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Feb 10th, 2003, 11:49 PM
Wimbledon Eyes New Market

By Tennis Week

Wimbledon, the one Grand Slam tournament that is almost synonymous with overcast skies and rain, has entered an exclusive licensing agreement forů sunglasses.

The Wimbledon eyewear collection will debut at the International Vision Expo at New York City's Jacob Javits Center, March 21-23, IMG announced today. The collection is the fruit of an exclusive licensing agreement between the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, host of The Championships Wimbledon and owner of the Wimbledon mark, and Hart Specialties, which has produced eyewear collections for Diane Von Furstenberg, Woolrich and others. The arrangement is for North America only and was brokered by IMG, which handles licensing for Wimbledon.

"Eyewear has long been one of Wimbledon's most successful licenses, and we are looking forward to expansion to North America," said Robert McCowen, marketing director of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. "The Hart Wimbledon Eyewear Collection, which will include ophthalmic and sun wear, is the right complement to the (United Kingdom's) Rodenstock Wimbledon Collection.

Other Wimbledon licensees in North America include Hartmarx Tailored men's wear, Delta Leather Goods, LBH Tennis Wear and International Bullion Jewelry.