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Italian swimsuit company signs on as FINA sponsor

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January 24, 2014 06:38 PM EST | AP


TOLENTINO, Italy (AP) — Arena has signed on as the new sponsor of FINA, the world governing body for swimming, diving and water polo.

The Italian-based company will sponsor and serve as supplier for all of FINA's major events through 2019, including the world championships in odd-numbered years. The next of those meets is set for 2015 in Kazan, Russia, leading up to the Rio Olympics.

FINA announced the deal Friday at a time when it is consolidating its schedule, most notably combining the long-course and Masters championships into one event at Kazan and continuing through the worlds at Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2017 and Gwangju, China, in 2019.

Arena has challenged the longtime dominance of Speedo in recent years, including a deal with USA Swimming and sponsorship of the U.S. Grand Prix series.