Raleigh-Durham Named America’s #3 Swim City in Nationwide Study by USA Swimming and Speedo

SwimmingThe following is a Press Release from USA Swimming

“50 Top Swim Cities, Presented by Speedo” Ranks the Country’s
Most Swim-Friendly Communities

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 14, 2014) – Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina is the No. 3 swim city in America, according to a new study commissioned by USA Swimming and leading swimwear brand Speedo. Scores were based on the highest aggregate in categories such as percentage of active swimmers and swim clubs, number of accessible pools and volume of top-level swimmers from the area.

The 50 Top Swim Cities, presented by Speedo, ranked Ann Arbor, Michigan first, followed by San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut; San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont; Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; Austin-Round Rock, Texas; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, and Indianapolis-Carmel.

“We have countless swimming opportunities in the area, highlighted by an extensive summer system and several elite club teams,” said Paul Silver, head coach of the Marlins of Raleigh. “Our community also benefits from excellent swimming facilities and three tremendous universities with histories of athletic success.”

Raleigh-Durham is a highly accessible swim community with a large number of pool facilities and robust summer league participation. The city also boasts a high percentage of top-performing athletes in USA Swimming competitions like the Speedo Champions Series and Speedo Junior Nationals. Olympic Gold medalist Cullen Jones competed at North Carolina State before making the USA Olympic Team.

“Cities like Raleigh-Durham represent the best of the sport in America by placing focus on both community involvement on swim teams and Olympic headline makers,” said Matt Farrell, Chief Marketing Officer for USA Swimming. “This list can be an inspiration for kids and families everywhere to get involved in a sport that accommodates all lifestyles.”

“The swimming community is the core of the Speedo brand and we are proud to recognize these 50 cities for their leadership in the sport,” said Speedo USA President Jim Gerson. “These cities – and all the swimmers in each – are terrific ambassadors for our sport and an example of how, and why, participation in swimming continues to grow.”

Ann Arbor was the top-rated community, in part due to the city’s rich history of the sport at the Olympic and local level. More than 60 Olympians have emerged from University of Michigan’s swim program and respective USA Swimming clubs. Gold medalists Tyler Clary and Tom Dolan started their journey in Ann Arbor before taking a place atop the podium. In the last year, swimming participation grew 16 percent in Michigan, validating the sport’s significant impact within the community.

The ranking index was developed through a comparison of each city’s swim-related attributes relative to the overall U.S. population. Key elements included the number of current USA swimming members, number of masters swimmers and number of USA swimming clubs. The study also looked at the number of qualifying swimmers for high level competitions like the Speedo Champions Series, Speedo Junior Nationals, Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships, Olympic Trials and the Olympic Games, as well as Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) participation data, including the numbers of competitive and fitness swimmers, and the number of swim facilities open to the public in each city.

The complete list of the 50 Top Swim Cities can be found at: www.usaswimming.org/50TopSwimCities. To find out more about swimming and access resources to locate a nearby swim club, go to: www.swimtoday.org.

The research study was commissioned by USA Swimming and Speedo in partnership with SRi and Sports Marketing Surveys, the official research provider to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

About USA Swimming:
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.

About Speedo:
The world’s leading swimwear brand, Speedo is 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.

About PVH:
PVH Corp., one of the world’s largest apparel companies, owns and markets the iconic Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands worldwide. It is the world’s largest shirt and neckwear company and markets a variety of goods under its own brands, Van Heusen, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, ARROW, Warner’s and Olga, and its licensed brands, including Speedo, Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Sean John, Chaps, Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, DKNY, Ike Behar and John Varvatos.

About Sponsorship Research International (SRi):
SRi is one of the world’s leading sports and lifestyle marketing research consultancies. As an industry pioneer with over 25 years of proven experience, SRi has helped some of the world’s leading brands, properties and agencies make sponsorship and experiential marketing accountable through custom designed research. During this time SRi has designed and implemented research studies across varied target audiences including the general public, event spectators or participants, company employees, business owners and business decision-makers to name a few. SRi employs a number of proprietary state of the art research techniques which help clients understand why their programs are impactful, which elements are driving impact and how to target the most receptive audience to maximize a program’s chance for success.

SMS is a full service market research organization dedicated to all things sports whether sports participation, sports product sales or insight into consumer behavior. Since 1985, SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS USA has been helping clients with critical, strategic information that empowers them to make better decisions. Areas of expertise include; ports participation research, dealer research, specialty retail POS data, consumer behavior, participation based geo-targeting, strategic consulting.

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