May 11, 2006 16:18 ET

ellesse'R' Serves Up Grand Slam Sponsorships with Rogers Cup 2006 and Junior Tennis Champ Sharon Fichman

TORONTO, CANADA--(CCNMatthews - May 11, 2006) - ellesse® - international purveyor of premium sport-lifestyle wear and supporter of the celebrity tennis circuit since 1975-announces its "official clothing, footwear and gold sponsorship" of the 2006 Rogers Cup, presented by National Bank August 12th through 20th at the Uniprix Stadium, Montreal, Canada. The Rogers Cup sponsorship comes as part of the ellesse brand's official Canadian relaunch in Spring 2006 and will include an initiative to dress all tournament linespeople, ball crews, volunteers and officials in branded ellesse apparel. ellesse's partnership with the Rogers Cup, featuring the likes of Maria Sharapova, WTA Masters 2005 Champion, Amelie Mauresmo, Venus and Serena Williams and more signifies the brand's strong ties to the international tennis community, reinforcing its long-time commitment to providing players with the most effective, comfortable and advanced tennis apparel without compromising style or fashion.

"We are thrilled to have ellesse as our newest major partner at the Rogers Cup," comments Greg Wood, vice president Corporate Partnerships, Tennis Canada. "The brand is a perfect compliment to our audience-healthy, active, fashion-forward consumers. We are proud to be a part of ellesse's resurgence in Canada as the brand bursts back onto the Canadian scene at one of the world's greatest tennis events."

In addition to their support of the Rogers Cup, ellesse is pleased to announce that they have finalized an agreement to be the exclusive clothing sponsor of Canada's incredibly talented and rising star athlete junior tennis champion, Sharon Fichman. ellesse's sponsorship of Fichman further reinforces the brand's ties to the tennis community as it reaches out to help build and nurture talented junior competitors through its support. At age 16, the Toronto-based Fichman continues to prove herself as a fierce competitor on the courts, ranked as highest international junior under 18 years in 2005 and winner of doubles in the 2006 Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne, Australia to name just a few of her list of achievements.

" Ellesse makes me look good and feel comfortable when I'm in the heat of battle on the court," says junior tennis champion, Sharon Fichman. "ellesse tennis wear is as high-performance as I have to be out there. ellesse's support is greatly appreciated."

"With the Canadian relaunch, we wanted to tie ourselves back into the country's athletic community, especially tennis since the brand has been such a visible supporter of the sport for so long," says Steven Richman of Culture Clothing Inc., the Canadian distributor of ellesse. "I think partnering to support such an amazing and respected tennis event communicates this relationship. Sponsoring a talented, Canadian-bred player like Sharon Fichman is the perfect opportunity to show our dedication to fostering the careers of the country's young athletes while making the ellesse name synonymous with the same drive and high level of performance and achievement that these rising stars show on the courts everyday."

Interviews, hi-res images and editorial samples of ellesse merchandise are available upon request.

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