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SMIRNOFF SPONSORS UNIFIED TEAM FOR OLYMPICS WORLDWIDE VODKA GIANT REAFFIRMS RUSSIAN HERITAGE

 SMIRNOFF SPONSORS UNIFIED TEAM FOR OLYMPICS
 WORLDWIDE VODKA GIANT REAFFIRMS RUSSIAN HERITAGE
 MOSCOW, Russia, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pierre Smirnoff Company, owners of the west's best-selling vodka, yesterday announced that it would make a sizable contribution to the Unified Team. Announcing the sponsorship, Dennis Malamatinas, the company's president and chief executive officer, stated that the donation would assure the participation of the 512 athletes and 175 officials of the United Team in the XXV Summer Games in Barcelona this July.
 Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, athletes of the former republics lost the financial aid of Goskomsport, the Kremlin-controlled State Committee for Education and Sport. The Unified Team is made up of athletes from Russia, Georgia, the Ukraine and nine other former Soviet republics. Until now it has had to struggle to pay for training facilities, uniforms and travel expenses.
 "The largest selling vodka in the western world, Smirnoff vodka was launched in Russia in the 19th century. Smirnoff vodka was reintroduced into the Russian market by Ste Pierre Smirnoff Fils in the 1980's after decades of absence following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, and has been widely available in duty free and hard currency stores and, more recently, in ruble outlets," explained Paul Tynan, Smirnoff vice- president, worldwide marketing.
 "While Smirnoff is now an international brand, it never lost its Russian heritage," said Dennis Malamatinas, president of the Pierre Smirnoff Company. "We want to celebrate that heritage in a meaningful way. Helping their Olympic athletes get to Barcelona is one of the best ways to salute our Russian roots and to underscore our commitment to bringing the brand back home. We are also determined to restore Smirnoff's pre-revolutionary position in Russia."
 Smirnoff vodka is currently sold in 117 countries and marketed international by the Pierre Smirnoff Company, a division of International Distillers & Vintners, Limited, Drinks Sector of Grand Metropolitan, PLC.
 -0- 6/25/92
 /CONTACT: David Rafferty of the Rowland Company, 212-527-8800, for Pierre Smirnoff Company/ CO: Pierre Smirnoff Company ST: IN: FOD SU:


AH-OS -- NY043 -- 3807 06/25/92 13:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 25, 1992
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