The arena brand was founded by Horst Dassler, the son of Adidas’ founder and President of Adidas France. Inspired by Mark Spitz’s historic 7 gold medals and 7 world records at the 1972 Munich Summer Games, Dassler envisioned a swimwear company dedicated to aquatic sports. In 1973, arena introduced its first competition swimwear line called Skinfit®, featuring ultra-light fabric designed to cling like a “second skin.”
The following year, arena signed its first female sponsorship agreement with Australian swimmer Shane Gould, who had won 5 individual Olympic medals in the 1972 Munich Games. Working with Gould, arena developed the Shane Gould Female Swimsuit Collection in 1974. To support its growth, arena began sponsoring individual athletes who provided valuable feedback and generated excitement for aquatic sports. By 1976, arena athletes and products were ready for the Olympic Games in Montreal, where they won an impressive 44 Olympic medals. In the following years, arena athletes continued to excel, winning numerous medals and setting world records.