Italy: Arena and the Italian Swimming Federation have signed a sponsorship agreement for a term of four years. As part of the new partnership, which will run from January 2013 to December 2016, Arena will be the exclusive technical sponsor of the national swimming, water polo, diving, synchronized swimming, open water, and rescue teams, as well as group and race officials. "The Italian Swimming Federation particularly appreciates the interest shown by Arena, a leader of the watersport movement,” said Paolo Barelli, wearing his President of the Italian Swimming Federation hat (he is also president of LEN, the European body and hon sec of FINA on the ruling Bureau. Thus ends the deal with Jaked, the Italian brand at the heart of the shiny suits crisis. "We are extremely proud of this agreement with the Italian Federation until 2016, which comes at an important stage in Arena’s history,” said Cristiano Portas, CEO of the Arena Group. The news is the latest in a string of upbeat deals for Arena, including title kit provider for the USA national team, world No 1 in the sport, for the next two Olympic cycles.
South Africa: Chad Le Clos, the Olympic 200m butterfly champion, has been made brand ambassador for Future Life after eating their products for 18 months. A Tv commercial is to follow, Le Clos tweeted to fans.
Phuket, Thailand: So well has the Dutch national team camp gone at the Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club that the squad headed by Jacco Verhaeren will be back there for the next three years in Europe's winter until Olympic season in 2016. The news was revealed in this interview with Verhaeren, who cites double Olympic sprint queen Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Sebastiaan Verschuren and Femke Heemskerk as big medal prospects for Barcelona 2013 world titles in July and August. "It's an exciting team with lots of chances for medals," says the performance head for Dutch swimming. In Thailand for three weeks, the Dutch squad heads home in early February in readiness for Barcelona 2013 qualification meets in March and April. Team camps will be staged in Europe in the lead-up to the big event in the Catalan capital.