Polo Ralph Lauren Signs 5-Year Global Partnership with the All England Club, Wimbledon; Designer to Become the Tournament's First Ever Outfitter -- Will Dress All On-Court Officials and Ball Persons
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 8, 2006--The All England Club, Wimbledon and Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) announced today a new global partnership designating Polo Ralph Lauren as the exclusive Official Outfitter of Wimbledon through 2010. With this partnership, Polo Ralph Lauren becomes the first designer in Wimbledon's 129 year history to create and outfit all on-court officials including chair umpires, line umpires and ball persons.
Reflecting upon the history and heritage of English tennis and with respect for the traditions of the world's longest-standing tennis tournament, Ralph Lauren reinterprets the officials' clothing in a contemporary and stylish manner. The timelessness and elegance of the Championships is enhanced by the new navy blue and cream colours of the uniforms.
"I have long been inspired by the rich heritage and traditions of England. I am thrilled to be partnering with the All England Club / Wimbledon and playing a major role in such a historic sporting event," said Ralph Lauren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation.
"We are delighted to have entered into this partnership with Polo Ralph Lauren," says Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive, All England Club Wimbledon. "Wimbledon and Polo share the same non-compromising standards and determination to maintain and enhance the values for which our two brands are famous throughout the world. The Polo brand will bring to Wimbledon the look of timeless elegance, drawing on our rich history and traditions."
In keeping with the company's recent sports marketing initiative, the Wimbledon partnership is the second tennis Grand Slam tournament where Ralph Lauren will serve as the official apparel sponsor. Last year Polo Ralph Lauren announced a 4-year partnership with the USTA establishing Ralph Lauren as the Official Apparel Sponsor of the US Open through 2008.
The Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon Collection will be sold at select retail stores, including Ralph Lauren freestanding stores, and online at Polo.com. Additional components of the advertising and marketing campaigns will be announced shortly.
Polo Ralph Lauren's partnership with Wimbledon starts with this year's Championship.
The Wimbledon Championships June 26 to July 9 are attended by 450,000 visitors. 562 million homes across 183 countries watch 7,043 hours of television coverage of the sporting event. For more information on the championships, log on to www.wimbledon.org.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 35 years, Polo's reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company's brand names, which include "Polo by Ralph Lauren", "Ralph Lauren Purple Label", "Ralph Lauren" , "Black Label", "Blue Label", "Lauren by Ralph Lauren", "Polo Jeans Co.", "RRL", "RLX", "Rugby", "RL Childrenswear", "Chaps" and "Club Monaco" among others, constitute one of the world's most widely recognized families of consumer brands. For more information, go to www.polo.com.
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CONTACT: All England Club, Wimbledon
QBO Bell Pottinger
Johnny Perkins, +4420 7861 2424
Polo Ralph Lauren, Corporate
Nancy Murray, 212-813-7862
Polo Ralph Lauren, Fashion
Valmike Rampersad, +4420 7535 4673
SOURCE: Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation