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New Balance Heads to London with 37 Athletes and a Celebration of 30 Years of Domestic Manufacturing in the U.K.

July 26th 2012

Boston, MA -

Global athletic company New Balance will have 37 world-class athletes from 15 countries at the 2012 London Games as the brand commemorates 30 years of footwear manufacturing in the U.K. as reflected through a unique New Balance Experience Center for the brand's athletes and guests.

Among the 37 athletes is 2011 Daegu World Championship Gold Medalist Jenny Simpson (1500m) and Kim Conley (5000m) from the U.S. and Andy Baddeley (1500m), Barbara Parker (Steeplechase/5000m), Nick McCormick (5000m) and Rhys Williams (400mh) from Great Britain.

Leading up to the U.S. Trials, New Balance filmed a documentary on 2008 Olympian Jenny Simpson called "More than Gold," that tells the story of how a small-town Oviedo, FL girl became America's first female distance running world champion in 28 short years. The segment can be viewed on www.youtube.com/newbalance and offers perspectives and interviews from people instrumental in Jenny's development both on and off the track including family, friends, past coaches, teachers, and mentors.

New Balance also launched The British Miler, a multi-platform initiative leading up to the Games that captured the history and excitement of the mile event in Britain. Set against the backdrop of Britain's proud history in the mile and 1500m events starting with the pace-setting achievements of Sir Roger Bannister in 1954, the program followed 2008 Olympic finalist, Andy Baddeley, and seven of Britain's best: Tom Lancashire, Lee Emanuel, Colin McCourt, Nick McCormick, James Brewer and Ricky Stevenson as they competed for one of three available places on the 2012 British team. Andy Baddeley qualified for the 2012 Great Britain Olympic Team.

New Balance's Facebook page features a viewer's guide for track and field events (1500, 800, Steeplechase, 5000) developed to help viewers understand race strategy. During the London Games, the Facebook page will also showcase the New Balance Experience Center.

"The New Balance Experience Center is New Balance's headquarters for the London Games that brings the brand to life in multiple dimensions and speaks to who we are as a brand, our history and our values," says Rob DeMartini, President & CEO at New Balance. "It enables us to gather our associates and friends from around the globe to relax and visit with one another as we enjoy watching the world's best athletes."

The Experience Center will be located at Altitude 360,º a private event space on the 29th floor of the iconic Millbank Tower skyscraper in Westminster, London's tallest riverside building. The Center combines panoramic city views with state-of-the-art venue technology and premium hospitality.

The venue's modern space was converted to an innovative community-minded environment akin to an artist's loft/warehouse space steeped in New Balance shoe-making heritage, with local texture through reclaimed wood from a 40-year old Scottish gymnasium, bricks from century-old mills in Northern England, accented with inspirational performance imagery of Team New Balance athletes, and rich in illustrations of craftsmanship.

New Balance partnered with several groups of London's Kingston University School of Art students to "upcycle" manufacturing scrap materials from the company's shoe factory in Flimby, U.K. to create original furniture pieces for the center. These pieces include chairs, sofas, end tables and artwork pieces. All are original works by the student teams and were created expressly to celebrate local craftsmanship. The furniture pieces will be a mix of styles – from whimsical to technical – and express the students' interpretations of New Balance and craftsmanship.

"We are excited to partner with the local London artist community and encourage young designers in their unique craftsmanship," says DeMartini. "The Experience Center's theme is 'Excellent Makers' which highlights both what our Team NB athletes are looking to do in competition in London and also what these artists are creating for our brand space."

Osian Batkya-Williams, an eco designer and Kingston graduate who is a New Balance Excellent Maker from the brand's current Lifestyle marketing campaign, will occupy an artist's studio area with several other local artists throughout the Games to actively create artwork at the Center.

New Balance will recognize the 30th anniversary of manufacturing footwear in the U.K. during a special event at the Center with Flimby manufacturing associates on August 6th. The factory currently produces more than 1.2 million pairs of shoes per year and employs more than 200 associates. In addition to U.K. manufacturing, New Balance is the only athletic brand to currently produce footwear in the U.S. with one in four shoes sold in the U.S. made or assembled in five New England factories.

New Balance is also an official sponsor of the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (U.I.P.M.), which oversees the Modern Pentathlon event at the Games. New Balance has been a worldwide sponsor of the Modern Pentathlon since 1995.

New Balance Global Athletes Competing in the London Olympic Games:
Last Name First Name Country Event

Bernardo

Toni

Andorra

Marathon

McKnight

Kaila

Australia

1500

LaCaze

Genevieve

Australia

Steeplechase

St. Lawrence

Ben

Australia

10000

McNeill

David

Australia

5000

Dent

Dent

Australia

Marathon

Gillis

Eric

Canada

Marathon

Coolsaet

Reid

Canada

Marathon

Stellingwerff

Hilary

Canada

1500

Zicheng

Li

China

Marathon

Parker

Barbara

Great Britain

Steeplechase/5000m

Baddeley

Andy

Great Britain

1500

McCormick

Nick

Great Britain

5000

Williams

Rhys

Great Britain

400mH

Reilly

Stephanie

Ireland

Steeplechase

Hutchinson

Ava

Ireland

Marathon

Weissteiner

Silvia

Italy

5000

Ueda

Ai

Japan

Triathlon

Blincoe

Adrian

New Zealand

5000

Pacheco

Raul

Peru

Marathon

Ramos

Beverly

Puerto Rico

Steeplechase

Muncan

Marina

Serbia

1500

Mundell

Marc

South Africa

50km walk

Smith

Austin

South Africa

Hockey

Erasmus

Rassie

South Africa

Hockey

Bragado

Jesus Angel Garcia

Spain

50km walk

Perez

Jose Miguel

Spain

Triathlon

Dominguez

Mikel Odriozola

Spain

50km walk

Llorca

Ignacio Caceres

Spain

Marathon

Blazquez

Victor Garcia

Spain

3000m steeplechase

Murua

Ainhoa

Spain

Triathlon

Aguilar

Alessandra

Spain

Marathon

Espeso

Elena

Spain

Marathon

Uceda

Marina Damlaimcourt

Spain

Triathlon

Rodriguez

Zurine

Spain

Triathlon

Conley

Kim

USA

5000

Simpson

Simpson

USA

1500

About New Balance

New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is currently the only athletic shoe company that manufactures footwear in the U.S. with 25% of our U.S. footwear shipments produced at five New England facilities. The company also operates a manufacturing facility in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 4000 associates around the globe, and in 2011 reported worldwide sales of $2.04 billion. To learn more about how New Balance Makes Excellent Happen, please visit http://www.newbalance.com.