14-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and Speedo Share
Common Goal to Grow the Sport of Swimming
LOS ANGELES (September 9, 2009) – SPEEDO® today announced the extension of its long-time partnership with swimming superstar Michael Phelps through 2013. Following his historic 8 Olympic Gold Medal haul in Beijing, Phelps’ career-spanning commitment to the Speedo brand and a shared passion to help grow the sport of swimming globally now continues through the 2012 London Olympic Games and beyond.
A Team Speedo star since 2001, Phelps’ relationship with Speedo goes beyond a traditional endorsement contract. Phelps used the $1 million bonus he earned from Speedo for his record medal haul in Beijing to start the Michael Phelps Foundation, a charitable organization committed to growing the sport of swimming. As part of Phelps’ new Speedo deal, the brand will donate $10,000 to the Michael Phelps Foundation for every World Record Phelps sets; Phelps has committed to match each donation as well.
“Speedo’s support both in and out of the pool has helped me grow into the swimmer I am today,” said Phelps. “I am grateful for the brand’s commitment to help realize our shared vision to grow the sport of swimming both in the U.S. and around the world.”
“Michael has transformed the sport of swimming, with more fan interest and participation than ever before,” said Joe Gromek, CEO and Chairman, Warnaco, Inc, North American licensee for the Speedo brand. “Warnaco and Speedo are committed to building on the momentum with direct support for the Michael Phelps Foundation.”
David Robinson, President of Speedo International, added: “Michael continues to inspire the entire world of swimming and is a fabulous ambassador for the Speedo brand across the 175 countries that we operate within.”
Phelps will also continue to serve as part of an athlete advisory group to the Speedo Aqualab, the research and development center that continually pioneers new technologies and innovations in swimwear and accessories. In 2008, it introduced the Speedo LZR Racer, which Phelps wore for every gold-medal-winning swim in Beijing and at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome. In the coming months, Speedo will announce an updated – and comprehensive – range of elite swimwear that conforms to newly released FINA rules.
“I am proud to be part of the Speedo Aqualab team,” Phelps added. “Speedo and its Aqualab team are leaders in innovation. I have worn Speedo throughout my career and look forward to racing in new technology in 2010 and at the 2012 London Olympics.”
“As the world’s greatest Olympian, Michael continually challenges Speedo to drive innovation throughout our product range,” said Helen McCluskey, President, Warnaco Swimwear Group. “We are committed to helping swimmers achieve their personal best.”
Phelps made history by winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games – the most for any athlete at a single Games. During the nine-day competition in Beijing, Phelps set seven World Records, eight American Records and eight Olympic Records to become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history with 14 gold medals. As he looks ahead to the 2012 London Olympics, Phelps continues his assault on the history books. At the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome this summer, Phelps accomplished another personal and historic goal, setting a new World Record of 49.82 in the 100m butterfly to become the first man to break the 50-second barrier.
The Baltimore native continues to train at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club under long-time Speedo coach Bob Bowman. Phelps is represented by Peter Carlisle, Managing Director of Olympics & Action Sports, Octagon.
Team Speedo swimmers include Olympic Gold Medalists Natalie Coughlin (USA), Ryan Lochte (USA), Katie Hoff (USA), Libby Trickett (AUS), Eamon Sullivan (AUS), Park Tae Hwan (KOR) and Rebecca Adlington (GBR).