BALTIMORE: USA Swimming has retained Warschawski Public Relations as its AOR.
Rod Davis, USA Swimming CMO, said the organization talked to three firms it found through referrals. He declined to name the other two. This is the organization's first AOR.
Junior VP Samantha Oehl will be the day-to-day point person, and SVP Amy Christopher will be the most senior person on the four-person account. Founder and president David Warschawski will also be involved in the account.
Warschawski cited the firm's background in sports marketing as a boon to the pitch. The firm's other sports accounts include Under Amour Performance Apparel, Adidas, and work assisting the city of Washington in its bid for the 2012 Olympic games.
"We've proven we can provide big-time branding success with Under Armor," Warschawski said, referring to the sports undergarment company. "[USA Swimming is] looking for a similar type of program to help them raise their profile."
Davis said his organization liked the chemistry and size of Warschawski.
USA Swimming is the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States, with more than 300,000 national members and 7,000 events each year. The sport has been experiencing a surge in notoriety since the 2004 Summer Olympics, when Michael Phelps won six gold medals, and eight medals in total.
"There's no question that Michael's performance transcended the swimming community," Davis said. "It wasn't just kids from swim teams that were really interested [in his performance]."
"Obviously, the foundation for momentum was created at the 2004 Olympics," Warschawski said. "We're looking at all avenues; we want to raise the overall profile - that swimming is a fun and healthy activity -- for the everyday person."
USA Swimming is currently planning a water safety campaign, called April Pool's Day, and a swim week concept to take place in June.