SBD/June 7, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Swimmer Dara Torres To Help Design Koss Headphones' First Line For Women

Torres said she has listened to music before swim meets since she was 13

U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer Dara Torres has signed an endorsement deal with Koss Headphones that will see her help design the company's first line of products for women. The agreement is for three years and includes an option for an extension. Financial terms were unavailable. Koss today will post a vignette on its website that features Torres, 45, talking about the way she's used music and headphones since she was 13 to prepare for big swim meets. Torres said, "The way I got excited for my race was putting headphones in my Walkman. That's what motivates me to get hyped up for my races." Koss also plans to feature Torres in a digital campaign promoting its Porta Pro and Striva headphone lines. Koss President Michael Koss said the company signed Torres because she fit the company's current campaign, which emphasizes "people who really love music." He added, "We're getting back to the reason my dad started the business, which is to get people inside the business they love. Dara is a true believer. She loves music and she's a great role model for people who has been a top performer, regardless of her age." Koss plans to release a line of products designed specifically for women this autumn. Torres said she won't wear Koss headphones onto the pool deck at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials, which begin June 25, but she will use them to listen to music with her Apple Nano before she walks out to the blocks. The company's only other endorser is singer Tony Bennett (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

SO MANY CHOICES: today will announce that it has signed U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer Mark Gangloff to an endorsement deal. Under the agreement, Gangloff will be able to choose his competitive swimwear from a variety of brands available at the online swim shop, including Arena, Finis, Nike, Speedo and TYR (THE DAILY).

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