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Todays news...12/29/04

DECEMBER 29, 2004 -- New Nike CEO Joins Board, Clarke Resigns

Thomas Clarke stepped down from the Nike Inc. board of directors, but will remain president of new business ventures. Clarke's resignation was announced late Tuesday, the same day Nike's new president and chief executive William Perez formally joined the board. Nike co-founder Phil Knight recently resigned as president and CEO of the company, but remains chairman.

"With Bill's arrival, it just makes for good corporate governance that we keep the number of management directors at an appropriate level," Clarke said in a statement announcing his resignation. "I have been honored to serve Nike as a director as we have successfully worked our way through a series of global business challenges that have resulted in our current record performance."

Clarke, who joined Nike in 1980, served as president and chief operating officer from 1994 to 2000. He was named to the board of directors in 1994.

"I cannot thank Tom enough for his contributions to the board during the past 10 years," Knight said. "His knowledge and passion for Nike have been invaluable to me and the board."

Nike Loses Copyright Suit In China

Nike lost a copyright suit over the illegal advertising use of a Chinese cartoon character only weeks after pulling its ads pulled off of Chinese television for upsetting local traditions, according to Agence France Presse.

According to the report, the Beijing Intermediate Court ordered Nike to pay 300,000 yuan ($36,000 dollars) to cartoonist Zhu Zhiqiang for using his "Little Match Man" in its "Stickman" advertising campaign, a court official said. The official told AFP, "The verdict confirmed that the copyright had been violated and put an end to the continued violation and called for an open apology and the compensation of 300,000 yuan."

Nike did not comment on the verdict, but Zhang Zaiping, a lawyer representing Nike, earlier dismissed the allegations. "The small man figure created by the plaintiff and his gestures are absolutely different from Nike's Stickman," Zhang said when the case opened.

The court case was not the only trouble Nike has suffered in China recently. Earlier this month the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television imposed a nationwide ban on a "blasphemous" Nike television commercial featuring US basketball star LeBron James battling and defeating a mystical Kung Fu master. The advert showed Cleveland Cavaliers star James defeating the Kung Fu master, two women in traditional Chinese attire and a pair of dragons, considered a sacred symbol in Chinese culture.
Nike later apologized.

Report: Tsunamis Impact Athletic Footwear Sourcing

Sourcing operations at Nike and Reebok International could be disrupted if the devastating tsunamis that hit southern Asia affect their suppliers in the region, Prudential Equity Group said in a report.

"The recent tragic natural disaster in Southeast Asia could pose some risk to sourcing for footwear and apparel companies that source from the region," analyst Lizbeth Dunn wrote in a note to clients. "Risks include shipping delays, product destruction, factory damage and the obvious risk to the workforce."

Dunn said that Nike receives 43 percent of its footwear from Indonesia and Thailand, while Reebok sources out 36 percent to the two countries. As a result, both athletic brands have some risk exposure regarding footwear supply chains, but their apparel operations are less vulnerable.

"Apparel sourcing is less concentrated for Nike, Reebok and all our companies; thus, we believe there is less risk of a product disruption in apparel," she added.

Footwear sourcing is more concentrated, as the top eight producer countries account for 90 percent of global supplies, said Dunn. Conversely, apparel sourcing is very fragmented, with less than 60 percent coming from the top 10 producer countries worldwide.

For total U.S. apparel and footwear sourcing, 3.8 percent of apparel and 3.7 percent of footwear comes from Indonesia, while 1.9 percent footwear comes from Thailand, Dunn said.

Goody's Family Clothing to sell Hawaiian Tropic Apparel

Goody's Family Clothing is adding Hawaiian Tropic Apparel as an exclusive label to the stable of brands found only at the Knoxville, Tenn.-based retailer’s 350 stores. Goody's Family and Windsong Inc have forged a partnership with an exclusive distribution agreement for Hawaiian Tropic Apparel, a lifestyle collection of apparel, swimwear and accessories for men and women. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. A targeted press launch for spring 2005 is planned, and product will be in Goody's stores March 1, 2005.

For the third year, PrimaLoft – Insulation Technology will be a primary sponsor of the Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival hosted by The Mountaineer and to be held on March 5 & 6, 2005 in Keene Valley, NY. Said Tom Mendl, Marketing Director, PrimaLoft. "The Mountaineer is doing a great job in keeping skiers interested in coming to the festival by offering great programs while testing the latest equipment and clothing."

Dickie Walker Marine, which designs nautically-inspired apparel, said it is exploring a wide range of financial alternatives, including potential mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and other financing opportunities. Dickie Walker notes that the financing exploration comes as its accountants had expressed concerns in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission regarding its ability to continue as a going concern. In the year ended September 30, Dickie Walker Marine, based in La Jolla, CA, lost $1.27 million on sales of $4.5 million.

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Distribution agreements
Sporting goods industry
Mergers & acquisitions

Nike and Reebok International
New Nike
Nike Inc.
Dickie Walker Marine Inc.
Agence France Presse

Footwear Sourcing
producer countries
copyright suit
Goody's Family Clothing
traditional Chinese attire

Thomas Clarke
William Perez
Lizbeth Dunn

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