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Wrestling legend Bill Farrell is inducted into Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame



Bill Farrell poses with his family during his induction ceremony for the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame

Irvine, CA (May 13, 2010) – ASICS America Corporation’s long time business partner and a legend in the wrestling community, William (Bill) Farrell, was inducted into The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held in Wesley Chapel, Fla. during the 46th Annual NSGA Management Conference May 2-5.

Farrell, the previous chief administrator for the ASICS wrestling division, retired in 2009 after an illustrious career with the brand spanning 50 full years. Farrell joined ASICS in 1958 as an importer and distributor of the first “Tiger” wrestling shoes in the United States. In 1959, with Onitsuka Tiger and RESILITE, Farrell started his first company, Olympic RESILITE, which continued to distribute ASICS products as well as a variety of wrestling products. Almost 30 years later, 1988, he created TW Promotions, Inc. which is currently the wrestling marketing arm of the ASICS America Corporation.

Born in 1929 in Long Island, N.Y., Farrell has become a legend within the wrestling community as well as the ASICS family. He spent his earlier years playing football, and at the ripe age of 26 he picked up the sport of wrestling. He went on to become an “All American” and win numerous local, regional and national titles.

In addition to competing, Farrell took on the responsibility of coaching the New York Athletic Club wrestling team who he led to 11 National Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) titles and garnered several USA Wrestling National team titles. He then coached the U.S.A. Freestyle Wrestling team, and led the U.S. Olympic team to six medals at the Munich, Germany games in 1972.

Throughout his illustrious career, Farrell has been recognized as a leader in the wrestling world. He was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1985 as a “Distinguished Member” for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the sport. Then in 2007, the U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S.A. Wrestling presented Farrell with the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award,” in which they stated that no other person has had a more positive effect on the Olympic sport of wrestling.

ASICS Corporation, with more than 50 years of footwear manufacturing experience, offers a full line of performance-driven athletic shoes and technical active sports apparel and accessories. For more information, please visit www.asics.com.

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPORTING GOODS INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME

Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Elects Four - Bill Farrell, Asics America/T.W. Promotions; John M. Forzani, The Forzani Group Ltd.; and Julie Nimmons and Ken Nimmons, Schutt Sports, honored in ceremonies Tuesday, May 4, 2010.

The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Committee has elected four new members to be inducted into the Hall of Fame next May, one retailer and three manufacturers.

Bill Farrell, Asics America/T.W. Promotions; John M. Forzani, The Forzani Group Ltd.; and Julie Nimmons and Ken Nimmons, Schutt Sports, will be honored in ceremonies Tuesday evening, May 4, during the 46th Annual NSGA Management Conference & 12th Annual Team Dealer Summit. The Conference & Summit will be held May 2-5, 2010, at Saddlebrook Resort/Tampa in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

Since 1956, the sporting goods industry has honored its pioneers, innovators and leaders, and the election of the Class of 2009 brings the total number of Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Famers to 147. The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony is co-sponsored by GE Money; Messe München GmbH (ISPO); Mizuno USA; New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.; and W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

“We are proud to announce the Hall of Fame Class of 2010 because of their innovative and lasting contributions to the sporting goods industry,” said NSGA Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Randy Ruch, CEO of Schuylkill Valley Sports, Pottstown, Pa. “Each of these individuals meets the high standards to which all Hall of Famers are held, which makes election to the Hall of Fame the highest honor one can receive in the sporting goods industry.”

Bill Farrell
Asics America and T.W. Promotions

Bill Farrell has been characterized as a non-stop force within the Asics family and wrestling community. Bill started his career with Asics in 1958 when the brand was just making a name for itself in Japan, and with his help, the Onitsuka Tiger brand was introduced into the U.S. market. He tirelessly worked on behalf of the brand – and eventually Asics – until it became the No. 1 wrestling shoe.

He is a legend in the wrestling community. In addition to competing internationally, Farrell took on the responsibility of coaching the New York Athletic Club wrestling team to 11 national AAU titles and several USA Wrestling national team titles. He coached the U.S. freestyle wrestling team to six medals at the 1972 Games in Munich. He also found time to serve as strength and conditioning coach for Vince Lombardi in Green Bay and Washington.

In 1959, with Onitsuka Tiger and Resilite, Farrell started his first company, Olympic Resilite, which distributed a variety of wrestling products. He also purchased the company that sold the Universal Gym. Then, in 1988, Farrell turned his attention to the wrestling division, which marked the beginning of TW Promotions, Inc. Since 1988, TW Promotions has been the wrestling arm of Asics America Corporation.

Bill was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1985 as a Distinguished Member for his contributions to the sport.

About NSGA:
NSGA, which has served the sporting goods industry since 1929, organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry’s premier educational and networking event (Next: May 2-5, 2010, at Saddlebrook Resort/Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Fla.).
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