza – Play cornhole with some of your favorite Olympians and win prizes including gift certificates at, a wet suit and a GoPro camera

· U.S. Masters Swimming Goggle Toss – Simply toss your swim goggles and hang them on the backstroke flags to win but be warned it looks easier than it is!

· Bonk Breaker – Learn how to fuel your body to perform at your best and taste great Bonk Breaker products!

· BreakOut Swim Clinic – Take and share pictures with life size cutouts of Mutual of Omaha athletes and wish them good luck on their way to Rio.

· Omaha Sports Commission – Take your photo with the Omaha SWIM letters and wish the U.S. Olympic team luck!

· State of Nebraska’s Shark Week – Swim with the sharks in this interactive experience.

· USA Swimming Deck Pass – Win prizes from the mystery capsule and shoot green screen photos, or try the Truesport scavenger hunt as we work together with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s TrueSport program to talk nutrition, sportsmanship and bullying prevention.

· Florida Swim Network – Partnering with Your Swim Channel, the first ever Apple TV channel dedicated to swimming, to bring interviews, daily updates and all things swimming to our online audience.

Over eight days, more than 40 Olympic athletes and legends will sign autographs and pose for photos daily. A full list of scheduled appearances is available at Some of the athletes include:

· Rowdy Gaines (1980, 1984)

· Jason Lezak (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)

· Gary Hall Jr. (1996, 2000, 2004)

· Jenny Thompson (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)

· Ian Crocker (2000, 2004, 2008)

· Shirley Babashoff (1972, 1976)

· John Naber (1976)

· Tracy Caulkins Stockwell (1980, 1984)

· Whitney Hedgepeth (1988, 1996)

· Amanda Beard (1996, 2004, 2008)

· Conor Dwyer (2012)

For more information about Aqua Zone or the U.S. Olympic Team Trails for Swimming, visit

About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit

USA Swimming contributed this report.

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