OSI Renews Contract as Exclusive Supplier of U.S. Soccer Referee Uniform, Apparel and Accessories
CHICAGO (February 28, 2007) – Continuing in a role they have served since 1998, Official Sports International has re-signed with U.S. Soccer as the exclusive supplier of USSF Referee apparel and accessories through the end of 2010.
With the deal, OSI will continue providing every piece of gear and equipment associated with refereeing a game, including shirts, shorts, socks and other accessories, like whistles, cards and flags.
As part of the new four-year agreement, OSI will provide apparel for U.S. Soccer's new program employing four full-time referees. OSI will serve as an "Official Sponsor" of the new ground-breaking program recently announced by U.S. Soccer (See below for more on this program).
OSI also supplies uniforms to referees in the English Premier League. For more information on OSI log on to officialsports.com, and check out U.S. Soccer's Referee Program at ussoccer.com.
The U.S. Soccer Federation's Referee Membership has grown tremendously over the years and at the end of 2006 totaled more than 140,000 officials. U.S. Soccer's referee organization is one of the largest among the 207 nations belonging to FIFA, with officials calling games at every level of the sport, including youth, amateur and professional games, as well as sanctioned international competitions.
In a move designed to continue the growth and progress of soccer officiating in the United States, U.S. Soccer has established a program to employ full-time referees for the first time in the organization's 95-year history. Jair Marrufo, Ricardo Salazar, Baldomero Toledo and Terry Vaughn will become full-time referees, enabling them to focus all of their professional abilities on practical on-field applications, as well as on off-the-field training.
"This new program will give our best referees the opportunity to focus all of their energies on enhancing the performance of our elite officials on the field," said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. "The size and quality of U.S. Soccer's referee program has garnered worldwide respect from the international soccer community over the years. With an increasing number of MLS and international matches being staged in the United States, there is no doubt that the opportunity to referee on a full-time basis will continue to advance our growth as a soccer nation."