BOSTON, Mass., Arena Distribution S.A. of Fribourg, Switzerland manufacturers of performance athletic apparel and swimwear announced today their entry into the North American market.
A new joint venture company, Arena North America LLC, will market the company's products exclusively throughout the United States and Canada.
President and CEO of the new company is Bill Bettencourt, formerly Vice President of international marketing at Reebok. John Duerden, the former President and Chief Operations Officer of Reebok Brands and currently Chairman & CEO of the Dictaphone Corporation, will also join the Board and has agreed to serve as non-executive Chairman of the new company. Both executives are also investors in Arena North America, which is 51% owned by Arena Distribution SA. The new company will be based in Boston.
Arena will make its initial entry into the U.S. market through competitive and varsity swim programs and on-line at www.teamarena.com. Commenting on the strategy, Bill Bettencourt said, "the focus of Arena North America during this launch period will be on performance swimming and water polo for both men and women. Arena has a tremendous heritage in performance swimming through a long line of great athletes, which have included Mark Spitz, nine time Olympic gold medallist, Matt Bondi, seven time Olympic gold medallist and Alexander Popov, four time Olympic gold medallist, all members of Team Arena". "The 2000 Olympics, in which a number of prominent world class athletes will be competing in Arena gear, provides the perfect platform for Arena to launch its new venture in North America".
Richard Litzel, President and CEO of Arena Distribution S.A., commenting on the announcement said, "the timing is right for us to engage the U.S. market. Arena designs and develops a superior range of technical products designed for the serious athlete, and I am delighted to be associated with two former colleagues who have a record of success in U.S. and international markets and broad experience of the sporting goods industry in North America."
Arena is a leading manufacturer of athletic performance apparel and equipment with a strong heritage in aquatic sports. Many of the world's top athletes choose to compete in Arena technical products. Based in Boston, MA, Arena North America can be contacted through its web site at www.teamarena.com. Arena and the Arena Victory logo are registered trademarks of Arena Distribution S.A.