(Miami, FL, May 25, 2021) – Original Penguin by Munsingwear® and Grand Slam®, brands (divisions of Perry Ellis International) have signed an extensive, multi-year partnership with USA Pickleball. The brands will serve as the Official Apparel Partner and exclusive Referee Program sponsor. The partnership establishes Original Penguin by Munsingwear® and Grand Slam® as industry-leading paddle brands for all genders and ages to one of the fastest growing sports, pickleball. USA Pickleball will launch a new online store, https://shopusapickleball.com with exclusive co-branded merchandise.

Pickleball has great appeal with over 4.2 million players in 2020, an increase of 700,000 participants over 2019, despite the pandemic. Pickleball is fun, family-oriented, socially distanced and has cross-generational appeal.

At Original Penguin by Munsingwear®, we believe in heritage and unique fashion… it’s what you wear to be original and for the good times. With classic silhouettes and unique prints, the brand will launch a refreshing new apparel line in Fall 2021.

There is a lot of influence from the golf line of Original Penguin in their Pickleball apparel.

These brands represent spin-offs of the legendary Munsingwear brand®. They epitomize leading sport and leisure apparel distributed worldwide… from bowling to golf & tennis and now pickleball, its legacy continues to maintain authenticity and future relevance.

“We are ecstatic to be at the forefront of one of the fastest growing sports, and see a tremendous opportunity to expand our footprint in a growing paddle sport industry. The collection will offer functional style and iconic logoed apparel to pickleball players,” stated Oscar Feldenkreis, Perry Ellis International CEO and President. “Additionally, sponsorship of prominent USA Pickleball tournaments will generate additional brand awareness and exposure
through various marketing platforms and activations.”

“To partner with a premier fashion house such as Perry Ellis International and the Original Penguin by Munsingwear® and Grand Slam® brands for our pickleball community, staff and referees is a great honor. We are excited for this new partnership and the opportunities that lie ahead,” said Stu Upson, USA Pickleball CEO. “As an organization, we are thrilled to see the exponential growth in the number of players throughout the United States and the opportunity to
attract and retain the best referees through this partnership.”

About Original Penguin by Munsingwear and Grand Slam Brands

The iconic Munsingwear brand is over a century old and was known for many manufacturing firsts from underwear to military supplies. In 1955, Minneapolis-based Munsingwear became the touchstone of suburban sport with the introduction of the first iconic “penguin” knit shirt to America. Today both Original Penguin by Munsingwear® and the Grand Slam® brands represent the evolution of the iconic Munsingwear brand and continue to appeal to a new
diverse consumer.

About Perry Ellis International

Perry Ellis International, Inc. is a leading designer, distributor, and licensor of a broad line of high quality men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, and fragrances. The company’s collection of dress and casual shirts, golf sportswear, sweaters, dress pants, casual pants and shorts, jeans wear, active wear, dresses, and men’s and women’s swimwear is available through all major levels of retail distribution. The company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns a portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized brands, including: Perry Ellis®, An Original Penguin by Munsingwear®, Laundry by Shelli Segal®, Rafaella®, Cubavera®, Ben Hogan®, Savane®, Grand Slam®, John Henry®, Manhattan®, Axist® and Farah®. The company enhances its roster of brands by licensing trademarks from third parties, including: Nike® for swimwear, and Callaway®, PGA TOUR®, and Jack Nicklaus® for golf apparel. Additional information on the company is available at http://www.pery.com

About USA Pickleball
The USA Pickleball Association, a non-profit 501(c)(3) was established in 2005 to further the advancement of the sport on a national level. As the official governing body of pickleball in the United States, USA Pickleball promotes the growth of pickleball by maintaining the rules, setting player ratings, advancing the sport through its national network of 2,000+ ambassadors, and sanctioning tournaments. Since 2013, USA Pickleball has grown 1,000% in its membership to nearly 42,000. More information can be found at usapickleball.org.