SAN FRANCISCO – March 15, 2012 – Today Athleta, the women’s sports and active lifestyle apparel brand owned by Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), announced its official 2012 sponsorship of the USA Women’s Water Polo Team. Starting now through the rest of the year, the brand will provide the team with dry-land workout and active lifestyle apparel to help ensure the team is well equipped with high quality, technical athletic wear as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympic Games and beyond.
The partnership kicks off with a celebratory event tonight at the Athleta store at The Grove in Los Angeles. The entire USA Women’s Water Polo Team, captained by the most decorated athlete in the world of women’s water polo, Brenda Villa, will make a public appearance where fans can meet the women and share their personal best wishes for a triumphant Olympics.
“We at Athleta are inspired by the remarkable things women can do when they come together as a team,” said Tess Roering, Vice President of Marketing for Athleta. “Athleta is committed to celebrating women and their amazing capacity, and we are honored to be supporting the USA Women’s Water Polo Team, a group that truly embodies what it means to achieve your personal and athletic goals while always reaching for more.”
The USA Women’s Water Polo Team is made up of 17 women – between them they have 12 Olympic medals, 16 World Championship titles and 85 years of experience. Behind all of these statistics are the stories that have made these women who they are today. In addition to providing workout and active lifestyle apparel to the team, through their sponsorship, Athleta will be telling the players’ inspiring stories through blogs, online profiles, store events as well as hosting team fundraisers.
“When the Olympics begin, we know our customers will be glued to their T.V.s to watch the festivities and cheer on their favorite athletes,” Roering continued. “Through this partnership, we hope to bring awareness to the amazing stories each USA Women’s Water Polo Team member has to tell and inspire our customers to do things they might not have thought they could do.”
The USA Women’s Water Polo Team qualified for the Olympic Games when they won gold at the Pan Am Games in Mexico last October. Since then, they have been training hard to prepare for this momentous event in their lives.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Athleta during such an important time for the team,” said Jennifer Rottenberg, Chief Marketing Officer for USA Water Polo. “In order for the women to perform and train to the best of their ability, they need sportswear that can withstand the toughest of workouts. We’ve found that Athleta’s products perform to the highest athletic standards, and we love that the apparel is designed by and for female athletes.”
Athleta offers premium women’s active lifestyle apparel for yoga, running, gym, hiking and skiing as well as an array of other products for both athletic and everyday pursuits.
Athleta was founded in 1998 with the mission of providing women athletes with apparel for different sports and fitness activities. The company has become one of the premier brands in the rapidly growing women’s sports and active apparel markets. Athleta offers high quality, stylish, and functional apparel, footwear and accessories, 90 percent of which is proprietary branded, across a wide variety of sports and fitness activities, including a high component of crossover apparel as well as casual wear. Athleta sells its products through catalogs, in stores, and online at www.athleta.com. The company is headquartered in Petaluma, CA, and has nearly 200 employees. Athleta was acquired by Gap Inc. in September 2008 and is part of the Gap Inc. Direct Division. In 2011, Athleta was awarded the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2011 Hot Retailer Award, an award that recognizes innovative retail concepts that drive consumers into shopping centers around the world.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal 2011 net sales were $14.5 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in over 90 countries worldwide through about 3,000 company-operated stores, about 200 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.
About USA Water Polo
USA Water Polo, Inc. is the national governing body for water polo in America, overseeing the United States Olympic water polo program as well as 20 different championship events annually, such as Junior Olympics and Masters National Championships. With more than 40,000 members, USAWP is also the sanctioning authority for more than 500 Member Clubs and more than 400 tournaments nationwide. USAWP is committed to the development of the sport nationwide. It fosters grass-roots expansion of the sport, providing a national system of affiliated clubs, certified coaches and officials.