Putnam Investments today announced it will become the exclusive mutual fund sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team and sponsor of U.S. Snowboarding, supporting U.S. athletes in the sports of alpine, freestyle and cross country skiing, ski jumping, snowboarding and nordic combined. The U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding athletes have been increasingly successful in the Olympic Winter Games and other international competitions in recent years, and Putnam’s sponsorship, which runs for the next four seasons, will help support young American athletes as they prepare for the next Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
The announcement was made by Putnam President and CEO Robert L. Reynolds, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt and Olympic gold medal-winning skier Ted Ligety, who has been sponsored by Putnam for two seasons.
“We are proud to become a sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding. The drive for excellence among these highly competitive athletes reflects Putnam’s performance-driven philosophy,” said Reynolds. “The belief these athletes have in winning with integrity and personal accountability closely aligns with Putnam’s approach to investment management. We believe these athletes will be outstanding ambassadors for Putnam, both in the U.S. and abroad, and look to them bringing home the gold from around the world.”
Marolt, himself a 1964 Olympian who was the U.S. alpine skiing director during some of the U.S. Ski Team’s most successful years, added, “One of the most important elements of a strong partnership is shared vision. The best in the world vision for our U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding athletes, as well as our belief in core values, is closely aligned with our new partner, Putnam Investments, which stands for excellence in the investment industry.”
U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding athletes were highly successful at last February’s Olympic Winter Games, leaving Vancouver with a record 21 medals, including six gold, more than doubling its previous record of 10 medals in 2002 and 2006. The synergy of matching two performance-driven organizations such as U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding was one of the primary reasons Putnam entered into the partnership.
The sponsorship is a natural progression stemming from Putnam’s connecting its brand to ‘performance in motion’ activities over the last two years, including sponsoring Ligety individually, and equestrian events in the Greater Boston area.
Under the terms of the partnership, Putnam Investments becomes an official sponsor of both the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding. The company’s logo will appear on the uniforms of the U.S. alpine, freestyle and nordic teams. Putnam also will engage with key U.S. events, including associate sponsorship of one of the Team’s biggest marquee events, the Audi Birds of Prey race week World Cup at Beaver Creek, CO December 3-5, 2010. The partnership will extend across the next four World Cup seasons and through the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
At Beaver Creek in December, Putnam also will showcase its continuing sponsorship of Olympic gold medalist Ligety. A two-time season-long Audi FIS World Cup giant slalom titlist, including last season, Ligety wears the Putnam logo in competition and has been an active spokesperson for the asset management firm.
“I know from my relationship with Putnam Investments that its portfolio managers are goal-oriented and driven by excellence, just as my teammates and I are every time we get into the starting gate,” said Ligety.
The 2010-11 competitive season opens for Ligety on Oct. 24 in Soelden, Austria, with all of the sports in action beginning in late November.
Joining Ligety at the partnership kick-off event in Boston were a host of teammates who hail from New England, including two-time Olympic snowboard cross gold medalist Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME), World Cup cross-country podium finisher Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT), and alpine skiing Olympian Leanne Smith (Conway, NH).