True legend of racquetball signs lucrative deal and announces Farewell Tour and Signature Product Line plan
Bordentown, NJ – Ektelon announced today that Ruben Gonzalez, the former #1 player in the world and Hall of Fame inductee, has signed a legendary, multi-year endorsement deal to finish his career in professional racquetball in unprecedented fashion. The agreement includes a signature series of products starting with a new racquet called the EXO3 RG Toron, which will be launched at the 2011 Ektelon Nationals to be held in Fullerton, California during May 25th – 29th of this year.
Gonzalez, who signed with Ektelon originally in 1976, has not only agreed to endorse Ektelon products for the next five years but he will be instrumental in designing and promoting a signature series of products including; racquets, gloves and bags during this time period. In addition, Gonzalez has begun a strict training regime and has charted out a plan to play on the Men’s IRT professional tour and finish his career at the 2012 US Open ranked in the top 10 at the age of 60 years old. Vice President of Ektelon, Scott Winters who has known Gonzalez almost his entire career says –“ No other racquetball endorsement deal has ever been signed at this level with a legendary player like Gonzalez. When Ruben came to us with the idea of finishing off his amazing career with Ektelon on such a historic note combined with his interest in developing a signature series of products to capitalize on his past and future success and his popularity in the game, it was a no-brainer for us and we jumped at the opportunity. We immediately put a team together with Ruben to design the perfect racquet to help him accomplish his goals. Our vision was to take his current frame, the O3 RG and combine it with the racquet he played with when he was the #1 player in the world, the Ektelon Toron. The Toron was one of the most successful racquets ever launched in the sport, as the first oversized graphite racquet. This racquet took power to a whole new level and revolutionized the sport said Winters. Therefore, the new EXO3 RG Toron will feature a new modified teardrop head shape and will be built for maximum power with the highest power level of any Ektelon racquet ever produced at 4200. However, Winters explains that power wasn’t the only motivation behind the design of this frame, players today are looking for effortless power with maximum comfort and control. Therefore, even though the frame is incredibly stiff allowing for effortless power, soft plastic inserts are offered in the O ports of the frame to dampen vibration and the Power Ring 8 string pattern puts players in total control of hitting precision shots anywhere on the court. The cosmetics tie-back to the original Toron with an “EXO3 look” and it will be the only racquet offered in the Ektelon performance racquet line-up with a special designed headcover”.
“I’m extremely happy to close out my career with Ektelon, the company I have been with since I started playing the sport” said Gonzalez. “Ektelon has been part of my family for the past 35 years and I can’t imagine playing racquetball without them in my corner. Signing this deal with Ektelon is the icing on the cake for my career. I am extremely excited about my new EXO3 RG Toron racquet and so thankful Ektelon allowed me to be involved in making this racquet and supporting my plans to wrap up my career on tour. I would also like to thank all of my friends, family, and fans for joining me on my Farewell Tour. Gonzalez went on to say that, the new EXO3 RG Toron racquet is incredible and I know it will help me accomplish my goals to finish my career in professional racquetball next year at the highest level possible. It’s going to be important for me to put pressure on my younger opponents on tour and be able to end the rallies quickly by hitting consistent winners. This is the best racquet I have ever had for hitting drives serves which will give me more offensive opportunities and the effortless power I get on court will enable me to hang with any player on tour. However, even though the power is there, my touch game and confidence to kill the ball during the rally has never been higher while using this racquet. The feel is so soft as well that I don’t feel any frame shock which helps my arm recover after matches quicker than ever before.”
Ektelon Promotions Manager, Aimee Ruiz, a seven time Open National Doubles Champion and current US Team Member explains that “Ruben has always been a class act and is the most recognizable player in racquetball. Known also as one of the best age group players to ever play the game, players of all ages have incredible respect for him. Not only has he won numerous tournaments, and performance awards, but he has also received several sportsmanship awards throughout his career. He is definitely someone every player on my team looks up to. In fact Ektelon’s fastest rising star and #9 ranked player on the IRT Tour at the age of 21 years old, Jose Rojas says it will be great having Ruben back playing the tour. I look forward to seeing what “Rubes” can do on the court next season and of course I will be watching and will try to learn as much as possible from him. I have already tried his Toron racquet and I have to say that I really like it, which is tough to say since I love the EXO3 Attack I am currently using. I may have to switch to his racquet just so I can make sure to stay one step ahead of him next season.” Ruiz goes on to say that she is in the process of planning an exciting multifaceted marketing program around Ruben’s Farewell Tour, which will include print advertising, online and social marketing, grassroots efforts and more. “I can’t wait for us to unveil the entire and see Ruben in action at the Ektelon Nationals in May!”
March 1, 2011
For more information, contact:
Aimee Ruiz, Ektelon