SAN RAMON, CA — 24 Hour Fitness is the official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team in a first ever partnership by a national fitness operator. The agreement designates 24 Hour Fitness as the exclusive official fitness center of the U.S. Olympic Team through the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The sponsorship automatically grants future 24 Hour Fitness memberships to eligible U.S. athletes training for the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games. In addition, the company will upgrade the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, CO, Lake Placid, NY and Chula Vista, CA, with the same equipment found in all 300-plus 24 Hour Fitness locations nationwide. 24 Hour Fitness will also provide athletic training equipment at high performance centers for the U.S. teams at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 2004 and Beijing, China in 2008; and the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy in 2006.

As part of its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic team, 24 Hour Fitness will work with the USOC's Sports Science and Sports Medicine divisions to research and develop specialized programs to support the training of U.S. Olympic hopefuls, as well as 24 Hour Fitness' members.

The 24 Hour Fitness sponsorship will allow the chain to capitalize on the popularity of the Games including advertising and promotional use of U.S. Olympic marks and graphics for advertising and marketing purposes.

“This is one of the most exciting days in our 20-year history,” said Mark S. Mastrov, chairman and CEO of 24 Hour Fitness. “The synergies between the USOC and 24 Hour Fitness are unparalleled. We are thrilled to be a part of the U.S. Olympic movement and with our goal being that this USOC partnership will enhance our ability to inspire people to make fitness a way of life.”

Using the sponsorship as a platform, 24 Hour Fitness will develop a full array of marketing initiatives designed to increase brand awareness while providing numerous benefits to 24 Hour Fitness members, partners and athletes. To start, 24 Hour Fitness plans to create new U.S. Olympic-themed training programs and classes in all of its clubs.

“This is the beginning of a tremendous partnership that gets to the core of our mission to train and support America's top athletes as they strive to achieve their Olympic dreams,” said Jim Scherr, USOC chief of sport performance. “For the first time in our history, athletes will benefit from 24 Hour Fitness' network of state-of-the-art fitness centers, which operate at any hour of the day, seven days a week.”