Arena's Partnership with Auburn University Swimming Team Marks Entrance into American University Sports

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Arena Swim USA Announces Partnership With Auburn University.

Arena, one of the leading sports waterwear companies at the world-wide level, is proud to announce a new partnership with the Auburn University Swimming teams - one of the most decorated swim programs in NCAA history and 2009 Champions. As part of the four year contract, Arena, will be the official equipment supplier to the university's men's and women's swim teams.

"This partnership represents an important step for our company," said Giuseppe Musciacchio, Arena Marketing Director. "It confirms our strong commitment to be actively involved at various levels in the US swimming movement. After having recruited in our Elite Team of international swimming champions three outstanding testimonials from the United States - Aaron Peirsol, Eric Shanteau and Rebecca Soni - we strongly wanted to be also a protagonist in the American University Sports environment, to be close to those youngsters who are likely to be the big Champions of tomorrow."

The Auburn Men's and Women's swimming teams have continually been among the top-ranked programs in the national polls throughout the regular season leading up to the NCAA Championships. The men's team has won eight NCAA championship titles (2009, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 1999 and 1997), while the women have captured five national titles (2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002).

The Auburn team is led by Head Coach Brett Hawke, one of the most highly regarded swimming coaches in the world. In the last two years, Hawke has trained some of the most elite of swimmers including Cesar Filho Cielo (50m freestyle Olympic and world champion and 100m freestyle world champion) and Frederic Bousquet (Olympic silver in the 4x100m freestyle, world silver and bronze in the 50m and 100m freestyle).

"Arena has been a leader in technological advancements in swimwear for many years. When I looked around the pool deck in Beijing (2008 Olympics) and Rome (2009 World Championships), most of the great champions were wearing Arena. At that point I decided there was only one company that was able to match the level of excellence that Auburn University has achieved in swimming. That was Arena" Head Coach and Olympic coach, Brett Hawke said.

The outstanding athletic level and excellent champion tradition of the Auburn swimming team is confirmed by the copious presence of athletes from this University at the 2008 Olympic Games, where 16 Auburn swimmers took part, with five of them bringing home a record 13 medals. Cielo was the first swimmer in Auburn's history to win gold in the 50m freestyle.

World class swimmers have and continue to train at Auburn including Arena endorsed athlete Eric Shanteau.

In February, the Auburn swim team will be competing in the Missouri Grand Prix that will take the team to the Southeastern Conference finals. Following conference competition, those who qualified will participate in the NCAA Championships. The women will compete in West Lafayette, Ind., March 19-21, while the men travel to Columbus, Ohio, March 25-27.

Arena is distributed in the United States by Arena Swim USA, based in Carlsbad, California.

Since 1973, Arena creates and markets waterwear products for competitive swimmers and swim-fans and it is recognised as one of the premium brands for high quality swimwear and equipment. Over the last 36 years, the Company has developed a strong expertise in developing best in class products with particular focus on the Pool segment, while also gradually expanding into the Leisure/Beach segment.

Currently, Arena operates with commercial subsidiaries in Italy, France and Germany and through a network of worldwide distributors and licensees. The Arena brand is present in 80 countries worldwide, out of which 70 are directly managed by the Arena Group (6 through commercial subsidiaries and 64 through distributors and licensees), while in the Far East (10 countries) the brand is owned and managed by the Descente Group.

The genuine liaison of Arena to the world of sport and in particular to swimming competitions is enhanced by sponsoring activities at different levels, including governing bodies, national federations, athletes and clubs.

The Arena Elite Team of international swimming stars, includes Champions such as the many-times Olympic champion Aaron Peirsol (USA 26), gold medal in the 200m backstroke and in the 4x100m medley relay at the World Championships in Rome and gold medal in the 100m backstroke and in the 4x100m medley relay at the Olympic Games in Beijing; the Brazilian champion Cesar Cielo (22), gold medal in the 50m freestyle and in the 100m freestyle at the World Championships in Rome as well as a gold medal in the 50m freestyle in Beijing; the Frenchman Alain Bernard (26), world silver in Rome and Olympic gold in Beijing in the 100m freestyle; the German Paul Biedermann (23) world champion in the 200 and 400m freestyle, only athlete in the world to have beaten Michael Phelps, at the same time setting 2 new world records; Rebecca Soni (USA, 21), Olympic champion of 200m breaststroke and World champion and World record holder in the 100m breaststroke; Eric Shanteau (USA, 26), gold medalist in 4x100 Medley Relay and Silver Medalist in 100m Breaststroke in Rome; Thomas Lurz (29), gold in the 5km for three successive world championships, including the World Championships in Rome where he also won the 10km; the Tunisian Oussama Mellouli world and Olympic 1500m freestyle champion; the Serb Milorad Cavic (25), gold medal in the 50m butterfly and silver medal in the 100m butterfly in Rome and Olympic runner-up in the 100m butterfly; the Hungarian Laszlo Cseh (24), silver medal in the 200m medley and bronze in the 400m medley in Rome and three times silver medal in Beijing (200, 400m medley and 200m butterfly); the Norwegian Alexander Dale Oen (23), silver medal in Beijing and European record holder in the 100m breaststroke and silver in the 100m breaststroke; the South Africans Cameron van der Burgh (21), gold medal and world record in the 50m breaststroke and silver in the 100m breaststroke at the World Championships in Rome, Roland Schoeman, Olympic champion at Athens in the 4x100m relay (2004) and twice world champion in the 50m butterfly in Montreal (2005) and in Melbourne (2007) and Suzaan Van Biljon (21), winner of the gold medal in the 200m breaststroke at the recent world short course championships in Manchester; the Danish swimmer Lotte Friis (21), world champion in the 800m freestyle and silver in the 1500m freestyle, as well as the Polish champions Pavel Korzeniowski (24), silver medal in the 200m butterfly at the World Championships in Rome, and Mateusz Sawrymowicz (22), gold medal in the 1500m freestyle at the World Championships in Melbourne (2007).

Arena is also title sponsor of the FINA - ARENA Swimming World Cup, historic partner of the LEN (Ligue Europeenne de Natation), and technical sponsor and official supplier to many swimming Federations such as Russia, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Croatia, Norway, South Africa, New Zealand, Ukraine , Romania, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Estonia.

Gathering Storm Athletic Group designs, develops, manufactures and markets products, and holds licenses for high-end performance brands throughout the sporting goods industry. The company also handles all distribution, sales, marketing and communications for SKINS USA, an Australian based company that engineers performance recovery product for some of the top athletes and sports organizations around the world.

For more information:
Cristina Cantoni
Contrada Cisterna 84/85 - 62029 Tolentino (MC)
Tel. +30 0733 956200 Fax +30 0733969166
Mob. +39 334 6879249c.cantoni(at)arenaitalia(com)it

Candice Jacobson
Senior Account Executive
LEADER ENTERPRISES, INC.
3030 Old Ranch Parkway, Suite 380
Seal Beach, CA 90740
o: 562.546.6005
c: 562.881.4683

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Candice Jacobson
Arena USA
562-546-6005
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