Spalding Signs Greg Oden and Gilbert Arenas

    SPRINGFIELD, MASS., June 27 /CNW/ - Building on its basketball category
leadership, Spalding, the world's largest basketball equipment supplier, today
announced the signing of two high profile basketball players, one of the top
NBA draft prospects Greg Oden (Ohio State) and Washington Wizards guard
Gilbert Arenas, to endorse its full line of basketballs and backboards on a
worldwide basis.

    Spalding will leverage Oden and Arenas in worldwide advertising,
marketing communications and trade and consumer promotions. Terms of the
multi-year deals were not disclosed.

    "Greg is a rare player with unlimited talent and the very real potential
to shape the League for years to come and Gilbert is a proven All-Star who has
worked his way into a premier NBA player with determination and passion,"
stated Dan Touhey, vice president of marketing for Spalding. "The combination
of Greg and Gilbert give Spalding an unbelievable 1-2 punch to reinforce our
worldwide basketball leadership and our partnership with the NBA."

    Oden, a 7-foot center, enters Thursday's NBA draft as the top prospect.
He completed a stellar freshman year with the Ohio State Buckeyes, leading the
team to a 35-4 record, a Big Ten regular-season and tournament title before
advancing to their first national championship game since 1962. The
19-year-old Oden lived up to his billing as a two-time national high school
player of the year, leading the Buckeyes in scoring (15.7) and rebounding
(9.6) per game and topping the Big Ten in shooting percentage (.616). His best
game may have been his last one, when he scored 25 points and had 12 rebounds
while dominating the inside against Florida in the national championship game.

    Arenas, a 6-4 guard with lightning quick moves, reached NBA stardom with
three consecutive selections as an NBA All-Star (2005, 2006, 2007), as the
Wizards all-time leader in three-point field goals (529) and the league's
third leading scorer for 2006-2007 with a 28.4 clip. The first player from the
2001 NBA Draft class to earn All-Star recognition, Arenas is known for his
drive to win, his ability to prove doubters wrong and his commitment to

    About Spalding

    A Division of Russell Corporation, the Springfield, MA-based Spalding
Group consists of three business units: Spalding in Springfield, MA; American
Athletic, Inc. (AAI) in Jefferson, IA; and Spalding Backboards in Sussex, WI.
The three companies, collectively combined, are now the largest basketball
equipment supplier in the world. Spalding is the official basketball of the
National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball
Association (WNBA), NBA Development League the official backboard of the NBA
and NCAA. For more information, visit

For further information:

For further information: Spalding Lynn Luczkowski, 413-478-1569

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