By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor
January 11, 2011: Kim Clijsters, Melanie Oudin and Samantha Stosur are among a half-dozen pro tennis players who have signed a deal to represent USANA Health Sciences in national marketing efforts.
The deal is part of a sponsorship extension that USANA, a nutritional supplements company based in Salt Lake City, has signed with the Women's Tennis Association. Financial terms and length of the pact were not disclosed. WTA and USANA are now entering the fifth year of their alliance.
The extension comes at a time when athletes and pro sports organizations are under more scrutiny than ever regarding the use of performance enhancers. More than 160 WTA athletes take USANA products, per the organization.
"USANA’s slogan, 'Nutritionals You Can Trust', is more than just advertising," Stacey Allaster, chairman/CEO for WTA, said in a statement. "It is their guaranteed assurance of the quality of their products, which allows our athletes to trust that they will be able to attain optimal health and fitness without the fear of violating the strict World Anti-Doping Agency code they all adhere to."
According to Samantha Stosur, who is currently ranked the No. 6 in the world, "Back before USANA even came along, I was always wanting to find a vitamin that I could take that was guaranteed free of any banned substance. As soon as USANA came along I was very happy use it. It does make a difference."
As part of its extended role as the official health supplement supplier of the WTA, USANA will employ Clijsters, Oudin, Stosur, Zheng Jie, Liezel Huber and Aleksandra Wozniak in efforts that include marketing, USANA-sponsored meet-and-greets and tennis clinics and to help promote Children's Hunger Fund, USANA's designated charity.
Clijsters is currently ranked No. 3 in the world; Oudin at No. 63 as the fourth highest ranked U.S. player in the world (behind Serena and Venus Williams and Bethanie Mattek-Sands).
"Our athletes [are] able to attain optimal health and fitness without the fear of violating the strict World Anti-Doping Agency code they all adhere to."
"We are thrilled to be supporting such a great organization and working closely with elite female athletes from around the world," Dan Macuga, USANA's vp-marketing and PR, said in a statement. "This will be our fifth year sponsoring the WTA and we look forward to maximizing our partnership and helping each other reach our goals."
According to Andrew Walker, the WTA's svp-global marketing and communications, "USANA's sponsorship not only supports the WTA as an organization, but the individual health of our players, as well. The WTA is an organization with over 2,200 players from 96 nations promoting the world's leading professional sport for women. Partnering with a global company such as USANA has truly been a perfect match."