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Today's news...11/30/04

NOVEMBER 30, 2004 -- SIA, USSA Taking Winter Sports Education To PE Educators

SnowSports Industries America and the US Ski and Snowboard Association are partnering to bring the world of snow sports directly to physical education professionals, coaches and athletic directors in schools throughout the US. Leveraging SIA's "Winter Feels Good" program and USSA's snow sports training expertise, the two organizations will deliver information and curricula to K-12 educators and administrators that are designed to get youth actively engaged in snow sports and provide training programs that will enhance athletic performance.

USSA will make available to public and private school coaches, and athletic directors a series of CD-ROMs containing the latest information on snow sport training gained from developing world and Olympic champions. The "Elite Performance Series" CDs cover topics such as the role proper hydration and nutrition play for athletic success, setting goals and tracking progress, and building a customized training program. The "Sport Performance Series" provides cutting-edge resources and information on sport-specific topics. The first three CDs in the series look at alpine ski racing. Future topics will address freestyle, Nordic and snowboard fundamentals and techniques. Coaches and teachers can then use these tools to create snow sports programs in physical education classes and training programs for their ski and snowboard teams.

While USSA is focusing on competitive athletes and their coaches, SIA is pursuing a recreation-level audience by providing curriculum-based information that help physical education teachers introduce snow sports to students in a school setting. A new education information section recently was added to the "Winter Feels Good" Web site and the two USSA Performance Series programs are now a key element of the section.

This month, SIA launched a pilot program with Tubbs Snowshoes to introduce students to snow sports via snowshoeing. The association also recently announced that it is working with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports to encourage children and adults to earn a President's Challenge Award by combining snow sports with other activities.

NSGA Workshop Seeks Ways To Boost Footwear Sales

A dozen industry executives have agreed to be group leaders for a first-of-its-kind workshop that will seek ways to stimulate growth in the nearly $15 billion athletic footwear market. The workshop will be held Tuesday, May 24, at the 41st Annual NSGA Management Conference & 7th Annual Team Dealer Summit. The Conference, to be held May 22-25 at the new JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, is sponsored by ADT Security Services and endorsed by 15 industry organizations.

Under the guidance of a professional facilitator, who will help stimulate fresh thought and "out-of-the-box" suggestions, attendees will be divided into table groups, each of which will create a list of ideas. The table leaders will then share the table's ideas with the group for further discussion, and a master list of ideas will be compiled and shared with attendees.

Workshop discussion leaders are: Joe Amoruso, VP/sales, Jack Schwartz Shoes; Bob Carr, editor, Inside Sporting Goods; Keith Daly, EVP/sales, And 1; Rick Graham, VP/sales, Skechers USA; Russ Hopcus, national sales director, Adidas; Rick King, president, Rick King & Associates, Inc.; Craig Levra, CEO, Sport Chalet, Inc.; Glenn Lyon, president/chief merchandising officer, Finish Line; Beth Menuet, EVP/Footwear, Academy Sports & Outdoors; Bill Reynolds, COO, New Balance DFW; Todd Vore, president, Sof Sole; and Joe Wood, president, Famous Footwear.

Oakley Thumps May Be Lackluster At Sales Counter

Although Oakley hyped the introduction of Thumps, analyst Vera Van Ert at Wedbush Morgan Securities maintains a hold rating on Oakley. The move was based on a check of 100 Circuit City stores over the holiday weekend. It revealed little consumer interest for Oakley's Thump combination of sunglasses with an MP3 player. She said sales have been only been fair to poor. "We still believe consumers will want the luxury of selecting their most desired MP3 player and most desired pair of sunglasses based on " she said. Van Ert added that consumers were also turned off by the price tag, which starts at $399.99 on Circuit City's Web site.

Huffy Seeks Overbids For Lamar and LTD Snowboards

Huffy filed a motion seeking approval from the Bankruptcy Court to sell certain intangible assets including trademarks and patents used in its snowboard business under the brand names of Lamar and LTD. Huffy has entered into an agreement for the sale of the intangible assets highlighted above in the amount of $2,500,000. The company will solicit higher or better offers for these assets.

Competing bids must be submitted by no later than December 8 with a sale auction to be held on December 10 at the offices of Dinsmore & Shohl in Cincinnati. A hearing to approve the sales will be held on December 14 at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division in Dayton.

Previously, the company filed a motion seeking approval to sell intangible assets including trademarks and patents used in its hockey business under the brand name of Hespeler and its in-line skates and action businesses under the brand names of Rage, Dukes, Skate Attack and Ultra Wheels for $1,615,000. The company will also be soliciting higher or better offers for these assets concurrent with the above-described process.

Additional information on the assets being sold, form of contracts and bidding procedures can be obtained by contacting Christopher Hooper at Lazard Freres & Co., 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 61st Floor, New York, NY 10020, 212/632-6951 (phone) or 212/332-1748 (fax).

Bass Pro Ready To Enter San Antonio, Buffalo Markets

Bass Pro Shops is reported ready to lease 150,000 square feet of space in a new San Antonio retail project called North Rim. Bass Pro has also agreed to be part of a huge development in Buffalo's historical Memorial Auditorium known affectionately as "The Aud." The New York State Urban Development Corporation, County of Erie, City of Buffalo and Bass Pro Shops have all joined together to make this project happen. The Bass Pro Shops store will be approximately 250,000 square feet and will anchor the project that also includes a museum/interpretive center, hotel and a themed full-service restaurant. The store is tentatively scheduled to open 2007.

Adidas Getting Flack Over Three Stripes In Olympics

Nike, Puma and Reebok are campaigning to ban Adidas from using its three-stripe design on uniforms at the 2006 winter Olympics, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt. This is an interesting issue in that Adidas is maintaining that its three-stripes on uniforms do not represent a company logo in the context of the Olympics. The IOC has rules about the size of logos on uniforms, and the stripes down the side of pant, or over the shoulders and on the arms of shirts could be viewed as a violation of the rules. If Adidas protests and says the stripes are not a logo, it risks its many court cases trying to protect the three stripes as a logo. The issue was brought up at a meeting of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry last year when representatives of Nike and Adidas had a shouting match.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank has been supporting his alma mater, Maryland, and signing sully contracts with the school. But its lackluster performance on the football field led two Washington Post staff writers to note: "…(T)he Terps' apparel provider announced it's changing its name from Under Armour to Under .500."

Atlas Snow-Shoe relocated to a larger facility across the bay in Berkeley, CA. The new facility is located in the "light industrial" section that spans Berkeley and Emeryville. The move facilitates expanded research and design responsibilities at Atlas for all of the K2 snowshoe brands. In addition to research and design Atlas sales and marketing departments will also be headquartered in the new building.

Legg Mason initiated coverage of The Sports Authority with a buy rating. It felt the company's stock is significantly undervalued at present. TSA's remodeled stores witnessed 6%-7% comps in 3Q04, marking a turnaround, Legg Mason said. The company is poised to benefit in the near term from new product launches, it felt. But Legg Mason placed hold ratings on Dick's and Big 5. As for the latter, the rating is based on the approximately 50% appreciation in Big 5's share price since this summer. While Dick's has had excellent results, it is expected to witness challenges in the near term, associated with the integration of Galyan's, Legg Mason maintained.


Quick links: One-click access to topics in this article.

Olympic Games

Adidas AG
Winter Sports Inc.
SnowSports Industries America
US Ski and Snowboard Association
Legg Mason Inc.

snow sports
intangible assets
physical education
Sporting Goods
training programs

Vera Van Ert
Joe Amoruso
Jack Schwartz
Bob Carr
Keith Daly

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