Tuesday, November 1, 2005 -

Elite Weekly News...6/10/05

JUNE 10, 2005 -- Brooks Takes Specialty Shops To Cyberspace

Brooks Sports has relaunched its website to include a function that enables performance running stores to fulfill Brooks' online orders locally.

Jim Weber, president and CEO, says other footwear manufacturers, except Nike, fulfill web orders through major stores. For example, Brooks used Paragon and Road Runner Sports in the past. Under the new feature, launched June 1, Brooks' online orders are sorted out by area code to local stores in a 250 mile radius.

“We essentially have a fulfillment engine that allows us to offer all the orders placed over the web from the day before to all our retailers that carry that inventory,” said Weber. “So every morning at 10:00 A.M., the specialty running shop can go on a web-based site that's going to show all the orders Brooks has taken on our website the day before and they can choose those orders that they have the inventory for and ship them directly to that customer.”

Which store gets the order is basically determined by area code, but may also depend on factors such as a store's ability to fully complete the order and their turnaround time. If no one fills the order, Brooks does.

“It gives customers what they want, when they want it - all while strengthening relationships with performance running retailers who represent the center of the running community where they operate,” Weber notes. Brooks is providing this service at no cost to retailers.

In addition to stores potentially gaining a new customer, the website includes brooksrunning.com sales and inventory reports that allow retailers to track individual product orders and sales trends in their area.

“They're going to be able to see that the hottest selling Brooks shoe in their city the Brooks Glycerin and they may not be carrying it,” said Weber. “So it's going to help them manage their inventories better, their purchases, and future orders because they're going to see not just what they shipped, but all Brooks in that area.”

Said Paul Carrozza, CEO of RunTex in Austin, Texas “We're very excited about Brooks' unique approach to online commerce-one that amazingly supports rather than competes with its retail partners.”

Brooks' new online shopping functionality is the company's latest enhancement to brooksrunning.com, which also includes tools-such as “Shoe Finder,” “Footwear Technology” and “Injury Prevention”-to learn about proper shoe fitting, gear technologies and other issues pertinent to a runner's lifestyle.

Runner's World Ranks 25 Best Running Cities

In its July issue, Runner's World came up with the first-ever ranking of the nation's 25 Best Running Cities.

San Francisco earned the top spot on the Runner's World ranking, which, among other criteria, factored in the number of runners within each city's population, the amount of land set aside for park usage, local weather data, crime data and air quality measurements, and its number of annual road races. More than 1,300 runners were also polled for their feedback, which was weighed and factored in.

San Francisco was followed in the top five by San Diego, CA; New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The remaining 20 cities in ranked order were:

6. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
7. Boulder, CO
8. Boston, MA
9. Denver, CO
10. Portland, OR
11. Austin, TX
12. Seattle, WA
13. Philadelphia, PA
14. Colorado Springs, CO
15. Dallas, TX
16. Anchorage, AK
17. Raleigh, NC
18. Salt Lake City, UT
19. Honolulu, HI
20. Atlanta, GA
21. Houston, TX
22. Phoenix, AZ
23. Madison, WI
24. Monterey, CA
25. Fort Collins, CO

“Coming up with this list was obviously a difficult task, but we tried to combine emotions and actual math,“ said David Willey, Editor-in-Chief of Runner's World. “Despite our credibility, I know that our story will spark lots of debate.”

Runner's World's editors commenced the study by taking a list of the largest U.S. cities based on population, and then narrowing it down to 50 by using the results of the 2004 nationwide survey of jogging participation (conducted by the market research firm Claritas).

From there, the following data was factored into the decision-making: the number of running clubs per city (with information from USA Track and Field and the Road Runners Club of America); the annual number of road races (from various sources); the amount of land set aside for park usage (from the Trust for Public Land); air quality measurements (from the EPA); weather data (from the National Climactic Data Center); and crime statistics (from the FBI).
Runner's World also factored in the results of a poll in which its readers ranked their favorite running cities.

In the end, San Francisco scored best, offering its runners miles of can't miss views and fantastic paths along such landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge and Baker Beach. One of most popular running events, and a favorite of San Franciscans, is the 12-K Bay to Breakers, considered the “Mardi Gras” of Bay Area races. San Francisco offers its residents myriad ways of working out, from the Lyon Streets steps that will deliver a sweat-inducing workout to a 10-mile flat loop around the Golden Gate Park, covered with running paths and open boulevards.

“To me, the best way to explore a city is by putting on your running shoes and getting a little lost, just to see what you can find,” said Willey. “San Francisco is an amazing place for that. Every run can become an unscripted adventure.”

San Diego came in a close second, and was a favorite among online visitors to www.runnersworld.com for its year-round warm temperatures and breathtaking Pacific Ocean views.

New York City ranked third, with its many running paths along the Hudson and East Rivers and, of course, for Central Park, “where more than 7,000 runners loop its colorful paths and trails daily.” Chicago ranked fourth overall for many reasons, the main one being its friendly running scene.

The Chicago Area Runners Association's etiquette includes a rule that states “if someone runs up to you and starts talking, you talk back.”

Washington D.C., with its miles of running paths that are at turns historic (the Mall), hilly (Rock Creek Park) and rustic and residential (Glover Archibald Park), earned the number five ranking.

The state of Colorado had four cities-Boulder (7), Denver (9), Colorado Springs (14) and Fort Collins (25) in the top 25, more than any other state. Both California (San Francisco, San Diego and No. 24 Monterey) and Texas (No. 11 Austin, No. 15 Dallas and No. 21 Houston) had three cities represented, while 14 other states and the District of Columbia also made the list.

The July issue also contains features on The Best Action-Packed Trips for the World's Fastest Runners; Adventures in Kenya (What it's like to eat, drink, and race with the world's fastest runners), by Ben Cheever; and The 3-Week Plan to Getting Fit Fast.

Daly To Head Foot Locker Europe; Anderson Moves To Lady Footlocker

Foot Locker named Keith Daly president/CEO of its Foot Locker Europe division, and Marla Anderson to president/CEO of its Lady Foot Locker division, replacing Daly.

Daly, who served as EVP of sales at And 1, only joined Footlocker in January 2005. Prior to joining And 1 in 2002, he served as Senior Vice President, Merchandising/Marketing for Footaction USA,

"Keith has extensive experience in both the retail and Manufacturing sectors of the athletic industry, and a very strong merchandising track record," stated Matthew Serra, Foot Locker's chairman and CEO. "Since joining our Company in January 2005, he has done an impressive job in continuing the re-positioning of our Lady Foot Locker division. We look forward to benefiting from Keith's proven management and merchandising skills to positively impact our Foot Locker Europe division."

Anderson began her career with Foot Locker in 1998 as Vice President-Divisional Merchandise Manager Footwear at Champs Sports. In January 2003, she was promoted to Executive Vice President Merchandising, Champs Sports. Anderson was subsequently promoted to Executive Vice President General Merchandise Manager Footwear, Foot Locker U.S./Kids FootLocker/Footaction in January 2005.

Standard & Poors Upgrades Nike's Credit

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on Nike Inc. to A+ from A.

S&P also affirmed its A-1 short-term corporate credit and commercial paper rating on the athletic footwear and apparel maker based in Beaverton. The outlook is stable.

The agency said the move reflects Nike's (NYSE: NKE) improved credit profile and credit measures, which have exceeded S&P's expectations, as well as the expectation that Nike will continue to maintain a conservative capital structure.

Susan Fields Appointed GM of Everlast Women

Jacques Moret named Susan Fields GM of the Everlast Women's Division. In this newly created position, Fields will have full responsibility for product development, merchandising, sales, and marketing. She will report directly to Joey Harary, president of Jacques Moret. Most recently Fields was president of Mid-Tier and Off Price for Nine West Accessories, a subsidiary of Jones Apparel Group.

PowerBar To Sponsor 2005 Breast Cancer 3-Day Series

PowerBar announced that PowerBar® Pria®, the company's line of women's nutrition bars and beverages, has partnered with the National Philanthropic Trust as a National Series Sponsor for the 2005 Breast Cancer 3-Day® Series, benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. The agreement names PowerBar Pria as the exclusive program sponsor in the nutrition, energy and snack bar category for the 2005 series of multi-day, 60-mile breast cancer education and fundraising walks.


Susquehanna Financial initiated coverage of Puma with a positive rating. "We consider Puma to be to be one of the best managed and differentiated athletic brands in our current coverage universe. In addition, we believe that the company has substantial sales and margin enhancement opportunities that may have been overlooked by investors. Moreover, the company's stock is currently trading at a significant discount to both the European and US brand average P/E multiples for next year's earnings. We believe the company's likely strong sales and earnings momentum going forward should provide investors with strong share appreciation potential over the next several quarters."

Oakley just opened a flagship O Store located in the Covent Garden area of London. This latest addition to the company's expanding domestic and international retail presence will be owned and operated by Oakley's wholly owned subsidiary, Oakley U.K. Ltd.

Patagonia and Wolverine Worldwide's Merrell footwear brand have entered into a long-term global license agreement to produce Patagonia footwear. The first product line is expected at retail in spring 2007. Under the agreement, Merrell will design, manufacture and market performance footwear under the Patagonia name with rights to other Patagonia brands including Water Girl, clothing and swimwear for women, and Lotus Designs, white-water paddling gear. Consumers will find the new footwear line in over 32 Patagonia stores in the U.S., Europe and Japan, in Patagonia's distribution network, and in premium footwear and outdoor specialty stores.

Teva's President Exits: Robert Orlando, president of Teva , is leaving Deckers Outdoor, effective May 24 in order to pursue other interests. The company is actively searching for a successor. In the interim, Angel Martinez, who recently became Deckers' CEO, will assume all his responsibilities. Martinez formerly headed up Keen footwear/

ECCO USA announced that Thomas Nelson has been named president. He succeeds Jan Stig Andersen who recently resigned, but will remain at the company through August 2005.. Nelson will officially take over responsibility as president beginning August 1, 2005 and will work alongside Jan Stig to ensure a smooth transition. Nelson joined ECCO USA in June 2003 as the vice president of sales. He is a veteran in the footwear industry with more than 20 years of senior sales and management experience with such companies as Rockport, Converse and Stride Rite.

Timberland appointed Michael Prendergast to Vice President, Sales -- Suburban. For the last three years, he has worked for the Sorel division of Columbia Sportswear Company, first as National Sales Manager and most recently, as President of Sorel. In his new position, he will be responsible for managing Timberland's suburban footwear business, including major department stores and key independent accounts. He reports to Joe Dzialo, Senior Vice President and Manager of Timberland's U.S. business.

Element Skateboards is taking its mark into the footwear category. A full line of Element shoes will be launched at the Action Sports Retailer show in California in September. There will be a simultaneous release in Australia and New Zealand. "Shoes have always been on our agenda," said Element founder and president Johnny Schillereff. "We feel that the time is now right for Element to enter this category. The line has been in development for some time and we are looking forward to bringing it to the market. Shoes are a natural extension to the Element brand and we will focus on delivering a fresh approach in design, functionality and performance."

GoLite named Kevin Volz, Marketing Manager, and Patricia (Pat) Smith of OnTarget Public Relations in Denver to serve as the company's PR Manager and PR agency of record. Altogether, the two bring more than 40 years of brand development and outdoor industry experience to GoLite.

Big Dog Holdings, Inc., the parent of Walking Co , has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of Footworks , a division of the privately held shoe retailer Bianca of Nevada, Inc., for approximately $10 million.

Footworks. which will become part of The Walking Co., operates a chain of 8 retail stores selling comfort shoes and accessories. Footworks' operations are focused on high-visibility stores in Las Vegas, Nevada. Following closing, TWC will largely convert the stores to "The Walking Company" stores. Big Dog acquired Walking Co., which operates 74 stores, in March 2004.

January 30, 2005
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January 30, 2005
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January 30, 2005
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