Gear Technology Magazine

Norton-Saint Gobain Continues USA Luge Sponsorship

January 13, 2014
USA Luge has announced that Norton/Saint-Gobain, the team’s primary sponsor since 2009, will continue the partnership through the 2018 Peyongchang Winter Games. The relationship between USA Luge and Norton/Saint-Gobain began nearly 30 years ago when the company donated sandpaper to the team to help shape and polish their steel runners.
Since those humble beginnings, the sponsorship has grown to include a vast array of product donations to the team, ranging from automotive aftermarket goods to world-class advanced abrasive solutions, to assist in creating a perfectly shaped and finished runner. Norton/Saint-Gobain abrasive products apply a precision finish quickly while cutting down work time significantly for coaches and athletes.
Of equal significance is Norton/Saint-Gobain’s contribution on the technical development side. Working with USA Luge coaches, the engineering team at the Norton/Saint-Gobain R&D Center in Northboro, Mass., studied the composition of various runners used by luge teams in the U.S. and other nations. A recipe for high performance steel was developed and new steel runners were manufactured. For the first time, the team is able to race with steel produced in the United States, knowing that each set of runners is identical and performs well.
“Through our partnership, we have a rewarding opportunity to share our expertise and world-class products with the talented and dedicated group of individuals at the USA Luge team while also supporting them in their quest for gold,” said Bradley H. Johnson, vice president, Saint-Gobain Abrasives North America and Bonded Abrasives Worldwide. “Norton/Saint-Gobain has truly served as a partner to the USA Luge team for more than three decades and we are looking forward to continuing to support them as they prepare to represent our country in the Sochi and Peyongchang Winter Games.”

USA Luge has enjoyed a string of medal-winning performances this season across multiple disciplines, including two World Cup silver medals in men’s singles and another two World Cup silver medals in the new Team Relay, which debuts in Sochi.
“Norton/Saint-Gobain’s contribution to the success of USA Luge cannot be understated,” said USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy. “In addition to game-changing technology and world-class products, Norton/Saint-Gobain support allows us to recruit, train, develop and support luge athletes in the United States.”
USA Luge, based in Lake Placid, revealed the extended deal in Park City, Utah at the same time it announced the nominees to the 2014 Sochi Olympic team.

Norton/Saint-Gobain will continue to receive primary logo placement on sleds, clothing, hats, helmets and vehicles in addition to new benefits to be announced in the spring.