Dec 03, 2012 at 04:14 PM
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Why This Apparel Giant Was OK With Giving Up Sponsor Exclusivity

Can sponsor exclusivity stunt the growth of an event or sport? In some cases, the answer it seems may be yes. While exclusivity often pays off for the companies that sponsor, it could come at a cost to emerging properties that depend heavily on the media generated by additional partners. After having SpeedoUSA as an exclusive sponsor for over 25 years, USA Swimming recently shifted its sponsorship with the swimming apparel giant to a non-exclusive deal, according to a report from Swimming World Magazine.

USA Swimming believes that opening up the market to new companies that can sponsor within the sport, it will ultimately accelerate its growth.The move is likely to mean that a broader and more diverse set of companies will be given the right to activate and promote events, thereby raising the profile of the sport and its athletes.

"Evolution and change is not always bad. We all need to evolve. We will make some adjustments, but we all want the sport to grow," said Jim Gerson, President of the Warnaco Group's swimwear division, which owns SpeedoUSA. "We are excited to get more people in the water. It will help all of us in the long run... If we can raise swimming as a whole, we will all win."

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photo credit: speedo