Former University of California swimmer, Missy Franklin, has landed her biggest deal yet since turning professional just this past March.
USA Today reports that NCAA Champion and current World Record Holder Franklin has just signed her first major endorsement deal with Speedo, which includes the athlete being featured in the company’s ads for both swimwear and water-based fitness gear and equipment. Franklin is the first of the company’s sponsored athletes to appear across both product categories for the brand.
Franklin selected Speedo for competitive reasons, as it is the brand she has worn since her age group swimming days, but she also chose the brand because of the “platform and exposure” it provides the young star. Speedo President Jim Gerson says strategy surrounding Franklin is one of a year-round nature and will not simply focus on only the Olympics. “Timing-wise, this is kind of perfect. The first thing that we really wanted to do was get a suit company so I would be ready for worlds,” Franklin said. “We thought that would be an awesome way, a summer before trials next year, to really start laying that foundation and start working as hard as I can for them.”
Franklin is one of America’s biggest stars set to compete at the 2015 FINA World Championships this July, with four individual events and three relays on her schedule. She and her coach, Todd Schmitz, to whom she recently returned after her collegiate career’s conclusion at Cal, will discuss “the possibility of adding an eight event with the debut of mixed-gender relays.”
But first, Franklin has one additional competition to conquer, with that of the Arena Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara, which begins today, June 18th. In her pro swimmer debut, Franklin is expected to swim the 50/100/200 backstroke races, as well as the 100 and 200 freestyle events.
Beyond both Santa Clara and Worlds, of course, is the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Of her current state of mind, Franklin comments, “I’m so happy with where I am physically, with where I am mentally, and so I’m excited to get back there and not worry about any of that stuff and just be able to race again,” Franklin said. “I’m going to do that and see where I am. And then I’m going to go from there and make sure I am where I need to be in, oh my gosh, 13 months.”
See the official Speedo USA release below:
SPEEDO USA, a division of PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH), today announced that five-time Olympic medalist, holder of two individual world records and competitive swimming superstar Missy Franklin has joined Team Speedo, marking her first endorsement since becoming a professional swimmer in March 2015. As part of Team Speedo, Franklin will serve as a year-round brand ambassador, sharing her love of the water to inspire others, and will wear Speedo race suits when she represents the US at all major competitions globally.
With its partnership with Franklin, Speedo continues to strengthen its leadership in competitive swimming – more Olympic Gold medals have been won by swimmers in Speedo suits than any other brand – as well as has an ambassador who can amplify its programming and messaging around water fitness and activities.
“Speedo is thrilled to have Missy Franklin join Team Speedo,” said Jim Gerson, President of SPEEDO USA. “We are fortunate to have one of the world’s best competitive swimmers on our team as the world heads towards the 2016 Summer Olympics, but we are also excited about the potential with Missy beyond the games in Rio. This partnership is about connecting our brand with someone who shares our year-round passion for the water, and can help us inspire more people to ‘jump in.’ Missy has a magnetic personality and an innate ability to connect with people wherever she goes.”
The latest Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) research shows that swimming for fitness is the fastest growing fitness trend. As participation in these types of activities, such as water running and water cycling, continues to increase, Speedo has chosen Franklin to lead its initiative to educate athletes and weekend warriors on the benefits of adding water to their workout regimen. Additionally, as a leader in developing new and innovative products for all fitness levels and ages, Franklin will endorse Speedo’s entire product portfolio, from competitive suits, caps and goggles to its unique and stylish suits and accessories designed specifically for fitness in and around the water.
“I love being in the water whether I am training, competing or just having fun, and I am excited to partner with Speedo to share my passion with others and inspire them to get in the water too,” said Missy Franklin. “Speedo is a brand I have trusted since I began swimming. With their support, I know I can reach my goals, and am looking forward to working with them in both the competitive swimming and fitness categories.”
Franklin, 20, medaled five times and won gold in four events at the 2012 Olympic Games in London at age 17, setting a world record in the 200-meter backstroke and breaking the American record in the 100-meter backstroke. She won gold and broke the world record as part of the 4×100-meter medley relay team and also won bronze as part of the 400-meter free relay team. In 2013, Franklin became the most-decorated female swimmer in history at a single World Championships, winning six gold medals at the event in Barcelona. In 2015, as a member of the University of California, Berkeley women’s swim team, she won three NCAA individual titles and set the American record in the 200-yard freestyle.
Speedo is the world’s leading swimwear brand. The teams at Speedo are passionate about life in and around the water, creating revolutionary new technologies, designs and innovations, and supporting swimming from the grassroots to the elite level. In the 1920’s Speedo made history with the Racerback, the world’s first non-wool suit. In 2008, Speedo redefined swimwear again with Fastskin LZR RACER, one of the fastest and most technologically advanced swimsuits ever created; 2011 saw Speedo unveil another world first with the Fastskin Racing System – a cap, goggle and suit designed to work together as one. Speedo is owned by Speedo Holdings B.V. and distributed in over 170 countries around the world; in North America and the Caribbean, Speedo is licensed exclusively to Warnaco Swimwear Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH Corp. To find out more, visit www.speedousa.com.
Swimming News is courtesy of Speedo USA, a SwimSwam partner.