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Originally published Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 9:18 PM

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Reel Time Northwest

Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.

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US team to wear Polo again at Olympic ceremonies

The U.S. Olympic team will stay with the Polo look for the opening and closing ceremonies in Vancouver and London.

AP National Writer


The U.S. Olympic team will stay with the Polo look for the opening and closing ceremonies in Vancouver and London.

The U.S. Olympic Committee announced Thursday it was renewing its apparel deal with Ralph Lauren. The 2010 uniforms will be unveiled later this year.

The federation said the uniforms will "celebrate the rich history of the Olympic Games with a nod to the Lake Placid Games of 1932," with a classic uniform of red, white and blue.

This is not a cash deal for the USOC, which is trying hard to keep sponsors signed up through the 2012 Games and beyond. But the federation will get royalties from any retail sales of the items, and there is a bigger push at the USOC to sell parts of the uniform to the general public.

The hope is that Ralph Lauren will produce some piece of clothing that catches fire, much like the Roots berets did at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.

"If you hit, you hit it really big," said Peter Zeytoonjian, the USOC's new managing director of consumer products. "We're hoping some of the stuff that's coming out from Ralph will actually resonate well with the costumers."

The uniforms worn at the Beijing Olympics got mixed reviews. Some thought the blue blazers, white berets and red, white and blue ties were a timeless look that added an air of sophistication to the athletes; others thought they should be drinking lemonade in the Hamptons while wearing those outfits.

They were available online and to visitors to the USOC's visitor and family center in Beijing. The goal over the next few years is to increase availability of all USOC-licensed products, as the federation tries to make more money selling Olympic-related items.

Zeytoonjian came to the USOC this summer after spending 10 1/2 years at the NFL's consumer products group.

"In terms of what you see for merchandise, it is underplayed," he said. "We want to build consumer appetite for these products around the time of the games and at other key periods," such as during Olympic trials.

The USOC has recently lost General Motors and Home Depot as key sponsors and is trying to renew deals with Bank of America and AT&T. Ralph Lauren joins Acer, Adecco, Deloitte in reaching smaller deals with the USOC.

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