From Openwaterpedia
Arena-sponsored Olympic marathon swimming medalist Haley Anderson, photo courtesy of Team USA
Rebecca Soni at the USA Olympic Swimming Trials by Mark J. Terrill wearing Arena swimwear
Ben Hooper training for the 1,731 miles (2,786 km) solo Swim the Big Blue crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 2015-2016, sponsored by Arena

Arena is a brand of competitive swimwear for pool and open water swimming created in 1973 at Adidas France, by its former president Horst Dassler. It was sold by Adidas in 1990, the brand now represents two unrelated product lines.

With its headquarters in Tolentino, Italy, the Arena brand has a presence in 103 countries around the globe and just began to sponsor USA Swimming's national swim team in 2013. With direct representation through wholly owned subsidiaries in Italy, France, Germany, and the USA, the group also employs a network of qualified business partners in 86 countries, while the Japan-based Descente Group owns and manages the brand in 11 countries of the Far East.

Arena in Europe

After Adidas and Sarragan in France, the brand has changed hands among 3 German and Italian investment houses. The holding's products are most popular in Europe, though offered internationally, except the Far East. The company markets a high-technology line of swimwear using their Powerskin fabric, which is said to be less absorbent of moisture and reduce drag due to its second-skin compression fit.

Alexander Popov, César Cielo, Frédérick Bousquet, Laure Manaudou, Gary Hall Jr., Rebecca Soni, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Alexander Dale Oen are among well-known swimmers seen competing in Arena swimsuits. Arena also makes specialty swimwear for triathlon and water polo.

Arena Japan (Arena Descente)

Descente, a Japanese maker of sporting apparel, owns the Arena trademark in Asia and has been putting it on its swimwear since 1976. Today, Arena (along with Mizuno and ASICS) is a top domestic brand of performance swimwear in Japan. Arena Japan shares no design or technological heritage with the products of (European) Arena. Hence there are essentially two distinct brands using the Arena name and logo, and they have existed almost equally long. Arena Japan top-of-the-line racing suits are still made in Japan for quality control.

Swim the Big Blue

Arena created a new protective shark-deterrent wetsuit for Ben Hooper's Swim the Big Blue, a 1,731 miles (2,786 km) pan-Atlantic swimming expedition from Dakar Harbour in Senegal to Natal in northeast Brazil.

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