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Shorts...07/09/04

JULY 09, 2004 -- Callaway Buys Trade Up Commerce

Callaway Golf acquired all of the stock of FrogTrader, Inc., which had operated under the name Trade Up Commerce. FrogTrader has partnered with Callaway Golf and its participating retailers for the past two years to develop the industry-leading Trade In! Trade Up! program. FrogTrader is an e-commerce company that develops certified pre-owned golf club purchase and sale programs to buy and sell used and refurbished golf clubs.

Under the Trade In! Trade Up! program, Callaway consumers receive trade-in allowances on their previously owned Callaway clubs toward the purchase of new Callaway clubs. The previously owned products are either kept and sold by the participating retailers or are sent to Callaway Golf Pre-Owned where they are marketed in the direct channel. The option to trade in used clubs has become very popular with consumers looking to upgrade their Callaway equipment, and the ability to purchase used Callaway clubs on line has become a less expensive alternative for consumers seeking to purchase Callaway products.

"The introduction of Callaway Golf's unique Trade In! Trade Up! program has provided incremental sales to our participating retailers and at the same time given an opportunity to an additional segment of consumers to have access to previously owned Callaway Golf technology at extremely attractive prices," said Ron Drapeau, COB/CEO. "The closer affiliation will better position Callaway Golf to stimulate purchases of new clubs by growing the Trade In! Trade Up! program, and also will allow Callaway Golf to better manage the distribution of its pre-owned golf clubs and the Callaway Golf brand."

"The emergence of the Internet as an efficient method of offering pre-owned Callaway Golf products to an expanded consumer base has both enlarged the Callaway Golf consumer base and grown the Callaway Golf value chain for participating Callaway Golf retailers," said Patrice Hutin, COO. "This vehicle works hand in hand with existing brick and mortar retailers in support of growing the Callaway Golf brand as well as their own businesses."

FrogTrader's operations will remain in Austin and its management team will remain intact.

Bass Pro Opponents Going To Court

According to Batin Rouger's Advocate, opponents of Bass Pro Shop's tax incentive package in Denham Springs, LA are heading to court: "An opponent of the public financing method being used for the planned Bass Pro Shops development along Interstate 12 asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to review lower court decisions finding the financing method legal.'The 1st Circuit Court of Appeal has drastically rewritten two areas of Louisiana law and drastically reduced the protections previously afforded to voters and taxpayers in this state,' attorneys for A. Ponder Jones said in their writ application to the state Supreme Court."

"Thus, review by this court is needed. Proponents of the Bass Pro complex 'plan to file an opposition to the writ application' asking the high court, which does not have to hear the case, to reject the writ application, attorney Michael Herbert said Wednesday afternoon. Attorneys also plan to file a request for an expedited hearing, so that the project can move forward as quickly as possible, said Herbert, one of the bond attorneys for the project."

JJB Sports Sees Weak Sales

England's early exit from Euro 2004 and the miserable summer weather depressed sales at Britian's leading sporting goods chain, JJB Sports. JJB reported a 1.3% decline in same-store sales in the 23 weeks to July 4, JJB said Euro 2004 had provided a brief boost to sales of replica shits and other products, which were up 23% - but at the expense of its other ranges, where turnover fell by 15%. David Greenwood, JJB's finance director, said it would inevitably have been better for business if England had stayed in the tournament a bit longer. "They were moderately successful but not as successful as we would have liked them to be," he said. "Once we get some better weather, we'll sell more T-shirts and shorts." Meanwhile, JJB is pinning its hopes on its new out-of-town health club and superstore outlets. There are 18 so far. JJB rents the ground floor unit, turns it into a members' gym, and builds a sports shop on top. "We get two income streams out of the same unit," Mr Greenwood said. The chain plans to open another five this year, and eventually envisages owning up to 100.

LPGA Signs New Agreements For Headwear and Umbrellas

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced an agreement making DRIVE Headwear the exclusive and official headwear provider of the LPGA. In addition, Team Effort, Inc. will introduce the LPGA WindSheer II Auto-Open Umbrella to its line of LPGA golf accessories.

DRIVE Headwear, headquartered in Cornelius, N.C., will develop a line of hats complementing The LPGA Collection, an LPGA-branded apparel line for women that debuted in May in Golfsmith stores nationwide. DRIVE Headwear also has an existing Bonus Pool Program that outfits more than 20 LPGA Tour players, including LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Beth Daniel, Karen Stupples, Becky Morgan and Wendy Doolan, with custom headwear. The WindSheer II Auto-Open Umbrella has a sage green and ivory plaid bottom canopy, which features an embroidered LPGA trademark logo, with an ivory top canopy. The umbrella is available along with Team Effort, Inc.'s full line of LPGA golf accessories that include towels, headcovers, putter covers and pin flags. Team Effort is headquartered in Clarion, Iowa.

Said Karen Durkin, LPGA senior vice president and chief marketing officer, "We welcome DRIVE Headwear into our expanding global licensee family and are thrilled to be joining forces with industry leaders like DRIVE and Team Effort to offer both women and men high quality golf apparel for both their performance and fashion needs."

EMU Australia Hires Surf Legend, "PT" Townsend

San Clemente, Calif.-based footwear supplier, EMU Australia, has added Australian surf Legend Peter "PT" Townend to the EMU North American team. In his new role, Townend will serve as brand manager, working in conjunction with the marketing and sales management on overall brand direction for all facets of the company from sales, to marketing and promotions. Most recently, he served as the marketing and events director of Primedia's Action Sports Group after a three-year stint as the publisher of both Surfing and SG (Surfing Girl) Magazines. Said Greg Licht, president of EMU Australia, "He is a proven brand builder and will help EMU leverage our heritage and carry our authentic spirit cohesively through all aspects of the brand."

Trust Fund Established For Huffy Cda. Exec, Jeff Laird

Following the recent death of Jeff Laird, his family, friends and colleagues have established a trust fund. Laird, director of Sales Administration with Huffy Sports Canada, died suddenly of a heart attack June 2, at the age of 41. He is survived by his wife Wendy and young son Brandon. Laird joined Huffy Sports Canada just over a year ago after a 20-year career with Irwin Toy and some time with Kewl, which put him in contact with sport-trade community across Canada and the United States. In an effort to help his family and establish an education fund for Brandon Laird, a trust fund has been established in Jeff Laird through TD Bank at the reference: Wendy Laird, in trust, TD Canada Trust, 150 Sandalwood Parkway, East, Brampton, Ontario, Canada L6Z 1Y5. Bank #004, Branch #21172, Account #628-5954.


Short: Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey and Banc of America Securities both downgraded Hibbett Sporting Goods from buy to neutral...Deutsche Bank has just sold Trevira GmbH (Frankfurt/Main) to the Indian group Reliance Industries Ltd. Reliance now becomes the world`s biggest manufacturer of polyester fibrers and filament threads. Thank to the takeover. Trevira is going to be strengthened on the European market. (Source: SAZ)...Head footwear will no longer be manufactured and marketed by licensee Romika, which is owned by former adidas CEO Rene Jaggi. Head shoes will be made by Portman, Singapore.(Source: SAZ)





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